Update: Kyle Scheel’s Hardcore Project ’72 Nova. A Family Tradition

Last September, we introduced you guys to Kyle Scheel’s ’72 Nova. You can see the original article here. Back then, Kyle relayed, “This project essentially encompasses a complete ground up rebuild of a 1972 Nova that has been in my family for 35 years.” The plan is to run Drag Week, select NMCA events, and Holley LS Fest with the car.

Nova

Kyle tells us the car is nearing completion.

Now that Kyle and his brother call the Nova their project, the family tradition of racing continues. Kyle and his brother now call the Nova their project. “The car is solid and got new quarter-panels installed in the ‘90s. It just got the trunk replaced this summer,” he said. Kyle also tells us that this will remain a street/strip car, and it has a 10-point, mild-steel rollcage already installed. Plans include the addition of a new front suspension and steering system from TRZ Motorsports and a rearend upgrade via a Strange 9-inch with disc brakes. The car currently uses Caltrac bars, and will be getting new Calvert mono-leaf springs and Viking double-adjustable shocks very soon.

We called your attention to this car, because Kyle tells us the project has made serious progress. “Yes, more has been done to it. In fact, the car is on the cusp of getting completed. The Turbo 400 transmission has been built, and the new PTC torque converter is here. The wiring is on its way to being done. The brakes and suspension are done.”

Nova

The stock front suspension has been upgraded with tubular control arms, Viking coilover shocks, and Strange disc brakes.

Kyle understands that it is a well-known fact that these old cars are never actually “done.”  For instance, he ended up ditching the stock-style coil spring and shock suspension on the front and switched over to a Viking coilovers. “It is a really nice setup that is lightweight, offers ride-height adjustability and shock adjustments, and looks great,” he said.

Although most of what’s been done since we last covered the car has not really altered how the car looks. “I don’t plan to install any of the front sheet metal until the engine and transmission are in the car. No sense leaning over freshly painted fenders when I don’t have to,” he quipped.

Nova

A naturally aspirated engine delivering 700-plus horsepower is nothing to sneeze at.

Speaking of the engine, Kyle previously told us that a Dart-prepped LS engine displacing 427 cubes will be propelling the Nova. Internally, the engine is filled with MAHLE forged flat-top pistons, steel H-beam connecting rods, and a Dart Billet LS 4.000-inch stroke crankshaft. “The camshaft is one of Cam Motion’s low-lash solid rollers. I can’t give out the exact cam specs, but the lift is around .750-inch, and the duration is over 260 degrees,” Kyle stated with a smirk on his face. The engine is topped with Dart PRO1 280cc LS3-style cylinder heads. The big rectangular intake ports allow the this engine to pull to 8,000 rpm. Finally, the intake manifold is a ported Edelbrock Victor Jr. and the Book Racing Enterprises-built carburetor is a dedicated 4150-style for use with E85. “The engine was built and dyno tested at Dart Machinery, and made a peak of 759 horsepower at 7,300 rpm and 600 lb-ft of torque at 5,900 rpm. Not too shabby for a naturally aspirated LS-based engine running on E85,” Kyle affirmed. Stay tuned for complete coverage of the engine build, as we team up with Engine Labs to show you how it all went together.

Do you want to read about other Reader’s Hardcore Projects? All you need to do is click here. If you’re working on a project, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the Hardcore Project series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more, as we can never get enough. 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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