Home-Built Hero: Chris Caldwell’s ’68 Nova Street Beast

“I was in the process of hacking up my ‘55 Handy Man project when my buddy, Mark, offered to sell me his ’68 Nova,” is how Chris Caldwell began his email to us. His friend was interested in buying a second-gen Camaro that he found. “After going to look at the Nova, I was sold,” said Chris. “The framerails were not rusty, and they were straight. That’s all I needed.”

The car didn’t look like this when Chris got it, however. “The backend of the car was smashed, and the back window was popped out of the opening at the lower right corner,” he stated. “I have replaced both rear quarter-panels, taillight panel, and straightened the roof.” Chris does plan to eventually add glass doors and Plexiglas windows in the near future. The car currently weighs 3,301 pounds with him in the car.

68 Nova

Currently, 468 inches of monster big block reside under the hood. But, a larger monster is about to take its place.

Under the hood is a 468ci mill utilizing a SCAT crank, H-beam connecting rods, and JE pistons that create a 14.0:1 compression ratio. Actuating the valves in the 340 Trick Flow heads is a camshaft with .768-inch lift and 285/295 degrees of duration. The intake is an Edelbrock Super Victor, and a 2-inch ported spacer supports the Holley Dominator. If you look closely, you’ll also see the nitrous plate wedged in there. All that power is fed through a PTC converter, into a Turbo 400. From there, a 4-inch aluminum driveshaft sends the tire-melting torque to a custom 9-inch rearend filled with Strange parts. According to Chris, “She went 9.7 seconds during shake down passes.”

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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