This Wild one thousand nine hundred sixty four Chevy Malibu Funny Car was a Street-Legal, 1,710ci, Allison V12–Powered Monster
We`re in an era of street-legal Pro Mods with the rise of Haul Week, but the idea of street-legal dragsters is hardly a fresh one. This one thousand nine hundred sixty four Chevrolet Malibu is a hilariously unique example of the obsession with street-legal race cars. Thanks to the Petersen Photo Archives, we`ve got a chance to visit this bookmark of insanity.
This Malibu was built by the late Ed Wood, a SoCal hot rodder well known for some wild engine exchanges, like a front-engine Olds 455ci-powered Corvair. The Malibu was spread thirteen inches up front and originally housed a pair of Olds 400ci V8s under its elongated bondage mask. When 500hp wasn`t enough, Wood bought a military surplus Allison V-1710 V12 engine, the same engine that powered a multitude of World War II–era warplanes, like the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning.
Engineered by General Motors` Allison division, the V-1710 combined a Five.50-inch bore with a 6.00-inch stroke for a grand total of 1,710 ci (or about 28L). Power ranged from 1,000 to Two,300 hp from the factory, depending on application, but both ground- and sea-based racers found almost Four,000 hp from the massive overhead-cam V12. After the war, surplus engines were cheap (vintage ads showcase them going for $350, a little more than $Trio,000 today), and they found their way into just about every form of American motorsport at the time.
When the Malibu was rebuilt, the chassis was updated and redesigned to accommodate the massive warplane engine, but retained its street-legal status. Wood made it a point in one thousand nine hundred seventy two to demonstrate off its street-worthiness to HOT ROD Magazine. The figure, while hinging open like a Funny Car, still retained a functioning fetish mask, doors, and could carry a passenger in its two-seat interior.
The transmission was evidently a two-speed unit, with Very first gear being 1:1, with a 0.40-overdrive gear, and the massive torque of the V-1710 was quick to restripe the roads of Bakersfield, California, with little effort.
Wood also began a 2nd Allison V12 Malibu around 1984, but the project was never finished due to health issues. This time it was to be a crimson convertible.
While Wood passed away on January 29, 2009, members of his family have been active in reaching out to the comments of a Flickr page that hosted some photos online. Bryan Wood, Ed Wood`s nephew, was even intimidated by this monster as a child: «Being a kid, I was so startled of this car that I would walk large circles around it just to make sure that there was no chance of having to rail in it.»
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