On track, the '71 Nova is a beast as the team eclipsed its best time with a 7.82 at 183 mph this past fall at the Street Car Super Nationals. Houston's career best e.t. was even sweeter due to the fact that it was accomplished with a few baby hits of nitrous. "That was with all three systems but they were small and we have a lot more left in it. As the chassis continues to get sorted with the torque converter dialed-in, we can start adding more nitrous. There isn't a whole lot of nitrous going through that thing yet," said Johnson. He went on to say that if the team can get the Nova more efficient through the 60-foot times, then they could run 7.60s on the 275 drag radials. The big, wild, and nasty 598ci is ready for all challengers.
What is it
Pettis Performance-built 598ci big-block
What it made
1,120 hp on motor with three units to go
On nitrous, this big-block powered our '71 Nova to 7-second e.t.'s at well over 180 mph
Check out chevyhiperformance.com for bonus content on this story, including full dyno details.
Pettis marks the intake rocker...
Pettis marks the intake rocker arms with blue paint while the exhaust arms are marked with red. It helps the engine assembler identify the components-especially if making the repairs at the dragstrip late at night.
SCE Titan copper head gaskets...
SCE Titan copper head gaskets were used to seal the heads to the block. The red marks on the gasket are a special coating to help seal various coolant and oil passages. These gaskets are designed to go on dry, meaning no special spray coatings or any crazy sealing tricks. Pettis prefers copper head gaskets for nitrous-equipped engines to the popular MLS-style gaskets.
Induction Solutions plumbed...
Induction Solutions plumbed the twin Edelbrock E3 direct-port nitrous systems as well as a third stage, its Punisher plenum nitrous system. Steve Johnson flow tested the system and consults on the tuning adjustments.