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Last Updated - January 4, 2017

Wheels up launch at Dragway 42

Wannabe 8 Second, 3 Pedal, 1980 Malibu

Owned by Ryan Copeland, raced by Ryan and Roger Copeland

Tragically, Ryan was killed in a snowmobile accident on December 22, 2016.

The Malibu is "ready to run" but will probably sit until Ryan's oldest son Tyler (11 years old) is old enough to drive it.

Ryan Tyler

This combo made it's first pass at Dragway 42 on August 29, 2008

Best incrementals to date: 60'=1.2658, 330'=3.7138, 660'=5.7629 / 121.42 mph, 1000'=7.5332, 1320'=9.0344 / 149.54 mph

Video of 9.03 / 149.54 mph pass (7 MB)

  General Description:
 381 ci sbc  3225#
 LSM Dart Iron Eagle block  Liberty 5-speed
 Bryant crank  Hays clutch (Modified by Tim Hyatt)
 MGP rods  M&M Chassis Craft custom headers
 CP pistons  Burns Stainless 4" mufflers
 LSM 60mm cam  Ladder bars and coil overs
 BES AllPro RR245 heads  Ford 9" (5.43)
 BES Edelbrock Super Victor 4500 intake  Goodyear 29 x 12 slicks
 Dale Cubic (CFM) Dominator carb  Naturally Aspirated

Ryan bought this 1980 Malibu from its original owner in 1989 (before he had a driver's license). It had a 229" V6 and a metric 200 automatic transmission. But it didn't take long for him to get the bug to replace the V6 with a 350" sbc and add a 3rd pedal.

On April 11, 1993 Ryan made his 1st pass down the drag strip. With a mild 355" sbc, a Muncie 4 speed, a 4.11 positraction and no-hop bars, it ran a 13.52 / 106.20 mph... the beginning of a long quest for speed!

By the end of 1994 the combination had evolved to a 383" sbc, with a Richmond 5 speed, a Ford 9" with a Detroit Locker and 4.86 gears and had run 11.65 / 115.65 mph. We continued to tweak the combination and finally broke into the 10s in 2000 with a best of 10.790 / 126.40 at a race weight of 3455#. New AFR 220 "Competition Ready" heads had a lot to do with the increased performance. But we broke the Richmond several times and decided to make the big jump to a Liberty clutchless 5-speed. Getting the tranny and getting the car set up for it took all of 2001 and we didn't make it to the track.

In 2002, with a refreshed 383" (14.92 cr, new roller cam and new Stahl headers), the new Liberty and a spool with 5.00 gears, we had a best of 10.079 / 135.15 mph at a race weight of 3500#. Over the next 5 years, we rebuilt the 383" several times (with the same crank, rods, heads, intake, cam, carb and ignition but different blocks and pistons) and ran consistent 10.0s. It wasn't until the fall of 2007 that we finally broke into the 9s. Our "383 sbc" page has a link to the specs for this version of our 383" sbc and a link to a video of our best pass (9.859 / 137.67 mph) with this bracket combo.

In 2004, partly due to our frustration getting this 383" sbc into the 9s, we decided to build a "heads up" motor based on the NMCA Pro Stock and NSCA Hot Street classes. Our "381 sbc" page has links to the specs and dyno sheet (847 hp / 569 ft lbs) for this motor and a blog detailing the associated trials and tribulations.

Unfortunately, the car needed a lot of work to accommodate the increase in power with the new engine. Our "Car" page has pictures of the car and a blog describing most of the effort required to make the car suitable for and capable of running in the 8s.