Budget Boosted Nova Build Features Excellent Dollar-To-Cool Ratio

Hot rodder message boards are always an excellent source for “Build Threads”, and this Nova build from TurboBullet.com is an excellent representation of what a home-built project car can become. James Dean (yes, that’s his name) brought home this rusted six-cylinder ’71 Nova in December of 2012 and began an awesome DIY overhaul.

The first order of business, as with most any project, is the “out with the old” phase. First to go were the rusty floorpans. While Dean was cutting out rusty floors, he went ahead with replacing the trunk pan and notched the frame to add a nice mini-tub to accommodate the planned beefy rear rubber. Next to be tossed was the stock six-banger. While the car was engine-less, Dean took the opportunity to spruce up the front suspension, replacing the bushings and updating the brakes. Then he went ahead and dropped in the small block, a stock GM block with splayed mains, ARP fasteners, a Scat 3.75 4340 crankshaft, Eagle rods, and Diamond pistons. Tickling the valves is a custom Steve Morris cam bolted to a Comp Cams belt drive. Edelbrock Victor Jr heads hold Crower solid roller lifters, with the valve train topped off by Jesel rockers.

Dean then braced the chassis with a set of subframe connectors and a roll cage, both of which he fabbed himself. A nine-inch leaf spring rear end catches the power transferred from the Powerglide transmission and sends it out to the wheels, which wear a custom Plasti-Dip scheme. Up front, the Nova relies on a pair of Borg Warner s366 turbochargers to cram air through the intercooler and on to the small block. As of this writing, Dead had only been able to pull some light street cruising, so horsepower numbers or track times aren’t available, but Dean anticipates the classic GM iron will dip into the 5.80’s in the eighth mile and may tickle the eight-second zone in the quarter once the tune is nailed down.

Check out the full build thread over on TurboBullet here.

About the author

Jeremy Patterson

Jeremy Patterson, known to most as "Taco," is a husband and father of two from Madison, Alabama. A former bracket racer, he stepped out of the seat in 2005 to focus on his growing family. A few years ago, he returned to the sport, this time with camera in hand as a trackside photographer. He started RadialsOnly.com before joining DragZine in 2014 as a freelance writer.
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