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Getting involved in the game of drag racing constantly isn’t a smart monetary decision. It prices funds to build (or buy) the car, after which it’s an endless cash pit with protection, repairs, and customary costs of racing comparable to entry fees, gasoline, and race song cheeseburgers. but if there become ever a motor vehicle that perfectly exemplifies funds-friendly drag racing, it’s this 1981 Chevy Malibu owned by using 39-yr-historic Scotty Stites of Ripley, Mississippi. The automobile is all enterprise, from its satin blue DIY Plasti Dip paint job to its naturally aspirated small-block engine, however the vehicle’s simplicity doesn’t mean it’s slow. definitely, the car runs faster than the roll cage standards enable, but the tech man at his local track doesn’t appear to intellect.
Scotty bracket races the vehicle, working in the super professional division against tube chassis cars and dragsters. despite the burden and horsepower drawback, the vehicle is constant and performs neatly on an everyday foundation. Scotty also runs in the native eighth-mile index type, which is above all for door slammers, however the box is customarily filled with light-weight, tube-chassis automobiles. Nothing pleases Scotty greater than to position these high dollar vehicles on the trailer.
Scotty bought the car from a friend who had all started the task several years ago. The old proprietor had built a brand new back half, including narrowed rear frame rails, massive wheel tubs, and a narrowed rearend. Scotty acquired a great deal on the vehicle, and started troubleshooting some of its considerations. He tracked down a few complications within the driveline, and made brief progress to get the vehicle operating more advantageous.
The motor vehicle’s exterior—a non-descript flat blue—came out of a twig can, and is arguably the Malibu’s most memorable function. “This changed into simply an inexpensive option,” says Scotty. “I had checked into some vinyl wraps, and a guy turned into purported to come wrap it, then he not ever confirmed up. We found out anything affordable, and it just worked out, you understand, for only $500 you can do the complete vehicle. It’s just a flat color, there’s no shine to it, nonetheless it works.”
while Scotty’s Malibu spends one hundred percent of its time on the racetrack operating deep into the 5s in the eighth mile (approximately excessive 8s in the quarter), the bracket computer is not particularly stripped-down for the song. all the lights and accessories work, and the whole interior (sans passenger seating) may conveniently be back to street obligation in a day’s time, may still the need come up. “It’s received steel doorways and roll-up home windows. It’s nothin’ fancy, nevertheless it works for me.”
Scotty experiences he has only about $15k within the vehicle, and a good deal of that is due to the essential mixture below the hood. preserving the charge of racing down is a 434ci small-block Chevy with established 23-degree heads, a 950cfm alcohol carburetor, and 12:1 pistons. “It’s nothin’ exotic. It’s bought 20-yr-historic elements, nonetheless it’s a pretty good combination that makes first rate energy.” working methanol gasoline, Scotty stories a most effective eighth-mile of at a hundred and twenty mph. “I bought it with this engine, however didn’t run very well. I modified a bunch of stuff, took weight off here and there, and got it quicker and faster just tinkering with it. It’s about maxed out now. to move any faster, we’ll have to spend about $5,000.”
Scotty has a great assist system at domestic, due to his wife Sharon and his 16-yr-ancient son Caden, who can regularly be considered assisting out within the shop and on the track. He additionally received a assisting hand from his brother-in-legislation Jason Hutcheson—now not simplest is Jason his organization (Hutcheson Transmission; Ripley, Mississippi), but he also helps on the race vehicle, so that’s a win-win.
We met Scotty at the Outlaw street motor vehicle Reunion in Bowling green, Kentucky, where he was competing in the 32-vehicle tremendous seasoned Shootout. Scotty made it to the semi-finals on Friday night, earlier than his opponent ran useless on the dial in with a .001 response time—an unbeatable run. Scotty would get a further chance to race here day, but rain moved in and cancelled the adventure all collectively, so Scotty, Caden, and Jason made the 5-hour commute back home. He plans to race as frequently as his schedule enables, both at his domestic track Holly Springs Motorsports Park, and at different tracks in the Southeast.
With a heritage in hot rods and drag vehicles, Scotty is correct at home within the driver’s seat of his wheelstanding G-body. The car has run a best of three at 120 miles per hour in the eighth-mile, which comes out to in the quarter mile if the motor vehicle was geared in another way. considering Scotty’s local tracks are typically eighth-mile, he has it geared accordingly ( one:1), so it makes use of each ounce of horsepower because it goes through the lights. Scotty admits that the vehicle is lighter than it appears, but that it still has all the fashioned glass in it and a variety of room to shed some more weight if he chooses to take it to the next degree. We wouldn’t alternate a factor as a result of his simple mixture offers big time enjoyable on a working man’s finances.
Tech NotesWho: Scotty StitesWhat: 1981 Chevrolet MalibuWhere: Ripley, Mississippi
EngineThis typical small-block Chevy begins with a Dart SHP block machined by Barnes Racing Engines to accept a four-inch stroke. The Eagle 4340 crankshaft is mated with Eagle six-inch H-beam connecting rods, and slings a set of Ross pistons. With a hefty dome on the piston, the remaining compression ratio is when mixed with the Brodix 10X aluminum cylinder heads. The significantly worked heads have been previously used on a sprint automobile engine, and feature hundred and fifty-inch titanium intake valves and stainless exhaust valves. The camshaft is a Comp Cams strong-curler with a custom grind, featuring 274 degrees consumption and 286 levels exhaust duration at .050-inch lift, and a max lift of .753-inch on the intake aspect and .721-inch on the exhaust. other Comp Cams add-ons encompass a belt pressure, valve springs, and pushrods. The valve coach is comprehensive off with a set of Jesel shaft-set up rocker hands with a ratio. Engine electronics are dealt with by an MSD 7531 container, accompanied through an MSD seasoned-Billet distributor, coil, and flying-magnet crank set off. The car’s exhaust consists of Hedman headers ( primary tubes) resulting in pipes and Dynomax bullet mufflers.
InductionAtop the small-block is a Brodix single-aircraft intake manifold, which elements a 4150 flange. The carburetor is a quick fuel 950cfm unit, set up for methanol. It attracts gasoline from a Magnafuel 275 pump.
TransmissionSince Scotty spends his days building transmissions, he jumped at the chance to regulate the Powerglide in his Malibu. along with all new tough ingredients, he installed a BTE valve physique with a pro Brake. The customized eight-inch torque converter stalls to 6,000 rpm on the road. A Wiles Racing aluminum driveshaft handles the shock of the high-rpm launch.
RearendOut lower back is a quick efficiency 9-inch rear end. It aspects an aluminum middle part, full of a one:1 purpose ring and pinion, a spool and Moser 35-spline axles. Scotty’s specialty is cutting back mass in the rotating meeting (he’s a transmission knowledgeable, in spite of everything!), so he started working relieving the ring gear mass across the attachment points using a Bridgeport computer.
SuspensionThe old owner replaced the rear frame rails with 2×3 rectangular tubing, and put in a contest Engineering ladder bar suspension. Scotty tweaked the suspension to his liking, and has the Viking double-adjustable coilovers dialed in. The entrance suspension aspects QA1 R-sequence coilovers with 250-pound springs. A rack and pinion became delivered by means of Laverne Ferrovillat at 5th Avenue Race automobiles in cell, Alabama. Braking carries Aerospace add-ons front discs and Wilwood rear discs.
Wheels & TiresThe Malibu rolls on Weld Alumastar entrance runners, which measure 15× inches and mount to a collection of Mickey Thompson 26× tires. Out again is a set of Billet Specialties 15x12s, installed to Mickey Thompson 315/60R15 seasoned drag radials.
physique/PaintThe body on Scotty’s Malibu is mostly stock, aside from the Glasstek four-inch cowl induction hood. Scotty straightened up the physique and gave it a satin blue conclude the use of within your budget blue Plasti Dip.
InteriorIt’s a fine looking fundamental setup internal the Malibu, but it serves the aim. Scotty says, “Aluminum interior panels and Lexan home windows are notable for weight discounts, however I hate that stuff.” He loves the proven fact that he can nevertheless roll the window down on the return road to get some sparkling air right through these hot Mississippi summers. Scotty is surrounded by a 12-aspect gentle metal roll cage, and hangs on to a furnish steerage wheel and B&M seasoned Stick shifter. He’s strapped right into a Jegs racing seat, the use of an RJS cam-lock harness.