The ’80s were a time that, if you were there, you either hate the memories, or you love them. The same goes for the music and the automobiles. Junior Cropps didn’t tell us what he thought about the music of that by-gone era, but he did let us know that he does have an affinity for at least one automobile that was built in 1980. “My mother and father bought this car new in April of 1980. This was our family car for many years, and I have a lot of great memories of family vacations we took, and of my brother and I riding in the back seat,” Junior stated with a smile.
When it came time for the then 16-year-old Junior to get a car, he asked his parents if he could have the Chevrolet Malibu, rather than get something new. “My parents gifted me the Malibu a year later, and it became a daily driver for me,” he said. For the next couple years, the Malibu diligently served Junior well, and even offered him the opportunity to enjoy weekends attending car shows.
Finally, when the year 2000 rolled around, he decided it was time to give the Malibu some much needed attention. “I was able to complete the makeover and give the car the look I wanted.” While the under-hood area is not yet finished to Junior’s taste, there is a 350 small-block between the fender wells, and it still makes this car a great cruiser.
Where Junior did spend most of his time and money, was in the appearance area. The body was treated to a two-tone slathering of Wine Burgundy on top and Corvette Platinum Silver on the bottom. The paint work was completed with the help of good friends at Jeff’s Paint and Body in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. Junior also added an el Camino grille, ’79 Malibu bumpers, and then lowered the car just enough to give it that just right stance.
Since Junior realized that he would be spending quite a bit of time sitting behind the wheel, the interior was treated to new upholstery, a great sounding stereo, and a billet steering wheel.
Junior’s ’80 Malibu is proof positive that alternate body-style Chevrolet vehicles can make great hot rods if you’re willing to put in some effort and a few upgrades.
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