Video: 1966 Chevy Nova Hustling Around The Cones

When you think of corner-carving muscle cars, generally, your first thoughts probably wander to a Camaro or Mustang, and maybe a Dodge Daytona or Plymouth Superbird if you’re a Mopar fan. Most likely, the first thought popping into your head isn’t a compact car, even one of the era.

If you stop and think about what is required on an autocross course, the lighter weight and shorter wheelbase possessed by a compact car of the 1960s would get around a coned course well. Obviously, some folks have realized that as evidenced by this awesome Nova.

This 1966 Chevy II Nova is owned by Andy “The Nova Guy” Mule, and was built specifically to get around a course in a hurry. The car features a complete aftermarket Pro Touring front clip from Total Cost Involved as well as their Torque Arm rear suspension —  which is no surprise, as the car was previously owned by TCI’s vice president of operations. As a purpose-built car, it has a full rollcage that is completely tied into the body via gussets, and the suspension is tuned via Ridetech triple-adjustable shocks.

In addition to a rollcage for safety and chassis stiffness, widened wheel tubs were installed to fit the massive steamrollers crammed under the rear of the car.

The awesome second-generation Chevy II Nova is powered by carbureted 427 cubic-inch LS engine from BluePrint Engines. Advertised with an output of 625-horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, the modern powerplant provides plenty of grunt for the combination to hustle through the straights. The custom fabricated exhaust still incorporates mufflers for some refinement while still flowing enough to make good power.

Power goes through a Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed transmission from Silver Sport Transmission and McLeod RXT twin-disc clutch assembly, back to a Currie 9-inch rearend setup.

Wilwood brakes, consisting of 13-inch drilled and slotted two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers front and rear help the car stop in the shortest amount of time possible. The car rolls on staggered American Racing AR Forged wheels in a custom finish, with 18x10s wrapped in 275/35 Falken Azenis RT615K+ up front and 18x11s wrapped in 315/30s in the rear.

The video above — the Inaugural 2017 Sheely Collection Charity Autocross at AutoClub Speedway in Fontana, California — is only Andy’s third event with the car. As you can tell from the video, the car and driver are quickly becoming comfortable with one another.

The 275 Falken Azenis RT615K+ up front and 315s in the rear provide an insane amount of grip for the Nova. Part of the Extreme Performance tire category, the next step up would be actual race tires.

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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