As you approach the intersection, a beautiful Mist Blue ’67 Nova SS comes into view. The driver appears to be a young man in his twenties, and the car looks like a mild resto. A mellow note from the exhaust gives you a clue that the Nova is probably packing a small-block, but before you can compliment the young man, traffic opens up pairing the Nova next to a high-dollar imported sports car. The guy in the sports car attempts to pick on the Nova by revving his engine. At that moment, time goes into slow motion as the young man in the Nova looks over at the sports car and mashes the accelerator with the green. Mr. Mega-dollar sports car does his best to keep up but finds himself being treated like a four-cylinder import racing an NHRA Pro Stocker. It’s a lesson he won’t forget.

Meet 20-year-old David Stoker of Ontario, California, and his undercover ’67 Nova SS. David’s father Terry is an ex-street racer, so when his son wanted to build a hot rod it was only natural to build something with a low profile. This all started when they began looking for a lightweight car that wouldn’t require a killer engine and drivetrain. At that time, a friend had a ’67 Nova stolen from his garage. It was later recovered minus a few pieces. The Stokers persuaded the owner to sell them what was left of the car along with a few spare parts he had lying around.

Then, Original Body Shop in Lynwood, California, received the Nova and prepped the body for its Mist Blue paint, rechromed the bumpers, re-coverd the interior, and added 15x6 American Torq-Thrust II wheels. The finishing touch to David’s Nova came when he installed the 2-inch drop spindles and lowering blocks. Sleeper cars are usually ugly and sound terrible, but the Stokers decided they’d give up a little advantage in return for an improved image.

At this time, the Nova looked like a winner, but the 327ci didn’t have the beans it needed to be quick. David had already spent most of his funds on the Nova’s appearance, so the drivetrain was intentionally kept mild. David decided the best way to go fast undercover was to use Chevy’s largest-displacement small-block. He bolted together a 0.030-over 400ci small-block and TH350 and added a stock 10-bolt with 3.36 gears. The 406ci engine uses a completely stock long-block with a Mellings RV cam, Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, and a 750-cfm Quadrajet carburetor.

Once David has blown your doors off and you get a chance to look at his engine, you’ll notice the cast-iron exhaust manifolds, a painted intake manifold, and a single-snorkel air cleaner. The 8.5-inch Mickey Thompson E.T. Street tires are one clue. Nitrous solenoids in the air cleaner require disassembling the nitrous system to remove the air cleaner, but it proves its worth every time the Nova claims another victim.

So how fast is David’s Nova? At Pomona Raceway, home of the NHRA Winternationals, the Nova has run a best of 11.83 at 114 mph with 60-foot times in the 1.65 range. David has proven that with enough torque and traction, anything is possible. Even undercover.