1966 Chevy Nova SS - Nova Number One

Box Car Done Right

Ro McGonegal Feb 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)

This is the way to do a box Nova right, boys and girls, especially the one with the sleekest, sweetest sheetmetal ever arranged on an X-car. These coupes are good-looking, sure; but surely, they ain't got a shred of substance. No handling power. Won't take a big engine without a major frontend hack. Brakes work better when you drag your feet. Handling? Wheeled washtubs. But man, they look good, don't they? Aftermarket comes to the rescue. Compared to the old Nova, one with the right updates has adapted envelopes of hellish power but still looks stock on the outside. It all works like a champ. So why isn't Bo Harden tired of this car yet?

It is no longer a car. It has become a fixture in his life. He's owned the Nova for more than half of his 38 years, tending it like a child, giving the best stuff imaginable. The Nova has naturally followed him into adulthood. The Nova is here to stay. Though it vibes badass right in plain sight, the Nova's impulse is subdued by the Artesian Turquoise pigment, the rollcage mostly tucked away from sight, and those big back tires that look like they just fell on the car. It's kind of like stealth implied. Yup, your eyes see me but your head is looking at me in a completely different context. Novas were ingrained in the young Bo. You could say he was brainwashed by 'em. His grandparents had them, "so I always wanted one," crows Bo. Granddad laid Nova Number One on him with a stipulation: The motor couldn't get any bigger than a 283.

"I found this car locally. The gentleman had five from which to choose. I picked the '66 SS because it had a Turbo 350 with a shift kit, new silver paint, and a 262ci V-8 from a '75 Monza. I rebuilt the frontend and did the interior over. By the end of my senior year in high school, I'd built a 283 and a 10-bolt Posi. Six months later, I had a 355 with a tunnel ram on it. "I drove it that way for two years," Bo continues. "Then I built the 406 that's been in it since 1991. I stopped driving the car every day because I lost my license for too many tickets. Guess that's why Dad didn't want me to have a fast car."




Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print