1972 Chevrolet Nova and More - Local Heroes Redux

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'72 Nova
Bill aschbrenner
Ocala, FL

Matter Of Time
As the story goes, Bill bought the Nova from a cat who'd raced somebody title-to-title with his Mustang and won. The Nova was 100 percent solid, in primer, had a 350/three-speed manual and a 10-bolt rear. "It appeared as if somebody's goal was to drag race the car," Bill offered. "All the HVAC stuff and other things not needed on the dragstrip had been removed. I wasn't worried about that. I live in Florida and it's always hot, and I knew I would be comfortable cruising after dusk with the vent windows turned around and the kick panels open. But I noticed it had a funny idle, almost like a miss. I started taking the motor apart at home (thanks to all that Chevy High Performance has taught me) and discovered that I had a hydraulic cam but only 15 hydraulic lifters. The single solid lifter had eaten away so much of the lobe that the valve would barely open. I ordered a new cam with 0.473/0.492-inch lift and lifters. Because the carburetor was prone to flooding, I bought a new Holley 650 double-pumper with mechanical secondaries, a new fuel pump, alternator, tune-up kit, and some other odds and ends. I decided that paint would be nice, red naturally, to go with the black interior. I also got a Muncie four-speed and a new clutch kit. I serviced the rear and discovered I had 3.73:1 gears. Then I knew the 396 that I have would one day make its way into the Nova."

'65 Nova Sedan
Diana Diaz
Northridge, CA

Diva's Ride
Dig it, a rare post-car Nova. One of our favorite street rats back in the day had just such a machine, refrigerator white, dog dish 'caps, plainer than Jane but with a modified L79 (350hp 327) and a close-ratio four-speed hiding underneath. He killed the egos of many big-block stooges and lived to tell about it. Diva Diana Diaz knows what boys like; therefore her Nova is quite a conversation piece. She runs the show. She did the chassis normal: Global West subframe connectors, CPP subframe kit and front discs brakes, booster, and master cylinder. She did the insides with Pro Car seats and all new coverings for the front and rear panels and the rear bench. For power, she chose the ever-popular 383, plopped on World heads, a Holley 750-cfm double-pumper, Mallory sparker, MSD coil, and Hooker ceramic-coated primary pipes. Flowmasters rumble on from there. Torque travels through a rebuilt Turbo 350 that has heat siphoned by a Derale fluid cooler. The interior is coming along nicely. There you find Stewart-Warner gauges and a big Sunpro tachometer as well. No paint details but plenty of Intro Twisted Matrix wheels, 17x7 and 17x8 shod with 215/45 and 225/45 tires.

'69 Camaro Z/28
Kjell Karlsson
Farsta, Sweden

Race Car Revived
Without having the details, we can only imagine what twisted path this Z/28 has travelled. KK revealed his rarity in three lines; not nearly enough to write a story with unless you apply intuition and bit of imagination to tell it. Here's the setup: the images he sent were taken six years ago at midnight in December! Farsta isn't that close to the North Pole; it's a populated suburb of Stockholm, so Kjell needn't worry about colliding with a moose. This Z/28 was out of the Penske Trans-Am racing stable and at the turn of the '70s it was a hotly contested racing division that was factory-supported like drag racing had been a few years earlier. The car arrived in Sweden in the early '70s and was equipped with the coveted RPO JL8 four-piston caliper rear disc brakes (only 206 Z/28s were so equipped), a TI ignition, and a massaged 302 sporting a prototype cross-ram intake manifold dated 1967. It was hooked to a Muncie M22 four-speed and a 12-bolt axle. Kjell: "It went on the race track and stayed there for several years. After its renovation, it doesn't get on tarmac any longer. Now I use it on the street but the gear ratio is still on track so it goes very quickly." How about several tall beers and shots of aquavit all around?

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