'66 nova SS
Jim Noel
Wichita, KS

Stepping Away From The Box
We're suckers for these Novas, you bet. Look great from any angle and when it flaunts shady blue paint accented by ghost flames, its double-killer, dudes. Jim Noel infused his with a Pro Touring ethic because he wanted a good all-around ride, not one that just smoked the tires but could suck up a tight curve in style. He gave it a good, reliable, easy-driving constitution, something to bring joy rather than frustration. It has a ZZ4 crate motor (355 hp/405 lb-ft of torque) backed by a 200-4R overdrive and a 9-inch twisting 3.73:1 gears. That it's an original SS sweetens the whole deal. Jim's traveled to shows state-wide and claims there is a paucity of this particular sheetmetal. Hang on to this one Jim, please. He spiffed it up with Coy 17x8 wheels all the way around and tended the needy stock suspension with a CPP rack steering, tubular upper and lower control arms, and adjustable coilovers in front. He mounted disc brakes all around so that repeated, positive braking isn't an issue. Though Jim's still rounding up the parts, in a couple of months, a fully polished Tuned Port Injection system will be feeding the 350.

'83 El Camino
Harald Weldon
Copperas Cove, TX

Sensible Shoe
There's a lot to be said for a two-seater with a mammoth trunk and the intimacy of a roadster cockpit juxtaposed with outstanding practicality (or 50 cases of grog). For some, it represents the perfect daily ride. For others it's an inexpensive way to stand out in a sea of sedans. Whatever the case, Harald needed reliable, repeatable performance, as if his job depended on it. So he built a car with some significant improvements. The most obvious improvement is a cowl hood painted to match the year-old coating. Harald finished off the upholstery and laid up a new headliner, too. The Elky's 350 was rebuilt with an IROC camshaft and corresponding TPI fuel injection. The drivetrain was simple: Harald gathered up a 700-R4 and some 3.42:1 gears for the 10-bolt. He stripped the clearcoat from the '77 Corvette wheels and simply polished the aluminum that was left. The bed was covered with a color-matched urethane spray and Harald closed up the tub with a Craftech cover. He swapped the rear bumper for a roll pan and illuminated it with sequential LED taillights. Weldon: "Did I mention this is not a trailer queen but a driver that takes me to work."

'83 S-10
Pete Diamond
Kingston, NY

Not Going To Home Depot
Pete likes to have fun, like running mid 10s at 127 mph. He built a 355-incher from a Dart Little M block, Callies crankshaft, 5.700-inch Eagle H-beams, and Wiseco 14.5:1 pistons. A Comp Cams 0.630/0.630-inch solid-roller is connected the crank via a Comp timing belt. He set up the top of the engine with 64cc Canfield heads and a Victor Jr. intake set upon by a Demon 950-cfm carb. Flame for combustion is issued by an MSD distributor and a 6AL box. Pete worked the front with Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, tubular upper and lower control arms, 1-inch drop coils, and 90/10 Lakewood shocks. The 12-bolt axle jammed with Richmond 5.56:1 cogs and is secured by Competition Engineering ladder bars and QA1 coilover shocks. The drivetrain includes a stout stall converter and a Turbo 400 transmission. Weld Wheels all around, 15x3.5s in front and monstrous 15x15s chocked by 31x14 Hoosiers at the back door. Disc brakes stand in all corners. A one-piece Unlimited fiberglass nose, Harwood 'glass doors, and Lexan windows lighten everything up. Inside the cabin is a 14-point rollcage with little more than the six-point harness and Auto Meter gauges for vitals. Pete, how high can you get those front wheels?