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1970 Chevy Nova - Test Mule

CPP Teams Up With TCI to Build One Killer '70 Nova

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After the driveline was tackled, it was time to address stopping the Nova in quick fashion. Big Wilwood binders on each corner clamp down on slotted and drilled 13-inch rotors for retina-detaching stopping power. The brake system is further enhanced with a Hydroboost system and sticky R-compound Toyo R888 competition tires in 235/40/18 front and 285/40/18 rear. There's nothing wrong with looking good, so 18x8-inch Wheel Vintiques Lakester wheels where chosen as the rollers.

The interior was done in a slightly updated stock style. OE door panels work well with the leather-covered seats done by Padrinos Upholstery. A complete set of Auto Meter gauges tracks the vitals and resides in a Covan's dash panel. A CPP steering wheel provides driver input to the front wheels, while a BTM ratchet shifter keeps the Nova in the right gear. There's also a Classic Auto Air system to keep the occupants suitably chilled on hot summer days. We know what you're asking, "Was it done in time for SEMA?" "We put the interior in just in time to get it to the SEMA Show with only two hours to spare. If I had to change one thing about this build, I would have allowed for more time so we wouldn't have had to pull so many all-nighters at the end," remarked Jim.

After SEMA, and with only four miles on the odometer, the Nova was brought out to our testing venue at California Speedway in Fontana, California. The Nova, equipped with the new suspension and braking systems, looked 100 percent better. But this was a track test and not a car show, so cones were lined up and the Nova was sent hurtling through them. Jim recalled, "The car had less than four miles on it, so we were confident, but nervous; anything could have gone wrong." The Nova was also wearing appropriate shoes this time in the form of R-compound Toyo R888 DOT competition tires. After a couple of runs to get a feel for the car, a best run of 49 mph was nailed in the slalom, a vast improvement over what the Nova did in stock form. An equally impressive gain was made in skidpad performance when the Nova ran our 200-foot skidpad. With the tires clawing for traction, the best average number ended up being .91 g. Over on our braking track, CCP's yellow Chevy stopped on a dime, with change to spare, and went from 60-0 mph in a mere 112 feet. But the most impressive change in the Nova was how much nicer it is now to drive on the street.

With the SEMA deadline met and a successful track testing trip, what's in store for the Nova now? Well, lots of road miles since the guys at CPP have grown pretty fond of the little Nova they worked with TCI to build. We can only imagine everyone in the shop jockeying for the keys, and after spending some time in the driver's seat, we can't blame them a bit.


Track Performance
TiresToyo R888 R-compound
60-MPH Braking112 feet
Time5.87 seconds
Speed49 mph
Time11.69 seconds
Speed.91 g
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