The world is a crazy place at times, especially in terms of classic muscle cars and how they found their way into other countries. Take early Novas, for example. When General Motors decided to sell Novas (or Chevy IIs) in Canada, GM decided the Nova name wasn’t right, so they were rebadged as Pontiac Acadians. Strangely, even though they were badged as Pontiacs, they still ran Chevy-orange painted small-blocks. Go figure.
Canadians Richard and Penny Hammer had one of these disguised Chevys and decided the car was in need of an extreme makeover. They shipped the faux ’65 Nova to the guys at Hot Rods by Dean in Phoenix. Most of the body panels needed repair or replacement, but this was far more than just a restoration, it was a re-envisioning. The stock suspension was ditched in favor of a full Fast Track chassis from the Roadster Shop. To get the car low to the ground, a custom floor was added and the body was welded directly to the chassis. Rear mini-tubs house wide rubber and hide a good portion of the massive 20x10 Raceline Scoundrel billet wheels. Up front, the 17x8 wheels frame Wilwood binders.
Now, the Canadian Nova originally fielded a straight-six Chevy mill, but the Hammers wanted to get the Acadian under Pontiac power. So a built 400-inch Pontiac engine was added to the mix along with an Auto Trend EFI six pack intake system. Dean’s didn’t like the limited pulley kits they had to choose from for the Pontiac so they fashioned their own. The 400 is backed up by a 700-R4 transmission and a 9-inch rearend.
The paint is a custom PPG mix based on the original color, and all parties involved agreed that the Acadian needed to rock a vinyl top. In another Pontiac nod, the hood received a GTO hoodscoop. The interior is still being worked out, but Classic Instruments gauges are certainly going to be part of the equation.
Photography by Steven Rupp