1971 Chevy Nova Drag Car - Spend All The Money

Just for 10 Years or So

Tony Kelly Oct 1, 2004 0 Comment(s)
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Ross Karlen lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, where winters are long and conversations are, too. One fateful night Karlen's best friend (identity withheld) suggested that Ross embark on 10-year program of throwing all his extra money at a drag race car. As the saying goes, "it seemed like a good idea at the time," so off he went. This '71 Nova is the result. You be the judge of whether or not it was a good investment. Think about this, however, Karlen's car runs in the 10-second bracket on motor alone, and it is a SUPER CHEVY feature car. That's should be worth something.

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Having successfully raced a '78 Corvette at various unsanctioned and possibly illegal race venues for some time, Karlen parted company with the Vette and pondered a "backhalved" racer. Adding up what it might cost to start from scratch set Ross on the hunt for a finished or semi-finished car to work on. This Nova was originally intended to compete in NHRA Super Street, but the owner decided to make it a drivable Pro Street machine. When it was done the owner lost interest.

Enter Mr. Karlen who found just the basis for his project. He bought it, hauled it home from Iowa, and went to throwing out everything that didn't look fast and wound up with a competitive racecar. Once Ross gets some experience on his competition license, and learns the intricacies of a four-link suspension, look for a mightier engine and elapsed times dropping way into the 9- and possibly 8-second bracket. And if that doesn't use up all the extra change in Karlen's pocket, it means he hit the lottery.

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