This slick little Chevy II is the most recent addition to Ray and Candy Nosler's 20-car collection, right next to a twin-turbo '67 Camaro and a resto-modded '57 wagon. While the '67 Nova is a nice car with smooth black paint and a shiny set of billet wheels, it's the NASCAR driveline underneath that really makes her special.
As with many Bow Ties we cover here, this one didn't start life looking like this. It was bought from a guy in New York as a plain Jane builder. Ray was looking for a '67 with a clean body to create a sleeper. He has a small crush on the '67, and says it's got the right lines and is just the right size. After getting the car stashed away, it was time to start getting the parts needed to rebuild it. Somewhere in this time frame, Ray got a call from a broker friend that would change his idea of building a simple sleeper into something else.
What the broker had to offer was pretty special, a complete SB2 engine from Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Motor number 427 was run in a 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway in 2007. Ray purchased it, along with a transmission, rearend, and radiator all from the same car. Now Ray had his driveline and a clean car, but didn't have time to build it himself. He enlisted the help of Chandler Chassis Concepts (CCC) to meld all of these parts into the deuce. The first order of business was to make the race engine a bit more streetable.
As you can imagine, the camshaft was not a very street friendly stick, so a Comp hydraulic roller (.629/.638 lift, .629; 234/240 duration) was installed. A FAST fuel injection system was implemented to replace the missing carb. The engine features an RCR 11-quart dry sump pan, Jesel belt drive, 100-amp alternator, and an MSD ignition. With the streetable cam and fuel injection, the motor still has a serious set of lungs, with max power of 621 at 7,300 rpm.
CCC hand-built the stainless headers with 1 3/4-inch primary tubes and 3-inch collectors, along with the rest of the 3-inch exhaust system. A set of Magnaflow mufflers are in place to get the sound down to an acceptable level. Hand-fabricated dry sump, power steering, and surge tanks were also built to support the engine's fluids.
Backing this killer small-block is a Tremec TKO six-speed trans with a McCloud bellhousing, pressure plate and 10.5-inch clutch. Way out back is a CCC fabricated 9-inch housing stuffed with Strange 35-spline axles, 4.30 gears, and a limited slip diff.
CCC took on the responsibility of constructing the chassis and suspension as well. A full tube chassis was fabricated to hold the new suspension and also all the factory sheetmetal. CCC took C-5 spindles and brakes, then built tubular arms to hold them. A set of AFCO coilovers is used to hold the weight and control the bounce. A splined swaybar set up is employed to keep the car flat during hard corners. Out back the leaf suspension was replaced with a triangulated four-link with one more set of AFCO coilovers. The rear 12-inch brakes were lifted from a '98 Camaro.
A set of true NASCAR rims just wouldn't do the car justice, so a set of Billet Specialties Salt Flats was bolted to each corner, 17x8s in front and 18x10s out back. Bridgestone Potenza tires P245/45R17 in front and P295/35R18 in the rear provide the grip. It took a set of Detroit Speed and Engineering wheel tubs to provide enough room for the rear meats.
The outside of the car is a blend of stock and custom, all covered in a slick PPG ChromaPremier black with a metallic bronze stripe paint job. While most of the body is just stock and straight, there are a few touches that set it apart. The cowl vents and wipers were shaved, and a new set of air intake ports created to feed the motor fresh cool air. A hand-built, fully functional cold air box mates up to a smoothed firewall grabbing that air. The protruding chrome door handles were ditched and the door reconstructed to house a set of 2000 Camaro flush handles. The bumpers have been smoothed of all bolts, narrowed, then tucked closer to the car before being painted black. Under the front bumper is a one off lower valance that hints to the NASCAR pedigree lurking under the cowl induction-style hood.
The inside is also a mix of factory and custom touches. The seats, door panels, and headliner are all stock restored items, but the dash was tweaked a bit. The dash pad and speaker grate were shaved to simplify the look. The factory idiot light cluster was upgraded to a Dakota Digital unit. Two carbon-fiber/billet aluminum inserts were fabricated to cover the radio and glove box door to complete the look of the dash. An early Chevelle automatic center console with clock was made to fit the Nova's floor and house the Hurst shifter.
We actually heard this Chevy II before we laid eyes on it. The cackle of the exhaust when the SB2 was fired up in the trailer was pretty impressive. That was all we needed to investigate further. We were not prepared for what rolled out. We were expecting to see some race car getting ready for the drags, but instead this little showpiece came rolling out. We hovered over it like flies on, well you know, for a while checking out the mods. After hearing the story of the motor and how the car was built, we felt it necessary to show you.