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1962 Chevy Nova - Friendly Rivalry

You Want It? Then I Really Want It!

Thomas J. Lyman Apr 10, 2007

Having friends is an important aspect to living a healthy life, and Gary Alumbaugh of Swartz Creek, Michigan, really enjoys this aspect of his daily routine. About five years ago, Gary came across a '62 in a local ad, and he and his friend Wayne Rowland went to have a look. "I decided the car was a piece of junk," Gary recalled, "and I decided I didn't want it." That didn't stop his friend Wayne from seeing the vehicle's potential-he told Gary he was going to make an offer on the '62. Gary wanted nothing of that, so he flat out decided to purchase the car. "I just didn't want him to have it," Gary said, and a few days later, the '62 was his.

There was a small problem. At the time, Gary's father was working on a '29 Ford Hiboy, and there was no room for another project vehicle. Gary decided to contact Wayne again, this time propositioning him for some barn space to work on the '62. Wayne agreed to share some space (what a friend), the same space where he was working on a '64 Chevy II. The two friends built the cars side by side, each working on his own version of the Chevy II.


The result is this black beauty featured in the following pages. The motor is a balanced Gen VI Chevy big-block displacing 454ci. Gary didn't do any machining, as the block and crank came new straight off the shipping crate. He added Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads, Speed Pro 10:1 pistons, a Competition Extreme Energy camshaft (.521 lift, 288/294 duration split), Competition hydraulic lifters, and Eagle rods. On the induction side, Gary went with an Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake manifold and a Demon Double Pumper 850-cfm carb. An Aeromotive electric fuel pump sends the sweet stuff into the mill.

Gary and his father custom-built the ceramic-coated 2-inch headers that hook up to a custom exhaust Gary and a friend fabricated. At the back end of the system are 3-inch Dyantech mufflers connected with an X crossover pipe.


Gary's father was recruited to work over the transmission, a GM Turbo 400 unit with three forward gears. The father/son duo also added a TCI torque converter. Power gets put to the ground via a Moser-built 9-inch Ford rear with 3.50 gears and Positraction installed by Gary. In the suspension area, Checkered Racing (Bedford, Indiana) supplied (after the exchange of a few clams) Gary with the front clip, complete with tubular A-arms and a 2-inch drop. QA1 does the bouncy work with adjustable coilovers in the front. The rear is an Air Ride Technologies Shockwave setup. The suspension keeps the Billet Specialties Vintec Dished wheels stuck to the road, 17x7 up front and 18x10 in the rear, with Wilwood putting the clamps down on Nitto NT555 rubber all around. Gary also added ladder bars to the rear to help keep the power planted on takeoff.


The '62's interior is truly a piece of artwork and craftsmanship. The seats were sourced from a '04 Grand Prix and are covered in Wine Red Allante vinyl. Classic Instruments Silver Series gauges adorn the console, a custom, smooth-welded piece done by Gary himself. The billet aluminum steering wheel, B&M shifter, and custom badging in the cabin accentuate the mean-looking exterior extremely well. The exterior is straight-up Black from PPG. Gary and his friend Brad Davis were the two people instrumental in spraying the layers of paint onto the '62. Out front, a Carriage Works billet aluminum grille sits under a Goodmark 2-inch steel cowl hood. Other exterior adornments include shaved doors, a gas filler, and trunk moldings, as well as custom one-piece taillight lenses.

The entire build took about four years, with help from Gary's dad, Gene, painting buddy Brad Davis, Kim "Bones" Lonsway on the seats, Pat Monaghan on the exhaust, and who could forget Gary's friend Wayne and his accommodations that allowed Gary to complete the project.



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