There are plenty of big-name families in drag racing at its highest levels, but it’s the grassroots racers and their families that make up the backbone of the sport. You can go to any track across the United States and you’ll see multi-generation racing families. Corey Bohl and his 1967 Nova “Denver’s Deuce” could be the perfect example of how a family is brought closer together by racing.
Corey grew up watching his father Carl compete in multiple forms of racing. From drag racing, to dirt track racing, and even demolition derbies, Carl did it all. What really inspired Corey was his father’s ability to build anything while making sure he was involved in the high-horsepower shenanigans
“At an early age, I watched my dad build two complete dirt-track cars. He fabricated the roll cages, did the bodywork, and everything else on both cars. Growing up, some of my favorite memories were doing burnouts in one of his cars. In the early 2000s scrap prices were low, so he bought four 1980s Caprices for $50 each from a scrap yard. He drove them home one by one, and turned me loose in the woods at the back of our property so I could learn to drive,” Corey says.
Corey found the Nova on Craigslist in 2010 and decided he needed it in his life. The Chevy II-style Nova has always been one of Corey’s favorite muscle cars, as his dad has owned several of them. Corey sold a truck he had built so he could purchase the Nova. The car was in fairly good shape since it came from the south and had sat in a garage since 1989.
The Nova has taken over 10 years to build, and when the time came, Corey really put the hammer down to get the car done.
“This build was staged out…there was a period I didn’t touch it for two years. It was on a rotisserie, and I stripped the car to bare metal by hand with a DA sander and a wire wheel on a grinder. Toward the end of the build, I had a deadline I had to meet — we wanted to use the car as a part of our second daughter Stella’s gender reveal. I got the car done, and it filled the air with tons of pink smoke when I started to do burnouts and donuts as part of the reveal,” Corey explains.
Corey knew in his mind what he wanted Denver’s Deuce to look like as he worked on the car. The Nova needed to have open headers, no hood, a four-speed transmission, and a large tunnel ram intake sticking out of the engine bay. The final product is a kick-ass B/Gas Nova that’s raced with the Southeast Gassers Association, local stick shift events, and has even won the Midwest Drags B/Gas title after a hard week of driving and racing.
The small-block Chevy Ohio Crankshaft built for Corey is a relatively simple, yet robust combination. A Dart SHP block was punched out to 427 cubic inches. Inside the engine, you’ll find an Ohio Crankshaft, a set of MAHLE pistons, and H-beam connecting rods from Ohio Crankshaft. BES Racing Engines went through a set of Dart 230 Pro cylinder heads that work with a custom Straub Technologies camshaft. The valvetrain parts that are bolted to the engine came from COMP Cams. An Edelbrock Victor tunnel ram intake manifold and a pair of Holley 650 carbs built by ATM Innovations sit on top of the engine like a metallic crown.
Corey elected to use a mechanical fuel pump from Holley, and an Aerospace Engineering fuel pressure regulator, to keep pump gas flowing into the small-block Chevy. To light off the combustion process, an MSD 6AL ignition box sends spark to an MSD coil, distributor, and plug wires.
Corey isn’t kind to the Nova at all…he built the car to beat on it, so a stout transmission was needed to endure high-rpm clutch drops. A G-Force G101A transmission built by Roby Myrick has been matched to a RAM clutch and 16-pound aluminum flywheel. The Moser 12-bolt rearend Corey uses to put the power down works with a 3.5-inch steel driveshaft from Denny’s Driveshafts, a set of 33-spline axles, and 4.10 gears.
Now, you can’t build a gasser without a straight axle front end. Corey’s Nova sports a straight axle front suspension set up from BZ’s Rods. A set of Viking shocks and leaf springs round out the front suspension. In the rear, the ladder bar suspension works with Calvert Racing split mono-leaf springs and Viking shocks. A set of E-T Wheels Team III front wheels are wrapped in Pro Trac tires, while in the rear you’ll find a set of Wheel Vintiques wheels and Mickey Thompson tires.
The interior of the Nova isn’t ratty at all…in fact, the work that Stewart Upholstery did for Corey has won several awards. A six-point roll bar can also be found inside the Nova, along with safety equipment from White Safety. Corey monitors the Nova’s vitals thanks to gauges from Sun Blue Line, and he knows when to bang gears thanks to a William Instruments tach.
Corey’s Nova makes a very rowdy 675 naturally aspirated horsepower. The car has laid down a best e.t. of 10.40 at 129 mph — not bad at all for a stick-shifted straight axle car that’s driven on the street.
It’s always cool to see a car with a name, but Corey has a very specific and important reason for naming his car Denver’s Deuce. It all comes back to spending time at the track as a family and enjoying racing together.
“I named the car Denver’s Deuce because I plan on giving it to my oldest daughter, Denver, when she gets older. She really loves cars and racing. One night she told me, ‘daddy, you need to work on your new race car more so you can win a big gold trophy’. She was talking about my new build, a 1967 Nova that’s an all-out race car that I plan on giving to my youngest daughter, Stella, someday,” Corey says.
Corey has worked hard on getting Denver’s Deuce together and loves using the car as a way to spend time at the track with his entire family. It has been a long journey, and he’s grateful for the people who’ve helped make the build possible.
Corey includes his entire family in his racing activities. His daughters love to sit in the back seat of his Nova while he does massive tire-roasting burnouts. Corey’s wife Sarah also enjoys going to the track and different events across the country. You’ll see Sarah backing Corey up when he’s racing, or helping with the car if Corey needs a hand.
“I have to thank my wife for supporting me and dealing with all the late nights, as well as my dad for always helping me — I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. Also, Pat Norcia at Ram Clutches, Gene Strong, Roby Myrick, and Paul Long at G-Force, Chris Straub for the assistance with my cams, and Queen City Fab.”
Drag racing has a bright future thanks to people like Corey Bohl who make sure their entire family is involved in the sport. There’s nothing better than seeing several generations of a family enjoying a day at the track, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Bohl family pit around Denver’s Deuce.