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1966 Chevy II Nova - Outside The Box

A Chevy II With A Different Mindset...And Heart

By Dakota Wentz, Photography by Rich Carlson

Just when you think it's all been done, here comes something that totally breaks the mold and blows your mind. Leaving you mesmerized with wonder, but at the same time stumped and pondering, "How'd they do that?" Often people call these ideas absurd, distasteful, extraordinary, and ingenious all in the same sentence. Whatever the case may be, Tom Richardson's '66 Chevy II, sits somewhere between borderline genius and crazy. We here at SUPER CHEVY fall on the side of genius.

Tom has had his fair share of cars, including several Chevy IIs and one '86 Buick Grand National, but when it came time to build his new ride, Tom wanted to step outside the lines. He had been thinking for a while about how he wanted to build his next Chevy II. One thought was to drop in the '86 Buick V-6 Turbo Charged 3.8L engine from his Grand National into the Chevy. After reviewing the cost-benefit margin time and time again, he decided to step out on a limb and let it all hang out. However, Tom didn't stop with the engine, because when we said, "let it all hang out" we meant it. This car was escorted down the red carpet where several top-notch craftsmen greeted it.

The first stop of this Chevy's voyage was at Streetworks. There it received a mini-tub in order to tuck its 17x11-inch Billet Specialties into the rear quarters. The bodywork didn't stop there though; in fact it had just begun. The car made its way over to Collision Specialists where it received all new metal. The old quarters were cut out so new quarters could be put in; the doors received new skins, new fenders up front, and a Goodmark Cowl hood. After the metal work was finished, the car drifted over to the paint booth with Jesus Rodriguez. He applied several coats of DuPont Baby Blue, Off-White, and Silver. Last but not least, the 550hp turbocharged V-6 was dropped in. The motor had just come from Auburn Machine where it was bored .30 over and given a full rebuild and tune-up. A custom header had to be fabricated on the driver's side in order for the motor to fit. After that, the motor was in place and ready to roll. Tom says once the V-6 was in, "It ran like a dog that just ate a bowl of Texas chili!"

You know that old saying, "That idea's so crazy it just might work"? I think it would be safe to say that Tom's idea is so crazy it DOES work!

TECH SPECS Owner Tom Richardson
Vehicle '66 Chevy II
Engine '87 Buick Turbo V-6 3.8L, bored .30 over, 8.51
compression, roller camshaft, Accel DFI Gen 7
fuel injection, Series 51 Turbo, K&N air cleaner,
Accel Gen 7 ignition, custom left header and
stock right header, 3-inch exhaust with
SpinTech mufflers, estimated 550 hp at 5,800
rpm, engine built by Auburn Machine in
Auburn, WA (253/735-5267)
Transmission '86 Buick 200R4 with 3000 stall
Rearend Ford 9-inch with 323 gear ratio and
Positraction, assembled by Street Works,
Auburn, WA (253/813-5844)
Front Heidt's 2-inch drop spindles, Heidt's dropped
A-arms, Baer 13-inch disc brakes
Rear Stock springs, 1-inch blocks, Koni shocks,
Baer 12-inch disc brakes, mini tub by Street
Front Billet Specialties GTX03 17x7
Rear Billet Specialties GTX03 17x11
Front BFGoodrich 215/45/17
Rear BFGoodrich 315/35/17
Color/Paint DuPont Baby Blue, Off-White, and Silver
Painter Jesus Rodriguez at Collision Specialists in Kent,
WA (253/520-5553)
Interior Stock seats with White leather, Billet
Specialties steering wheel, Auto Meter gauges,
upholstery by Eagle Upholstery Yelm, WA
Stereo Pioneer head unit with Pioneer speakers
By Dakota Wentz
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