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Harold Trout's 1980 Chevy Malibu Wagon - Refrigerator White

Harold Trout's '80 Malibu

By , Photography by Eric McClellan

Harold Trout bought this '80 Malibu wagon because he needed a place to put his 650hp big-block. It measured 489 ci, and Harry spent good money filling it with the best parts he could afford. He was rewarded with good horsepower and 599 lb-ft on the dyno. These are numbers the engine could reliably make all day long on 93-octane gasoline (unlike in California, that's pump gas in most of the country). It just didn't have a home.

All he had at the time was a tubbed S-10 truck that already had a small-block Chevy in it. Harry seriously considered dropping the big-block into the little truck but just couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger. "When I calculated all the money I'd have to spend to get the truck to handle the power, plus the cost of the engine, it would have been a $40,000 S-10. All my friends would have laughed at me." In considering other options, he decided a Malibu wagon would be an ideal candidate. "You don't see many of those around here, and I like wagons," Harry says. So the search was on.

Four years later, he bought one. Why the delay? Partly because Harry had to save up some money, and partly because he didn't see a car he liked. Not for lack of trying, however. Harry tells us he was looking constantly. So, on the day this particular Malibu showed up on RacingJunk.com, Harry was on the phone with the seller. He flew a friend out to Pennsylvania to inspect the car for him, and a week after that, he flew this same friend back to the Keystone state, cash in hand, to purchase the car. The car was loaded onto a transporter and shipped to its new home in Minnesota.

Though he bought it as a roller, the previous owner did have a big-block in it, so Harry was able to drop his engine and trans in place right away. Even cooler, this 'Bu had already been 'caged, back-halved, and fitted with a 4.10-equipped Dana 60 sporting massive tires inside those cavernous wheeltubs, so the bulk of the work had already been done for him. Harry beefed up the Dana with a billet yoke, added a chrome-moly driveshaft, and dropped the car off at a local paint shop for the ghost flame job on top of the already good-looking refrigerator-white paintjob.

Harry finished the car just in time for last year's Car Craft Summer Nationals. He's only been down the drag strip once, but that pass apparently looked more like a John Force burnout. He's got a pair of slicks on the way and is looking for mid-11 second passes on the motor. After that, he's scheming up a two-stage, direct port nitrous system that will drop him deep into the 10s. We want to see this thing up on its bumper soon.

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