The car hobby is filled with enthusiasts that can relay memories or experiences that fuel their passion to this day. Be it a ride with a crazy uncle or a first car, a feeling of nostalgia is the most underlying factor to being a car guy. Such is the case with Vinny Aiello.
My father found his ’71 Nova in 2007 on eBay after looking to get back into the hobby after a long intermission,” states Vinny’s son, Nick Aiello. “My father’s reason for going with a Nova was because, in the mid-’70s, he had a 1970 Nova he used to race. That car was equipped with a small-block and a four-speed, and ran in the mid-10-second range.”
After the car was found, the senior Aiello traveled from New York City to North Carolina with a pickup truck and a car trailer to get the car. “Once he got it home, we commenced tearing it apart to restore it,” affirms Nick. “We ripped everything out of it and then stripped off the paint to unveil how clean and rust free the car really was.”
Once Vinny then had the minimal bodywork done and the shell was deemed to be ready for paint, it was then covered with a new layer or three of Chevrolet’s Frost Green color.
There are many enthusiasts that feel stock is not their cup O’ tea, and Vinny is one of those believers in horsepower improvements. After the paintwork was done, we removed the little 350ci small-block, and replaced it with something a little bigger,” quips Nick. “Under the hood now, is a 462ci big-block that is pushing well over 600hp. We swapped out the Turbo 350 transmission for a rebuilt M-22 four-speed, and then took out the old 10-bolt rearend and replaced it with a much stronger 9-inch unit filled with a Detroit Locker and 4.11 gears.”
Although the Nova came from the factory with a reliable and well-functioning suspension, there was still room for improvement. “We also replaced the whole front suspension with QA1 coilovers and tubular control arms,” Nick states.
Vinny Aiello has always been a fan of the Chevy Nova and wanted to install that passion in his two sons. Now that the family has built a monster of a street cruiser, that passion is reignited each time they all decide to hit the local cruise night, car show, or make the occasional trip to the race track.
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