The big-displacement small-block is quite in vogue, and Chuck has not overlooked it. His combo is based on a 350 cylinder case that's been poked and stroked (4.155x3.875) to 421 ci. Motor Magic (Big River, California) performed the lathe work, and Automotive Balancing Service (Los Angeles) took the burrs off the rotating assembly. The combo lies with a forged Scat arm fitted with CP pistons, Hell Fire rings, and Scat connecting rods. The short-block's hiney was covered with a Moroso oil pan and corresponding oil pump and pick-up.
In the name of efficiency, the motor presents a stout 14.0:1 compression ratio as ensured by the 76cc combustion chambers in the 23-degree AFR (Stage 1) 220 cylinder heads, which are fitted with 2.05/1.60 stainless steel valves. Flow Technology did the porting work, and Isky supplied the valvesprings. Manley did the pushrods, and Jesel made the rocker-arm assemblies. A Crane solid roller imparts 272/276 degrees of duration (at 0.050) and 0.670/0.641 inch lift on a 110-degree lobe circle.
Breathing apparatus is classic: an Edelbrock intake manifold and a Holley HP 950 carburetor. Since there's a graduated 250-shot of NOS ready to rock, the spark kernel had better be fat, vibrant, and reeking of ozone, hence the MSD ignition and total advance of 34 degrees. Hooker Super Comps measure 17⁄8x31⁄2 inches and exit into those rules-required race mufflers.
A Turbo 400 mainstay was tweaked all the way by Lowell's Transmission (Fontana, California), which upgraded its internals and installed a JW Performance Ultra Bell, a 10-inch Continental converter posing a 4,500 stall. A Driveline driveshaft sends the twist to the original 10-bolt housing that's been refried with a Strange spool and axles and a 4.56:1 gearset.
There's black all over the joint, and in this Nova's sphere the contraptions of comfort and convenience are wholly unnecessary, because all the Nova has to do is go quick and fast on a string. The stock interior has accumulated only what Chuck needs for business: Auto Meter Phantom gauges, Pace Car custom bucket seats, and a GT steering wheel. The rocker switches sprouting from the Painless control panel are for the fuel and water pumps, the engine fan, and the nitrous unit and purge system.
Wheels & Brakes
Drag de rigueur: Mickey Thompson ET Front Runners are 26x4.5 on 3.5-inch M/T wheels up front and M/T 28x10.5 ET Drags on 8-inch Center Line Telstars on the rear. Considering function, the brakes are basic: Wilwood four-piston discs and stock drums provide all the stopping power this Nova needs.
Chuck's 421 has never been on a dynamometer of any sort, so forget about instrumented absolutes for horsepower and torque. Suffice it to say that with the driver, the 3,450-pound race weight has pulled out a 10.42 at 128 mph on the motor.
The Nova has been more or less built on a budget, so its modifications have been calculated and critical. Red's Fabrication (Van Nuys, California) responded by welding in subframe connectors, issuing solid body mounts, installing a 12-point 'cage, and relocating the rear shock position for tire clearance as well as better launch characteristics. They rehung the 10-bolt with Calvert Racing monoleaf springs, Cal-Tracs bars, and QA1 single-adjustable shocks. Chuck kept the original spindles but made frontend movement quicker with the addition of Global West tubular upper and lower control arms, Trick coil springs stuck between them, and tempering the assembly with Lakewood 90/10 shock absorbers.
Some minor bodywork included a couple of new front fenders and a bit of dent squashing, but otherwise Chuck's ride was relatively straight and narrow. Fred Stegger applied the Acura Aqua Green to the body and painted the rally strips on the hood by hand in his Inglewood, California, garage. CHP