WTF Friday: 12 Cylinder Malibu


Sifting through my WTF folder for something to post this fine Friday my eyes landed on this ’64 Chevrolet Malibu.

While this car is clearly no longer Chevy powered I wasn’t forward thinking enough to include the motor in the file name, so I hit up Google to figure out exactly what was sitting between he fenders.

Being perhaps the only photos of the vehicle on-line my search didn’t take long, and the mystery of the late Ed Woods Malibu began to reveal itself.


Built in the ’80s this is actually the second crazy power plant employed in this car. Previously it had two 455 Olds engines under hood, one in front of the other.

When that got old (not exactly sure how that would get old, but evidently it did) Ed installed a 12 cylinder Allison aircraft engine under the hood, or rather under the body since the entire car clamshells.



Much longer than the original motor, and the two it replaced, the front end of the Malibu had to be extended 13 inches to make it all fit.


Though it would have been “easy” enough to make something like this just a track vehicle Ed kept it street legal, and according to his niece it was quite a weapon.

We have old 8mm home movies of it taken by my father standing behind it as Ed burned off a 1/4 mile run in front of my grandmothers house on a two lane country road at Old River, just outside of Bakersfield.

It left rubber from both tires for hundreds of feet without appearing to be spinning the wheels. It had a 1:1 gear ratio and a 40% overdrive.

There was so much torque that he used chain to hold the body and frame together on one side when accelerating and one of the front wheels would be off the ground. Being a kid I was so scared of this car that I would walk large circles around it just to make sure that there was no chance of having to ride in it.

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era, more info on this crazy chevy can be found here.

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