1966 Chevy Nova - Asphalt Digger

An 11-Flat Traffic Slasher...On Airbags!

Ro McGonegal Nov 1, 2007 0 Comment(s)

Between his long draughts of Monster, I asked Henry D what's so special about this car. Without hesitation he said, "The first time I saw it was at a race, but it looked too clean, too elemental-you know, too nice to be a race car. It did. But when it ripped off an 11-flat, it got real. Plus, the kid's young, man. He's got heart."

Certainly, we can thank Kyle Westbrook's father for the guidance, forethought, and extreme V-8 prejudice. OK, we got the young gun goin' now, so what about his car? Where did he get it? Did he snatch it from the Dumpster's yap? Did somebody's grandmother put it in her last will? Where did this pristine little coupe come from?

It materialized from some kind of karmic transference. Kyle's father Dale has always had Novas of this genre. Kyle, too young and small to do anything complicated, watched Pop bend to the Box for most of his prepubescent life. Eventually, his dad was forced to sell that Nova to start a business that continues to this day, with Kyle totally involved in the process. About six years ago, when he was 15 and hanging by the sticky strings in Learner-Permit Purgatory, he and Dale began the hunt for a...Nova. What they found was pure strangely-believe-it.

As Kyle tells it, "I fell in love with this Nova way back. We started looking and ran across this '66 SS that my dad had tried to buy years ago. [Is this not karmic?] Now the front end was smashed in. I bought the car for $1,000. We stripped it to a shell, replaced the entire front clip, and found a whole lot of other work to do besides.

"We pretty much did everything ourselves except the paint and the interior," says Kyle. Maybe this is it: Kyle is 21. Figure Dale for early forties, could be a refugee from the latchkey generation but isn't. His mom stayed at home; the family raced together, spent time together, and it made enough of an impression on Dale that he could not possibly treat his son differently. They work together as a team, not the father telling the son how it must be done.

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