When we first came across this Barefoot Ronnie Pace Nova clone (from Street Outlaws fame) we thought it looked a little odd. Further inspection and a couple of pictures later, and we’re looking at the miniature Nova that Darrell Hurt built in his garage.
Darrell told us, “I’ve always loved Street Outlaws, and initially I wanted to build a miniature Murder Nova. But then I saw Ronnie Pace’s Nova and I thought that the Yenko stripe and vinyl top would allow more of the detail to be seen.”If it’s not just cool enough to cruise around the driveway, the other thing we noticed about Darrell’s mini-Nova is that he’d been driving it on the streets of his hometown in Camdenton, Missouri – all legally. So we asked him what’s up with that.
“It’s all legal,” he told us. “I live in a small town and one day I saw this guy driving a truck frame with a seat on it to a car show, and he had a license plate on the frame. So I figured if he could get his frame registered I could get my Nova registered.”
We were curious about the process. “You just keep all of your receipts,” he continued, “I kept everything so I wouldn’t have to track anything down. I had it inspected and they asked for VINs and I had the one from the motorcycle engine. It’s registered as a specialty vehicle here, and I got it all done for about $200 for the title and registration.”
The build took about two years, and Darrell did it all by hand. He built the tube frame, picked up a Ninja motorcycle engine off Craigslist, and laid all the fiberglass to match Ronnie Pace’s Nova – right down to the vinyl top and Yenko stripe. “The front bumper and grille is all fiberglass and foam,” Darrell said.
“I had a ’73 Nova and designed this car all from pictures,” Darrell said. “I put a lot of resin on the body and sanded a lot of it off.” If this is how the body turns out going from pictures, we can’t wait to see his next build – yes, Darrell told us he wants to build a better one the next time out, and he promised to share it with us when he does.
To help finance the next build, the mini-Nova was sold to a guy who bought the car from Darrell after he listed it on Craigslist. But he’s already started on the next one, and even with a new daughter at home, he’s going to try to find the time to complete his next build, and to do it better.
“I just bought about a thousand bucks worth of resin, and I have a 1970 Nova now so I can take better measurements and make a real 3/4-scale version of it,” he said. “I’d like to make some molds so I can make a few bodies.”
And if he’s going full-tilt on the next body, what kind of powerplant is he planning? “For my next build, I’m thinking that I can fit a supercharged 3.8 under the hood … or I’ve got an LS that I might use instead. But I’ll install a nine-inch next time instead of the Toyota eight-bolt that’s in this one.”
You can see Darrell fitting his six-foot-four frame into the car above; he loves to run the car in the autocross. “I took it to a local autocross and I saw a Viper there, and I thought it was pretty cool. You just don’t see Vipers in a small town like this,” Darrell said. “I went to get my numbers and when I came back there was a group of people standing around my car with their backs to the Viper. I felt pretty good about that.”
It looks like a fun car and Darrell’s skills are pretty amazing; we’re sure that when he gets mini-Nova 2.0 going, the car will be even more amazing. “I’m thinking about including some of the body lines from the Nova, too,” he said, “that way it will be even more realistic. I want to do a better job on the door jambs, so that the doors will seal shut, too.”
We can’t wait to see the next version of Darrell’s mini-Nova. We already think this one is pretty cool, but he said he’s going back to the drawing board and coming back with an even better car, and as soon as he’s done with it, we’ll share it with you so you can check it out, too.