Since Gary Geiger of Indianapolis, Indiana learned to drive while behind the wheel of a Nova, it stands to reason that he would feel a little nostalgic when looking for project. and have his heart set on getting one for himself. Gary told us, “In 2001, I decided to get back into musclecars and started looking for another Nova because of the history I have with the one I was able to use when I learned to drive.”
Gary found this 1970 X-body while perusing through a classifieds magazine during a lunch break from work. The ad said that the car was originally from California, but as luck would have it, was recently relocated to a place only five miles from his house. Gary was happy to let us know, “It’s funny how things worked out. After all the searching I did to locate a car, this one was only five miles from me. When I found it, it was gold with a vinyl roof, had a 307 cubic-inch engine, and factory air conditioning. I remember saying to myself that it was one ugly turd. It originally came from Visalia, California, and had been shipped to Indiana a couple of months before I found it. The odometer showed 66,000 miles, and the body was really straight. There wasn’t a spot of rust anywhere.”
Throughout the last 15 years, the car has been repainted and the interior received a refurbishing.
Paradise Road Rod & Custom updated the foundation by adding solid body bushings, Detroit Speed Engineering subframe clips, a DSE QuadraLink rear suspension and mini tubs. The Moser 9-inch rearend was fitted with a Detroit Locker spinning 3.89 gears, and 35-spline axle shafts. Finally, the front suspension was rebuilt to stock specs with the inclusion of Afco shock absorbers.
Under the cowl-induction hood is a M&M Competition Engines-built 447 cubic-inch small-block featuring a Dart Iron Eagle block with Chevrolet Performance SB2.2 aluminum cylinder heads. These are a NASCAR-style small-block cylinder head that produces flow numbers like a big-block piece. Sure, they require different pistons for the left and right banks, but are a true power maker in a single-carburetor application. Inside is an Eagle crankshaft and connecting rods slinging a set of Diamond pistons. Up top is a Chevrolet Performance intake with a Pro Systems carburetor.
A Turbo 400 with a Neal Chance torque converter send the traction eliminating power to the aforementioned Moser rear.
You would think that an engine this exotic would be relegated to race use only, but according to Gary, “I drive this car on the street weekly during the summertime. It’s a street car that has run a best 1/8-mile pass of 6.19 seconds at 111mph.
Gary finished by saying, “I’ve been building this Nova for the last 14 years. I wanted something that was a driver and could be built a little at a time.” If you ask us, this Nova really was worth the wait.
Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heros? 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].