Every car project has a story and for Palatine, Illinois residents Gerry and Tyler Dziedzina, their story is a long but good one. The father and son pair took six years to finish their 1966 Chevy II, starting the project when Tyler was in just 7th grade. Now years later, the car is gaining some attention from the Daily Herald and to say the limelight is much deserved would be an understatement.
People get inspiration for their project cars everywhere but for the Dziedzinas, their inspiration came one night at the dinner table. During a meal 7th-grade Tyler told his dad they should build a Nova and before any more discussion could be had, his mom piped up and said it was a good idea.
So the two set out on their journey, originally looking for an ever popular ‘69-‘71 model to build. Things changed, however, when they found a well used ‘66 Chevy II and decided it was more the project for them.
Upon getting the car home in the fall of 2006, Tyler went to work disassembling it.
After the complete teardown was finished the father/son team decided to aim their goals toward a performance street machine finish and opted to use a modified LSX engine to replace the car’s mild inline-six for power.
From there the project came together. The Dziedzinas matted the engine to a Tremec five-speed transmission and with a little bit of work and help from David McCoy of McCoy’s Auto Creations in Galesburg, Illinois, they were even able to use the stock clutch pedal for their upgraded hydraulic clutch assembly.
Backing up the Chevy II’s drivetrain is a TCI Engineering suspension with coilovers on all four corners and a 4-link setup in the rear. The suspension is aided by Wilwood disc brakes for prime stopping power and American Racing Torque Thrust Wheels for form and functionality.Having completely redone the guts of the Chevy, the Dziedzinas decided to also spice up the car’s aesthetics. On the outside, the Nova sports a fresh coat of Impulse Blue paint borrowed from a 2006 Pontiac GTO and sprayed by McCoy’s Auto Creations. The interior also got a facelift with blue and white seats, panels and carpeting. The interior even has blue LEDs in the headliner for added effect.
Complete and ready to roll, the Dziedzinas’ Chevy II is a prime example of what can become of a dream if you put the time and effort into it. After six years in the making, now it’s time for the father/son duo to enjoy the fruits of their labor.