In our July '12 issue, we made an offhanded comment about the relative scarcity of '80s midsize GM A- and G-body sedans factory-equipped with Super T10 four-speed manual transmissions. We've only seen a handful in person, but that comment triggered a flurry of emails from passionate owners of manual transmission--equipped G-bodies. We will compile all those letters into a special section next month, but we didn't want to wait that long to show you the pictures Troy sent us. He says his father, George, fueled his and his brother's (also named George) affinity for these midsize, full-frame cars. Troy says he built his garage to house just four cars, but that quickly mushroomed to eight cars being stuffed in here. Believe it or not, he and his brother have four more of these cars stored in other places. Talk about obsessed--these guys love their G-bodies.
1 Troy's got three kids (the eldest is 11), and he's hoping one of them will take to working on this '79 Malibu. It still has the puny 267 V8 and a three-speed slushbox. He says it will be sporting a manual transmission soon.
2 The green '78 Malibu was Troy's first car. His dad bought it for him 23 years ago for $75 from a junkyard. It came with heavy frontend damage, and he hasn't stopped working on it since. He's putting the finishing touches on an LS7 (Z06 Corvette engine) swap with a Tremec TKO-600 five-speed. The engine actually measures 434 ci (4.125-inch bore and a 4.00-inch stroke) after the block was machined and fitted with Darton sleeves. He also upgraded the stock 7-1/2-inch 10-bolt to an 8-1/2-inch version from a Grand National. "I've blown up lots of 7-1/2-inch differentials since I've been driving these cars," Troy says. The gauge cluster is out of a police-package Malibu and includes a tachometer. He had a local tachometer shop reface and recalibrate it to raise the max rpm from 6,000 to 8,000.
3 Brother George also owns this '81 Malibu. It has the stock 305 engine, but he swapped in a four-speed using factory parts.
4 Troy's mom owns the '85 Monte Carlo SS tucked back in the corner. After seeing her husband and sons' burgeoning collection of G-bodies, she decided to buy one for herself. This one is all stock. Troy says she drives it only on summer days when the weather is nice.
5 The '65 El Camino belongs to Troy's father, who's owned it since 1967. It's all original, even the paint, and has just over 50,000 miles on it. The engine is a L79, 350hp 327 from a Corvette backed by a Muncie four-speed.
6 This original, Cinnabar-red '80 El Camino is owned by Troy's brother, George, who is currently in the Marine Corps stationed at Camp Pendleton. It is an original, factory 305ci four-speed.
7 This '84 Monte Carlo also belongs to Troy. He bought it in 1995, and someone T-boned him in a parking lot a few year later. He had to replace the frame and much of the driver-side body panels, but you'd never know looking at the photo. It's got a ZZ4 350 crate engine and a Tremec T-3550 (a precursor of the TKO five-speed transmission). He drove it on Hot Rod's Power Tour® a couple of years ago.
8 Troy recently bought this pristine '65 Corvette after selling a fourth-gen Camaro to fund the purchase. It's one of the 771 cars built that year that came equipped with the 375hp, fuel-injected 327 engine.
The downsized A-body sedans, including the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo, El Camino, Buick Regal, Olds Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix and LeMans, appeared in 1978. Beginning in 1982, that platform (sometimes referred to as the Metric chassis) was renamed G-body when GM released the wrong-wheel-drive Chevrolet Celebrity, Buick Century, Olds Cierra, and Pontiac 6000 as the new A-body platform.