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1966 Chevy Nova - Higher Education

Building The Ultimate "High School Ride"

Andrew Schear Oct 1, 2003
Sucp_0310_04_z 1966_chevy_nova Wheels 2/8

All 16 year-old drivers seem to go through a metamorphosis when they get behind the wheel for the first time. It suddenly occurs to them that they are in a position of great power, not just the power behind the go pedal, but the power to travel from place to place. Every parent tells their new driver, "with great power comes great responsibility," a phrase that most kids completely ignore. That being said, a young driver's next thought is most likely, "OK, can I please leave so I'm not late to the street races."

James Glass has yearned for a '66 Nova his entire young-adult life. Many years ago, James recalls memories of his father restoring a Chevelle, a car that at the time seemed physically huge. It was James' thought that a Nova would be the coolest car, mostly because it was more his size. Three or four years later when it was time for James to purchase his first ride, his choice was still Nova all the way. Even though he could now fit perfectly in a Chevelle, his mind was decided, Nova or bust.

During a routine trip to the Pomona swap meet James and his father found the perfect car, a complete '66 Nova in running condition. The owner who purchased the car for his 16 year-old son was selling it because his son's grades had fallen to an unsatisfactory level. After the deal had been struck, James' father told him that if his grades fell, the same thing would happen. That being said, the '66 changed hands and was off to the Glass' garage. After about a week on the road, the '66 was completely disassembled and prepped for a ground-up restoration. In retrospect the Glasses' would have done the restoration in a different order, probably doing the paint last and the engine swap first. If there's one thing the Glasses' learned it was the value of experience.

Not knowing where to begin, James disassembled the entire car down to the last nut and bolt. Once the body was transformed into a mere carcass it traveled to Bob Lowry for a dip in two-stage Viper Red. When the body returned home James and his brother began assembling the freshly powder coated suspension components and installed the rearend. Unfortunately, the Fast Burn 385 was still on the "do not have" parts list as well as the 700R4 transmission. After the entire undercarriage and suspension was completed, the new small-block power plant finally made its way into the Glass' garage and eventually into James' Nova.

With the '66 now driveable but without interior, it was trailered to Quality Upholstery where a beautiful tweed bench seat was all but ready for installation. To top off the interior package, a LeCarra Mark IV wheel and Kugel shifter were also installed. James knew that if he wanted his "chick magnet" to have the power he hoped it would with the ladies, he needed one heck of a stereo. With this in mind, he installed a Custom Auto Sound USA-1 head unit with Kenwood front speakers and Pioneer rear speakers. As if his interior wasn't cool enough already James added Vintage Air and custom gauges.

After destroying a strip of asphalt 100 feet long at an undisclosed location in Pomona, California, we're quite sure that James can handle his '66 like John Force handles a funny car. As we all know, nothin' looks cooler than a red Nova sideways down a city street. If you've never seen such a sight, we suggest you keep your eyes peeled.



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