1979 Chevrolet Malibu

While other G-bodies have dreams of the strip, Abdullah's Malibu is a street star.

Story: Evan “Evo” Yates

Photography: Jon Domingo

The G-body Malibu is generally adopted by those who spend their weekends wafting 110 octane and burnt rubber. The fourth- gen Mali is considerably light in the ass with ample room under the hood for virtually any power plant you can wedge in. Yet, as prevalent as they are on the strip, this popularity seldom transfers over to the custom-car arena.

Two years ago, Chicago native and G-body enthusiast Abdullah Choubhry decided to assemble a game-changing Malibu in a G-body scene dominated by Grand Nationals and Monte Carlos. “I have been a G-body guy forever, and the Malibu gets under-played,” says Abdullah. “Most of the time they are racecars, but I wanted to put together a Malibu that smashes every G-body in the country and is worthy of being in the SEMA show.”

For the first phase, ’Dullah tackled the drivetrain instead of paint or wheels. “I’ve been a motorhead since I was a kid. I’d rather put together a motor than watch TV,” he explains. “So I had to make sure the drivetrain was stout first.” Sticking to his lead-footed G-code, ’Dullah went for the heart of a newer Chevy, a ’99 Corvette, and extracted the motor and tranny. “At the time, we didn’t even know if the FAST wiring harness would work, or the intake or anything—it was a guessing game.” Not a proponent of carburetion, ’Dullah opted for the reliability of fuel injection. “I hate carburetors,” he says. “I don’t want to sit there and tap the gas; I just want to start the car and take off.” With the car running a solid 11.80 in the quarter mile (on 22s), ’Dullah is convinced his marvelous Mali has the power to push the extra inches of chrome.

Managing his own car-audio shop (Elite Electronics in Greenfield, Wisconsin), ’Dullah applied some space-age pimpin’ to the interior. He fabricated a Star Trek–spec helm with digital gauges and 29 LCD monitors hovering under black plexiglass, surrounded in black vinyl custom paneling. For the exterior, monochromatic was the methodology.
“I wanted it all red with no chrome besides the grille,” explains ’Dullah. “So I had to find the fiberglass bumpers and mold them in to pull off that look.” For an additional hint of excellence, ’Dullah pleaded with Simon at Strut to build him a grille for his Malibu. “He didn’t understand at first why I wanted a Strut grille on an old car,” ’Dullah says, “but
I eventually convinced him, and it turned out great.” He continues, “I think I paid almost $3,000 for that grille, but it’s the only one of its kind, so it’s worth it.” To top off the aesthetic, ’Dullah hooked up with Vellano wheels for the first set of 26-inch Vellano VTVs wrapped in Toyo 275/25/26 tires. “Vellanos are so popular up here because we have bumpy roads, and they can take more abuse than any other kind of wheel,” he explains.

“My goal was to have a flawless G-body from top to bottom,” exclaims ’Dullah. “And I know I achieved my goal. After my Malibu, you really can’t talk about another G-body.”

Spec The Technique:

Performance: LS! motor swap; FAST LS3 intake and throttle body; March pulley kit; MSD coils; custom tune; front and rear disc-brake conversion

Interior: Fiberglass dash, console, deck and trunk; B&M shifter; Dakota Digital dash; seats wrapped in leather and suede

Exterior: Strut grille; custom bumpers; House of Kolor red paint

Ice: Alpine W-900 double-DIN head unit, Type-X speakers, Type-R subwoofers, PDX amplifiers; 29 LCD monitors

Wheels/Tires: Staggered 26-inch Vellano VTVs; Toyo 275/25/26 tires