To create the almighty stance and provide some serious suspension power at all velocities, John proves that you needn't look very far for a new take on an old proposition. He used Global West subframe connectors to bestow rigidity on the unibody, then segued the Classic Performance Products (classicperform.com) mini-subframe kit featuring tubular control arms and 2-inch drop spindles. Wheel movement is checked by KYB gas-filled shock absorbers. Body roll is lessened by a 1-inch antisway bar. At the nether end, John retained the monoleaf, slipped in a 1-inch lowering block, and amended the collection with KYB gas pressure.
Despite its humble roots, the GM Performance Parts ZZ3 350 (circa 1995) manages to give the featherweight Nova some teeth. Although the short-block is stock and maintains a 9.8:1 compression ratio, the top end was assembled with a massaged custom breathing apparatus. On those angle-plug, 58cc aluminum heads (ported and polished) rests an original Z28 intake manifold posting a vacuum-secondary Holley 750 that's been covered by a modified L79 (350/350hp) air cleaner. A HEI distributor throws fire. A Milodon sump (one-piece rear main seal) and pump recycle the oil. John used ARP fasteners throughout.That distinctive exhaust crackle is enough to raise the dead, yes. Hooker Super Comps funnel into Flowmaster three-chamber silencers.The 350 was tested at 410 lb-ft. Since the Nova was carved as a driver, we're surprised by the absence of an overdriven top gear, even though John celebrates a TCI Street Fighter Turbo 350 twirling a B&M 2,200-stall speed converter. Transmission juice circulates through a B&M cooler. No need for a 9-inch or anything close. The original 10-bolt was refreshed by Rearend Specialties (www.rearendspecialties.com) in Santa Clara, California, complete with 3.55 gears on a Positraction carrier.
In preparation for the coveted deep onyx fluid, Knight Auto Body in Pittsburgh, California, smoothed the rust-free shell to the Nth degree for an exquisite and waveless image with the PPG base and clear coats.
A plain and simple interior further reinforces the understated Nova. While smatterings of the SS rank are found in the console, seats, and instruments, the interior remains faithful to the original. All the black and brushed aluminum finally succumbs to the Nova woodgrain steering wheel. The place where the radio would be is discreetly covered by a delete panel, thus visually slimming down the width of the dashboard. To minimize the chance of electrical failure, everything is simply operated by hand. The factory option tissue dispenser foils the otherwise businesslike aura.
John offset that deep black with chrome. Foose Nitrous Legends, size 18x7 and 18x8, put the P215/40ZR and 245/40ZR Falken Ziex rubber to use. When John needs to burn off energy in a hurry, he leans on 12-inch drilled and slotted '02 Camaro SS rotors taking cues from a CPP dual-diaphragm brake booster.