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1963 Chevrolet Nova - Seeing Red

A '63 Nova With Plenty To Spare

Eric McClellan Aug 10, 2010
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The phrase "Did you bring enough for the rest of the class?" often comes to mind when a guy builds a car so outrageous that it almost defies logic. When you hear the words, "You put what in what?" will generally produce the ubiquitous thumbs-up.

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When you get psychologists wanting to beat down your door to do a case study on your righteous street machine, it can only mean one thing; only a madman could have dreamt up a project of this magnitude. Of course this may all sound a bit exorbitant but this car really is a rolling corn-fed hyperbole in and of itself. The sheer range this car covers requires such overemphasis that doing so only adds to the air of mystery that this car creates.

Even so, none of this is new to Eddie Czech of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and his '63 Nova II. He hears this stuff everywhere he goes. "I always wanted a fast car that is street driven and that has all the stock trim," says Eddie. Well, Eddie pretty much nailed that one on the head. Ten years and six engine combinations later; Eddie is finally happy with his creation.

When it comes to aesthetics, this baby has been untouched, featuring the original sheetmetal and has aged rather well over the years. Sure, the paint doesn't have the gloss and glimmer of a freshly coated shell, but under that meek exterior lays the heart of purebred. Half of which throws the natural self-preservation instinct into the wind and the other half is only slightly more bonkers. Nevertheless, it's the way he plays.

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Eddie's goal may not have been to build a quiet sleeper; actually it's far from it. The sheer mountain of volume this car produces, along with the telltale blower whine, gives this thing away from the proverbial mile. Be that as it may, he has built one unique ride that makes it stand out from the crowd. All we know is that it's loud, mean, fast, and 100 percent badass!

Underneath the hood is a Rodek aluminum block that's been punched out to 434 ci. A Callies Hellfire crankshaft is paired with Oliver connecting rods, which are topped with 8.5:1 compression Ross pistons. Eddie won't divulge the cam specs, simply stating "it's a secret grind with 116 lobe, solid-roller." Up top are a pair of Brodix -18C heads with Ferrea valves; Comp springs; and Jesel shaft-mount system with Comp pushrods, titanium guides, and retainers. For the manifold, only a Brodix HV1000 intake manifold would do while a Quick Fuel Technology blow-through carburetor feeds the fire. The pièce de résistance is the centrifugal ATI ProCharger F1-R huffer. This massive, whirling piece of pure magic effortlessly pumps out 20 psi of boost, creating a whopping 1,200 estimated horsepower at the crankshaft and an equally mind-numbing 800 estimated lb-ft of torque. Transferring the power is an Abruzzi Powerglide transmission and a 9-inch rearend that's been outfitted with 3.50:1 gears. Bellowing out the spent fumes is a pair of Dawson Racing headers that dumps into the two-chamber Flowmaster mufflers.

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What can we say? It's original and it's endured mother nature over the years, but it still looks remarkably good. It's clean; nothing overly stated and even shows obvious signs of the usual wear and tear that only a lacquer finish can produce.

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Rollers & Binders
It takes a fair amount of force to stop a car with this type of velocity. To slow down in a hurry, Eddie decided to go with a set of Wilwood four-piston calipers to clamp the rotors. For rollers, he opted for Weld Racing 15x7 Pro Stars up front and changed it up by adding 15x8 Rod Lites out back that are wrapped in 26x7.5x15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman rubber. Yes, it's a tight fit but there's enough wiggle room for spirited launches.

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Under this seemingly stock chassis is a well-built package that includes subframe connectors, a Heidt's front clip, and QA1 coilovers. Out back is a complete ladder bar suspension to help plant the tires.

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The inside plays the role of "Little Old Lady" with factory red-vinyl seats, original steering wheel, and a rather unimposing two-seat lap belt system. One is immediately struck by the lack of a rollcage normally associated with a car putting out this sort of power. Even so, the interior is plush, utilizing the bare essentials like Auto Meter gauges to check on vitals and a B&M Pro Stick shifter to get into gear.

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