Frank Saponaro’s Drag Week-Bound 25.3 Nova Wagon

Frank Saponaro exterior 4

Photo courtesy George Watters

Everyone has taken on a simple project, only for it to snowball out of control to the point that you have a full-blown race car. Things get out of hand, people come up with different ideas of what you should do to the car, and next thing you know the car is getting a 25.3 cage and a twin-turbo big block.

A Turbo 400 with a Gear Vendors overdrive will live behind the twin-turbocharged big block Chevy.

A Turbo 400 with a Gear Vendors overdrive will live behind the twin-turbocharged big block Chevy.

For Frank Saponaro and his 1967 Chevy Nova wagon, that’s kind of how things played out. Saponaro started building the car last January. “It was supposed to be a beater I was going to spray flat black,” Saponara says. Of course, it snowballed on him, and here he is. It went from a beater to the idea of having a legitimate 7-second street car. “I’m signed up for Drag Week and plan to take the wagon,” Saponaro adds. He will run the Super Street Big Block Power Adder class.

To make sure he’s in the running, Saponaro chose a Lorenzo’s Fast Flow 540-inch big block Chevy with a Callies crank, Oliver rods, Manley pistons, a custom solid roller cam, AFR 377cc heads, an Edelbrock Pro-Flo XT EFI intake, and twin BorgWarner 82mm hairdryers from Work Turbochargers. The front end is a Total Cost Involved complete system, while out back is a Moser M9 rear end with a leaf spring arrangement carrying Smith Racecraft Assasin Bars, split mono-leafs, and spring perches.

Saponaro bought chromoly tubing, and did his own 25.3 chassis and roll cage.

Saponaro bought chromoly tubing, and did his own 25.3 chassis and roll cage.

For the 25.3 cage, Saponaro bought 240-feet of chromoly tubing and did the cage and chassis himself. Saponaro and a couple of his friends smoothed out the body before Taylors Classic Auto Body applied the BASF Turquoise paint with a white top.

With three small children, the wagon’s rear seat will maintain functionality, as will the car’s A/C, heat, and power steering. Saponaro tells us the wagon will also have fully-functional cupholders, as well. “Street car, baby,” he says. Not sure who he’s calling baby, but we can totally dig it.

This Saponaro's other Nova, a '64 model, that he competed with at Drag Week in 2014. He finished fourth in his class in 2014 with a 402-inch LS with twin 67mm turbochargers. The car has run as quick as 8.51 at 159 mph.

This is Saponaro’s other Nova, a ’64 model, that he competed with at Drag Week in 2014. He finished fourth in his class in 2014 with a 402-inch LS with twin 67mm turbochargers. The car has run as quick as 8.51 at 159 mph.

About the author

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson brings his years of experience in the Mustang aftermarket and performance industry to StangTV. He has been passionate about cars since childhood, with a special affinity for the Mustang.
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