After years of collecting and selling Nova parts and starting a few Nova projects without finishing any, Joe Mendoza finally set his mind to getting one on the road. The little Deuce he picked to make his show car dream a reality would have made the less determined hobbyist run the other way.
The convertible you see here is a far cry from the dilapidated, rusty, and mechanically dangerous one that Joe hauled home. His finance, Wendy, was the only other one that could see any potential in the ragtop. Lucky for Joe, Wendy is also a hardcore Nova fan and has a daily driver with no top.
After selling at a few swapmeets and listing some items on Ebay, Joe finally had enough money to get started on the rebuild. The first order of business was to remove the engine and the rat's nest of a wiring harness. The trim pieces were removed, and the ones that were salvageable were restored while Joe searched for suitable replacements for those that were too far gone to be saved. The body was then worked over by Joe and his buddy, Don Gutidge.
The interior was returned to original condition with some help from Joe's aunt who recovered the seats and armrests. Always on the lookout for rare accessories, Joe managed to find a tissue dispenser that he throws in for shows. As nice as the Nova looked once it was done, it was still missing something. The crowning touch came when Joe traded some parts for an original set of Torque Thrusts that look much better than the stock hubcaps they replaced. After 11 months of work the Nova was taken to its first show and rolled away with a trophy. As rewarding as the win was, the real reward for Joe is the driving and show time he and Wendy get together.
|Owner ||Joe Mendoza, Burlingame, CA |
|Vehicle ||'62 Nova convertible |
|Engine ||’66 283 balanced and blueprinted with |
1.94 Power Pak heads, TRW 9:1 pistons,
Crane cam and Holley intake and carb.
|Transmission ||Turbo 350 with B&M 2,600-rpm converter |
|Suspension ||Rebuilt stock front and rear with '66 five-lug rearend |
|Wheels ||American Torque Thrusts 14x6 |
|Tires ||Bridgestone Potenzas 195/60R14 |
|Exterior ||PPG custom light blue metallic |