It is human nature to pass down knowledge and power to the next generation as a hope for the future. There comes a time in every man’s life to look back in their mental hard drive to open old files and programs. This road marker in everyone’s life must surely be the point of human mechanics meant to give the next generation and civilization a strong base from which to grow. For a Chevy man, like Chuck Church Jr., of Church Boys Racing, a strong reboot to reopen the Chevy Nova program was a strong move for the future.
Chuck Jr. was a kid in the early-’80s when his father bought a 1967 Chevy Nova for them to build together. This was a profoundly meaningful coming-of-age adventure and bonding project for him and his father. Chuck Sr. clearly wanted to instill values in his son, such as the pride of working with your hands, craftsmanship, work ethic, and a love for muscle cars.
Three decades later, the values and passion instilled in Chuck from his father have turned into an awesome business called Church Boys Racing. They are known for creating bolt-on and modular suspension and subframe upgrades for Chevy Novas.
Church Boys Racing’s suspension upgrades are done right. You can swap out all of the old components in one fell swoop, or replace them one at a time as you see fit or your budget will allow. Making muscle cars handle and drive better gets this racing driver’s attention anytime! Developing your products to make upgrades easy for everyone just makes the car world more fun.
Chuck Jr. had a son of his own, Mathew, who got interested in cars, so guess what! Yep… his DNA was barking at him like a lumpy race cam on the line ready to go. Roughly five years ago, Chuck Jr. started to look for a Nova that could be a project he could build with his son. One of his customers told him about a 1966 Nova that was located down in Texas.
Chuck called the man about the Nova and was surprised how many questions the seller asked him about what his intentions were for the car. “I told him, when I was 11 years old, my father bought me a 67 Nova and we put the car together, and that I still have it today – 36 years later,” Chuck Jr. said. “I told him my oldest son – who was 11 years old at the time, had expressed that he wanted a Nova like mine.” The seller excused himself from the conversation. After a poignant silence on the phone, he told Chuck that he and his father were doing a father/son build of their own when his father sadly passed away before they could finish.
It goes without saying that this 1966 Chevy Nova was about to have profound meaning to multiple generations. Chuck Jr.’s parents made the trip to Texas to pick up the Nova, which was about to become a poster child for everything human and great about building cars.
The Church boys enjoyed the car as it was for the first five years, and enjoyed planning the exciting six-month-build storm that was to come. The build plan was epic, and the family even started making big plans for when this baby was completed: a big reveal at 2018 SEMA, Hot Rod Power Tour, Goodguys in Columbus, and the Super Chevy Challenge.
The plans required the finished product be top-notch, so it was going to take a team to back up Chuck and his son in Ohio. To that end, some of their friends even traveled from out of state to help. Joe Rey came in from California, and stayed with them for nine weeks at a time. Brian Beatie also came in from California, and Phillip Valentine came all the way from Arizona, to do the wiring. Let’s not forget Chuck Jr.’s father, who also got in on the action to make it a three-generation build.
This Nova build was so epic, it was given the car guy equivalent of a knighthood. The car was dubbed, “Limited Addiction,” as a play on words from the PPG color that adorns the body. “We chose a 2017 Chevrolet color that was used on pickup trucks, which subsequently is called Unlimited Addiction,” said Chuck Jr. Who knew the paint they used to bring the Nova to SEMA caliber would be the theme for everyone’s determination and love?
Under that shiny hood is a FiTech EFI system feeding a Pace Performance LS3 that gives rock-solid power and just enough vintage look to satisfy the purists. That engine is mated to a Marco Abrusi-built 4L60E transmission with a billet torque converter.
Power means nothing if you can’t get it to the ground. The family has it covered with a Church Boys Racing triangulated four-link rear suspension with a Moser rearend and Miller Built axles. Whether you’re ready to drop the hammer and not take any crap from Ohio roads, or are staring at a drag strip Christmas Tree, this is the right setup. The rear suspension is a perfect pairing to the Church Boys Racing Modular Front End. The combination brings this muscle car into the 21st century of handling with coilover shocks to boot!
The interior is a TMI Products work of art, and is paired with a Budnik steering wheel and a Dakota Digital dash. The driving experience is enhanced by Wilwood brakes, which is a perfect match to the 2-inch drop spindles, which uses C5/C6 bearings, hubs, and brakes.
Chuck admitted that this father/son build came with “a lot more pressure” than planned. Those last six months “were a tornado of a build,” to ensure their creation was the right representation of the family’s love and expertise to put on display at SEMA. “A lot of kids get things handed to them, and some people may say this car was too. That’s not true, Said Chuck Jr. “Matt was out in the shop during the late-night SEMA crunch sessions after school work and sport’s practices were done.”
You might think that this family bonding project became all business, but you’d be wrong. Chuck’s son has already flat-out turned down serious cash offers for the car. For that, he gets an atta-boy from us! “Limited Addiction” is definitely part of his family now.
Chuck says that the car isn’t a trailer queen and he and his son both enjoy driving it. Chuck’s son is only 17 years old, and Chuck is mindful to make sure his son is responsible with his enjoyment of this work of art. Something tells us that after many serious hours side-by-side in the shop with the patriarchs of the family and their friends, this young man is the best person to carry the Chevy torch into the future.
Hopefully this story inspires other parent and child builds out there as a way to pass down values and pride in a job well done. The Church boys are a great example to car builders everywhere.