The story behind Nick Taylor’s 1980 Chevrolet Malibu is more than an explanation inside your copy of Encyclopedia Britannica buried behind your old yearbooks. This story started for Nick at the young age of 15yrs old and Nick and his father dragged it home for the lofty price of $500 dollars.
“The story behind the car is that I got it when I was a freshman in high school for $500 bucks and my dad made me cut all the rust, including the bad spots out of the floor boards, make my own new floor boards and install the roll bar all while I learn to weld. I worked on it for just over a year and a half and got it running with a healthy 355sbc – it was a fun car that ran 12.10s with that combo.”
Once he graduated, Nick set off to up the Malibu’s game and start the LS swap…drawing from his buddy Adam Hodson and Chris Bishir for inspiration and help along the way, answering a lot of questions for the swap to the LS. Nick started with a bone stock 2005 LQ4 6.0L and the Holley EFI, it ended up running 11.97 with that combo, then sold whatever he could at the time to help fund the turbo kit that he had always wanted.
Doing everything he could himself, Nick eventually got some help from his great friend Mark Goodman to help wrap up the addition of the turbocharger system. Adding upgraded head studs and gaskets to help manage the added internal pressure, Nick also added a Borg Warner s475-turbo and that combo went 9.60s at his hometown track Muncie Dragway and made a tire wrinkling 680hp.
But there is always something more we all want – to go faster and Nick was no different.
Scoring another short-block in 2008 that was in better overall condition than the original LQ4 dropped inside the engine bay in 2005 – along with an assortment of other simple upgrades took him from 680hp to a impressive 850hp, improving to a 9.26et at 148mph. Since then Nick has slowly been tuning on the car with two good friends, Jon Anderson and Ryan Nowak until he finally got into the 8’s with 8.98et pass at 149mph at Union Grove during the midnight drags.
As per the norm, with more power, the car needed some work to handle the power Nick was making with the addition of a new cam, upgraded s480 turbo and new BTR valve springs, so he converted the roll bar from 6-point to 10-point cage, notched the frame, added a TRZ antiroll bar, Strange single adjustable coil overs, Wilwood rear discs, and a parachute with the help from friends Wesley Butler and Brayton Rodimel.
Then came Hot Rod Magazines Drag Week…which he competed in and got 3rd in the Street Eliminator category in 2015.
Nick believes the car still has a lot left in it and with some suspension work and tuning, plus plans to upgrading the front suspension as well as getting some weight out of the car over the winter he feels he can consistently go in the mid to high 8s…and we believe he can.
Always one to give credit to all that have helped him along this journey he made sure to note that he is proud to be part of TEAM 260 FTW.