from the editors of:
GM High Tech Performance
LOG IN / SIGN UP
GET THE MAGAZINE
tech & how to
engines & drivetrain
Chassis & Suspension
paint & body
Best of the Best
GM High Tech Performance
2008 SoCal Nova BBQ - Block Party
3rd Annual Socal Nova BBQ
Feb 1, 2009
View Full Article »
VIEW FULL GALLERY
2008 SoCal Nova BBQ - Block Party
We headed East on the 210 freeway toward San Bernardino, taking it nice and easy in the 100-plus degree heat, but Erich Monteith's Nova wagon was sure to shine in the SoCal sun. Monteith's Nova has a burly ZZ4 350 with an upgraded Hot Cam and a 650 Speed Demon carburetor, which is good for 325 hp to the rear tires.
Following close behind was Steve Rowley in his '64 Chevy II sedan. Obviously a project in the works, Rowley's currently packing a 350ci small-block with TRW pistons, a Blue Racer camshaft, an Edelbrock Performer intake, and an Edelbrock carb. The stock heads have been worked over with larger valves and use Hedman headers to expel the fumes. Transferring the power is a Turbo 350 trans, while rollers of choice are 15-inch American Torq-Thrusts on all four corners.
During our long trek into San Bernardino, the combination of sweltering heat and the sustained speeds of 70-plus mile per hour proved to be a little more than our Nova wanted to deal with. Our fuel pressure was slowly dropping, and the water temp started to rise. After it dropped from 9 pounds of pressure to 1, we had to shut it down. It turns out the fuel was boiling and creating a vaporlock, suffocating our small-block for cool fuel.
As a group, we pulled off the freeway to gather our bearings. We went over the directions and discussed the fate of our wounded Nova. Letting the others lead on, we limped the rest of the way there-but we made it.
ill and Roxanne Kress' Red '63 Super Sport caught our eye. At first glance, you'd never expect the animal it truly is underneath its tame exterior. The SS is outfitted with a California Performance Products (CPP) mini subframe kit, 1-inch drop coils, SSBC disc brakes, Addco sway bars, and KYB shocks. Power comes from a 0.030-over, 9.8:1 compression 383 with Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, while a 750-cfm carb quenches its thirst.
Bench seats and a 408ci small-block generating 538 hp just scream coolness. Ed Kaatz's '66 has a CPP mini subframe (a common theme here), CPP front discs, Competition Engineering Slide-A-Links,...
...and drag shocks all around. The TCI Turbo 350 transmission with a 3,800-stall converter and a Detroit Locker in the rearend has proven to be plenty strong and more than capable of handing mid 11s at 117 mph in the quarter-mile.
This slammed '66 sled owned by Tony Causor features a CPP front mini subframe kit with an Air Ride system and a TCI four-link with Air Ride shockwaves. To make a lasting impression, a set of 18-inch Coy Wheels is up front, with a monster set of 20s out back. Causor's choice of mill is a mild 9.5:1 small-block with a set of World Products heads and a Comp cam.
The love for early Nova Wagons is alive and kicking! An entire row was dedicated to them, and they were garnering plenty of attention from everyone.
With so much to see, it was hard to decide where to begin. Here, Nova enthusiasts Scott Haggai and Eddie Perez couldn't help but notice the 408ci small-block with Dart Pro 1 cylinder heads in this '66.
Lyndon Scott may still be running the original 194ci six-banger in his '63 hardtop, but this thing was mint. It still sports the factory shoes, manual steering, and manual brakes. His plans call for the larger 292 inline-six, a 700R-4 transmission, a five-lug rearend, and disc brakes for the front.
Al Schey, the host of the block party, has a prime example of what a box Nova can become. His '63 is powered by a 562 hp 482 ci big-block. Inside the powerplant is a Scat crank, H-beam rods connected to a set of forged pistons. Up top are a pair of Edelbrock heads and an RPM manifold with a Demon 850-cfm carb. Suspension up front includes a complete Chassisworks front clip with coilovers and Wilwood 4-piston calipers. Out back, a ladder bar suspension keeps everything in check. Schey has yet to hit the tarmac, but we know he's plenty excited and we can't wait to hear the results.
ven our friends at California Performance Products brought out their Nova to join the fun. From brakes to suspension, this thing had it all.
The four-door crowd wasn't left out either. Here, Charlie Pedregon's Ermine White '66 Chevy Nova II 100 sedan only has 75,000 miles on the clock and still sports the factory 195hp Turbo Fire 283ci V-8 with a two-speed Powerglide, the original interior, and Rally wheels.
To our surprise, there weren't many '68-72s running around at this event. While this one wasn't in the cleanest state, it did give us a chance to show its new Weiand 142 supercharger setup.
We couldn't miss Todd Bartley's yellow '77. Between the fenderwells is a 383ci stroker with just 2.56:1 cogs out back. Bartley says it is good for mid 13-second passes at the track, and he eventually plans to swap it out for a set of 3.42:1 gears and an Eaton posi unit.
There was no grand stage here. Instead, the driveway of host Al Schey was used for the closing ceremonies. Forum members gathered 'round to receive and acknowledge other participants and to enter the raffle for all sorts of killer goodies.
Dale Snoke's '65 wagon also caught our attention. Snoke's wagon has a new small-block 350 that's backed by a Powerglide trans, CPP front tubular control arm suspension, and four wheel disc brakes, and plans call for electronic fuel injection and air conditioning. Wondering where that paint's shine comes from? Try WD-40.
As Novas entered the neighborhood, they were placed by years, beginning with the earliest and branching off into varying models.
Vince Mayeda was the Grand Poobah and the recipient of this year's trophy for his laborious efforts in helping other forum members on the website and for helping to organize the event. Look close; it's completely handmade out of various engine parts, and it's flat-out awesome. Other award winners were John Olsen for his enormous dedication to the SoCal Nova movement, and Eric Holt for longest distance traveled, having made the ride all the way from Missouri!
4.8L VS 5.3L Engine - Tech - Little LS Slugfest - Super Chevy Magazine
Most people look past the small 4.8L engine and go straight for the bigger ones. In this Little LS Slugfest, we compare both stock and modified versions of the 4.8L and 5.3L engines, now you be the judge!
How to Build a Stroked Gen 5 LT1 Engine - Warp Speed
Learn how to build a stroked Gen 5 LT1 engine block with Howard Tanner of Redline Motorsports, who is an expert on C7 technology.
From 409 to 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS454 - Back in the Day
R.J. is the only 1971 Monte Carlo SS454 original owner we know of and he has no one to inherit it. This car deserves all the accolades imaginable.
C5 and C6 Clutch Pedal Not Returning - Technically Speaking
Have a sticky C5 and C6 clutch? The most important thing is to keep your clutch fluid clean and fresh so it is important to inspect your clutch fluid.
recent how to articles
March Performance 1957 Chevy Project - Shaved Door Handles
Chevy Performance Tech Q&A - February 2015
Quick Questions and Answers - Technically Speaking
How To Use Tremec's Driveline Angle Finder App - Get Your Angle On
2014 Super Chevy Suspension and Handling Challenge - Speedtech's 1968 Camaro
subscribe to the magazine
Subscribe and Save 74% off the Cover Price!