Chevy Nova Full Tube Chassis - Fit To Be Tied

The Chassisworks Nova Gets Cut Apart...Then Reconnected

Terry Cole May 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0105_01_z Chevy_nova_full_tube_chassis Equipment 2/36

Here was our Saturday Night Nova as it sat in its new home in Las Vegas. Hot Cars Cool Trucks has taken on the task of bringing the prolific Pro Streeter to fruition. This phase included tearing out the rest of the floor and firewall and connecting the front and rear Chassisworks subframes. Chris Alston also contributed a few other goodies that will be molded into the car at HCCT. Notice the aluminum firewall, mid-mount motor plate, and cool bracket kits for mounting the seats and transmission.

In the mind of every hot rodder who's ever dreamed of creating the preeminent ride, it's a safe bet that one of the most-wished for parts of that project is a full-tube chassis. Think of it, every form of sophisticated performance machine-whether it be a high-end European street car or a lightning-quick Pro Stock drag racer-has a tube frame beneath its outer skin. It only makes sense to build a car from the ground up if it's going to incorporate the trickest of components. And if you start there, why not do it right.

As you know, that's been the credo from the get-go for the Chassisworks Saturday Night Special Nova. First it was the state-of-the-art back half with the innovative Fab 9 rearend. Then the awesome bolt-on No Fab front clip came along and revolutionized the Nova cult following. Additionally, from the blown "big" small-block to the tough Jerico gearbox, every other aspect of this car has been top notch or groundbreaking. Therefore, when we got the opportunity to haul the Deuce to 'Vegas for a stay at the fab shop known as Hot Cars Cool Trucks (HCCT), we didn't hesitate a second.

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Here's the end before the beginning, despite it's being the front of the car. As you can see, with the firewall and floor removed, the little Deuce is ready for the powertrain to be installed.

The plan in "Sin City" was to connect the rectangular-tubed front clip to the rectangular-tubed rear section with none other than round tubing. Then, the round tube frame rails were to be integrated into the 10-point roll cage for strength and configured to allow direct mounting of the transmission crossmember, seat brackets, harness tabs, and aluminum floors. We're also planning an ultra cool pedal installation using the latest hydraulic components from Wilwood and a transmission swap that will knock your socks off. Add it all up and what we'll have is a lighweight warrior that will be able to harness everything the supercharged 421-inch mouse can throw at it.

To do that, HCCT's manager Richard Luchette and ace fabricator Armand (Mando) Alvarez went full throttle with the HTP America plasma cutter and removed the balance of the firewall and floor sections that remained after beginning this phase of the project ourselves (see May '01 SUPER CHEVY, p. 116). As you'll see in the following photos, the first step to connecting the frames was to square up the car and since the roll cage was already installed, make the new frame rails conform and attach to the cage. Two main tubes were welded in place on each side, one along the inside of the rocker panel, the other straight back from the No Fab front end's mounting plate. Then the front downtube, which ran from the stock firewall to the front frame rail, was connected to the roll cage by snaking a piece of tubing under the dash.

Sucp_0105_03_z Chevy_nova_full_tube_chassis Fire_wall_removal 4/36

A slip joint was fabricated on a lathe and attached the two pieces of tubing together so they could be welded to make one continuous bar. With the basic frame connections completed in this segment, the next steps will be to mount the aforementioned Wilwood pedals and reposition the engine further back in the engine bay. Then, the seats can be located and the transmission crossmember will be created. But, like most good things that happen on Saturday night, this segment came to an end sooner than we'd like. But, don't fret, next month is only a few days away (for us anyhow). So rest assured we'll have more exciting coverage for you on this star in our next issue.




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