1970s Nova Elevated With Modern Power

After decades of living as little more than a grandma car, this Nova is ready for an upgrade.

The 1970 Chevrolet Nova was an iconic car in its day both for the horsepower and reputation for being a great economy choice with plenty of styles to match. Engine options ranged from small inline-six motors to gigantic V8 powerhouses, but today we’re going to focus on the former. That’s right, this insane vehicle came stock with a pure 230 ci inline-six making barely 140 horsepower but now aims for the big bucks on the drag strip. Again, let us stress that there is nothing “low-budget” about this car, but it certainly is worth it for the incredible power gains shown with the modification.

First of all, the builders wanted this car to be a sleeper, so they decided to keep the primarily exterior stock outside of some minor rust repair. Most of this work was done around the rear right fender as the foam between the sheet metal was wet. After all of the exterior shortcomings were brought up to modern standards, it was clear that this would be an excellent project car. Even the interior, which would have been about 36 years old at that point, was in perfect condition. This means that the only interior mod the guys had to make was a little space for a stand-alone ECU.

“But what is that ECU controlling?” you might ask. Well, the answer to that question will surely shock you as the car was destined to boast a fourth-generation LS2 stroker V8 under the hood. From the factory, this engine was able to put out 440 horsepower to the crankshaft but, after a lot of wrenching, was eventually able to make 430 to the rear wheels. Because of this car’s sleeper attitude, that wasn’t enough power for the project; it was fitted with a nitrous kit capable of between 150 and 250 extra horsepower. This work made it impossible to do it all under the hood, so the team toped the build off with a 2-inch cowl hood. This may seem like it would ruin the sleeper aspect of the build, but at a distance, you can see exactly what these guys were going for!

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