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1972 Chevy Nova - Red Hot and Road Ready

This 1972 Chevy Nova is proof that good things come to those who wait

By Jim Rizzo, Photography by Mike Harrington

All good things come to those who wait is an old adage that is evidenced right here on these very pages. Gainesville, Florida, enthusiast James Kumm spent 20 years prowling the aisles of countless car shows lusting over thousands of hot rods, musclecars, and classic trucks while filing away the myriad ideas, tricks, and methods of those whose vehicles he'd been admiring all those years. Finally, when he'd determined the time was right, he made the commitment and jumped headlong into the musclecar fray, confident he'd do it right the first time. As you can see here, he hit a home run with this red-hot '72 Nova.

James started out with a solid yet incomplete Nova shell backed up by a donor car that was less solid but complete. Between these two cars and a vast aftermarket, he knew he'd have everything at his fingertips. He started the Nova's transformation by fabricating a jig to hold the shell, easing the bodywork process. James' brother, Bill (a principal at Bill's Auto Renewal in Port Orange, Florida), handled the body restoration and paint, while James planned out and gathered the components needed for the Nova's rodstoration. Once Bill completed the body and paintwork, James took over, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The assembly process began with the suspension. Up front, a combination of Global West tubular control arms, 2-inch dropped Superior spindles, QA1 adjustable coilover shocks, and Wilwood performance disc brakes was installed. The 12-bolt rearend was then outfitted and hung with components from Global West, Jeg's, and Competition Engineering. The Nova's vastly improved suspension was then set on the ground via a quartet of American Racing Torque-Thrust wheels (17x7 and 17x8s) wrapped in sticky Nitto 555s, 235-45/ZR17 up front and 275-40/ZR17 out back.

For motivation, James chose a GMPP HO502 big-block equipped with a Holley 770-cfm Street Avenger, K&N air cleaner and filter, MSD electrics, Hooker headers, Flowmaster exhaust, and a March serpentine belt setup. A Centerforce clutch and Lakewood bellhousing sandwiched by a Keisler/Tremec TKO 550 five-speed backs the powerful big-block.

James' continuing quest for perfection led to an equally impressive cockpit with the addition of Corbeau racing seats, PUI interior trim, Auto Meter gauges, an American Classic woodgrain wheel, a Hurst shifter assembly, and three-point harnesses. As far as the listening enjoyment goes, James opted for the ever-pleasing drumbeat of a big-block through Flowmaster plumbing-one of our favorite tunes.

As we said earlier, all good things come to those who wait, and in this case, truer words have never been spoken.

By Jim Rizzo
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