Bathed in a late-afternoon glow, the Malibus body lines are as crisp and straight as a two-lane country highway. Getting thin-gauge late-model sheetmetal this straight isnt an easy task, but starting with an original 41,000-mile specimen sure helps. Bathed in a late-afternoon glow, the Malibus body lines are as crisp and straight as Between the minty green-on-green color scheme, the 12-bolt rear, and the stout small-block, Deans car packs all the serious musclecar goods. Its almost enough to forget that these cars were made during Detroits darkest days. Between the minty green-on-green color scheme, the 12-bolt rear, and the stout small-bloc The A-bodys enormous engine compartment sure dwarfs the GM Performance Parts Fast Burn 385 small-block. The crate motor has been warmed over with a GM H.O.T. cam and roller rockers, yielding an honest 430 hp. A Griffin aluminum radiator keeps the temps under control, but theres almost enough empty space in that engine compartment to air-cool that motor. Dean yanked the stock A/C suitcase, smoothed the firewall, and shot the engine bay body color. Theres enough room underhood to make changing plugs a breeze. The A-bodys enormous engine compartment sure dwarfs the GM Performance Parts Fast Seventies cars sure arent remembered for their interior appointments, but at least it aint paisley. The mossy green interior is a love/hate deal, but you cant blame Dean for wanting to preserve the stock upholstery. Its in as-purchased, meticulous conditiona 24-year-old time capsule. And with Malibu interior restoration parts as scarce as they are, wed probably settle for a pink interior if it was as pristine as Deans. The Auto Meter tach and gauges are the only non-factory parts we could find. Seventies cars sure arent remembered for their interior appointments, but at least i Its been said that the Midwest gets three months of good weather each year. That means three months of car-cruising weather. You might think that spells bad news for gearheads. Well, its not all bad. For one thing, the long snow-belt winters help produce some awesomely restored cars. Cubic yards of snow and sleet make the perfect excuse for spending an evening in the garage, dissembling, repairing, detailing, and reassembling every component of your project car. Dean Scotts 78 Malibu is a product of cold Minnesota winters. How do we know? Because, with car-friendly year-round California weather, we know we couldnt put our own Malibu out of commission long enough to complete a meticulous frame-off restoration. Dean began with a cherry-clean, 41,000-mile, 84-year-old-ladyowned specimen and still went through every part on the car. Wed have just thrown together a motor and driven the wheels off the thing. But we agree that the finished product was well worth the downtime. Dean finished the car just in time for the Car Craft 2001 Summer Nationals, so the car was garage-fresh when we photographed it. It has an H.O.T.-cammed 385hp Fast Burn small-block under the hood, and we bet itll see ample road time. That is, when the weather cooperates. How does Dean endure the winter months of car deprivation? Hes acquired another Malibu projectthis one will pack a 502. That should keep him busy through next winter, but when the first glimpse of green pokes through the thawed ground, you can bet the Spring Green Malibu will be back on the prowl. Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!