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1972 Chevy Nova - Generation Nova

Blue, Blown and Brutally Fast

Andrew Schear Jul 1, 2003
Sucp_0307_01_z 1972_chevy_nova Wheels 2/8

Family heirlooms are often the most treasured tangible items that we have. Watches, rings, photographs, '72 Novas, and your mom's silver tea set are all things that might pass through generations. Wait just a second, a '72 Nova? Are we to think that automobiles are considered heirlooms? Well, usually not, but this '72 has passed through four generations.

The story began in 1972, when Chris Deglmann's great-grandmother purchased a brand new '72 Nova. Her grandson, Richard, convinced her to go with the 350 power plant and front disc brakes while shopping at the dealership. After many years of everyday use the Nova passed down a generation. Now being driven by Chris' grandmother, the '72 had a few bumps and bruises, but was still driven regularly. Years later the Nova once again changed ownership, this time to Chris' father Richard, who would soon give the Nova to his son. The talk of restoration had come up many times but was dismissed in lieu of a '57 Chevy pickup that the Deglmanns had in the garage. The turning point for this project came after an unfortunate engine fire on the freeway about three years ago. After the fire, it was determined that the '72 was ready for its restoration.

Chris concluded that the Pro-Street look was the coolest way to go. Figuring that he was only going to drive it on "special occasions" reliability and practicality went out the window, along with the 350/350 that was currently in the '72. According to mom, Chris and Richard were on a $20,000 budget. Knowing that they wanted lots of power they went out and burned the 20K on a Speed-O-Motive rat motor. After the motor was purchased the budget was gone, father and son realized that this project had quickly gotten out of hand. In the spirit of speed, the father and son duo decided to go all out.

While the motor was being assembled, R.J. Simrock (619/258-8804) modified the unibody chassis with a four-link and FAB9 rear housing. A full wheel tub was installed to house the giant meats that were in store for the '72. Wilwood discs and Aldan Coil Overs were also part of the package. The front suspension took on a new set of Competition Engineering two-way adjustable shocks, which would complement the factory front disc brakes. With the chassis complete D&J Truck and Auto Repair (760/744-5440) was tasked to spray the Bahama Blue polyurethane pigment. Scott Peters gave that final touch with pearl ghost flames. Having the project more than half way complete, Chris had a full aluminum interior fabricated and Auto Meter gauges installed. High back PRP buckets were chosen to hold the driver along with 5-point harnesses.

Two and a half years later the project was completed. All of the cuts, scrapes, primer blockings and late nights were finally over. Chris had brought back to life a machine that went through four generations and one heck of a restoration. After the tire roastin' show the Deglmanns put on for us at Irwindale's 1/8 mile track, we'll be excited to see this Bow-Tie beauty at the Super Chevy Show bracket races. He only wished his grandmother and great-grandmother were alive to see their legacy.


Chris Deglmann

'72 Nova

2000 Merlin II 540" block, Merlin R345 heads, 4340 forged steel crank, 4340 H-beam rods, JE forged blower pistons, 8.5:1 compression, Crane cam, Littlefield intake, Littlefield 6-71 blower10% under driven assembled by Speed-O-Motive (626/869-0270), MSD 6AL ignition, modified 2" Hooker headers, 3.5" dual exhaust by Lyons Muffler (760/744-8010) and Flowmaster two chamber mufflers

1986 GM 700R4 overdrive, 3,000 rpm converter

(F) Stock suspension, Competition Engineering 2-way adjustable shocks
(R) Fabricated four-link, FAB9 housing, 4.11:1 locker, Aldan coilovers and Wilwood disc brakes

(F) 15"x3.5"
(R) 15"x14"

(F) Mickey Thompson, Sportsman, 165R15
(R) Mickey Thompson, Sportsman, 31"x18.5"x15"

PRP high back bucket seats, powder coated door panels, custom aluminum dash, R.J. Simrock (619/258-8804), custom headliner, Tony's Custom Upholstery (760/591-9686), Auto Meter 2"gauges and Le Carra steering wheel

Fiberglass Unlimited cowl hood, PPG Bahama Blue paint, D & J Truck and Auto Repair, San Marcos, California (760/744-5440)



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