Church Boy Racing's 1963 Chevrolet Nova SS - And The Lord Said, "Improve Thy Handling!"

Patrick Hill Feb 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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With additional horsepower or big-block weight, this car would have been quite a handful. The 383 small-block delivers the pill wonderfully. In my perfect world, an aluminum LS-anything would have lightened the front end even more and helped with turning. I also loved the brakes and when used, they balanced this car well; you'd never know the rears weren't discs. And thank you to Church Boys for not having one of those small "designer" steering wheels, as the 15-incher was perfect.-Mary Pozzi

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Driver's Impression - On the Street
I'm a big fan of first-gen Chevy IIs. I love the styling and I'm happy to see that they're becoming more and more popular with the faithful. I couldn't wait to see how the Church Boys Racing mods made this one behave.

When I took it out for its street drive, the CBR crew still had the shocks set on "kill" for the timed events. As you can imagine, this didn't help its street manners. It was all kinds of harsh and jittery. Once we (myself and car owner Bill Kress) realized what was up, I promised I'd give it another shot once we returned to the pits and the crew could set the suspension to its everyday settings. The difference was readily apparent the first time I hit a crack in the road. It was a completely different car and the smile returned to my face.

I'm not an opponent of manual steering. The Nova's offered terrific feel, instantaneous response, and there was no play in it. I'd have gone with a slightly bigger steering wheel to get more leverage when turning. The brakes were also of the manual variety and I thought, like the steering, they worked just fine. We ranked them as "very good" in the log book.

Ultimately, the Church Boys Racing stuff proved its worth, both on the street and at in the timed events. Really, 0.88g on the skidpad from a '63 Nova? Ha! That's getting with it, especially considering the pleasant street manners once the suspension was dialed back. This is a truly fun, slick little toy, one that offers excellent value for the suspension dollars spent.-Jim Campisano

Church Boys Racing '63 Nova


Type: Gen I 383 small-block
Block: stock cast iron
Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads, Edelbrock 750 carb, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold and Holley fuel pump.

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Transmission: TH350
Converter: B&M 2400 stall speed
Rearend: Hooper's Rear End Exchange-built 8.2, 3.08 gears, Posi

Chassis & Suspension

Chassis: Stock subframe
Front Suspension: Church Boys Racing (CBR) new tubular control arms
Steering: CBR rack-and-pinion conversion, 15:1 ratio
Springs: 450 pounds
Spindles: SSBC
Shocks: CBR/Varishock coilover conversion, double adjustable
Sway Bar: CBR 7/8-inch 275-pound rate
Brakes: SSBC, 11-inch rotors
Rear Suspension: CBR/Deaver leaf springs
Springs: 5 1/2 leaf spring pack, 185-pound rate
Shocks: Varishock double adjustable
Sway Bar: Addco 3/4-inch 123-pound rate
Brakes:stock drums

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Cost Of Chassis & Suspension: $5,705.00 (brakes included)

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: Boyd Coddington Fury, front 17x7, rear 17x7
Tires: Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec, front 215/45R17, rear 235/45R17

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Total = 3,086
LF = 786 pounds RF = 807 pounds
LR = 748 pounds RR = 745 pounds
Front/Rear Balance Percentage
F = 51.6% R = 48.4%

'63 Nova '10 Camaro SS
Skidpad: 0.88g 0.91g
Slalom: 46.90 mph 47.70 mph
Autocross: 55.81 sec. 53.28 sec.


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