1966 Chevy Nova Roll Cage - Chop Shop

Project Getaway Has A Little Taken Off The Top And Gets Put Behind Bars.

Dan Ryder Jul 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0907_01_z 1966_chevy_nova_roll_cage Front_view 1/26

We last left Project Getaway fully framed and somewhat gutless. Our next step is to put Getaway behind bars--and for good reason. Not that we're incarcerating the '66 Nova owned by 2008 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Ed Krawiec, but we are beefing it up for the future assault it will lay to pavement across the USA.

Before moving ahead with the custom roll cage, Bob Carroll of Carroll's Rod and Racecraft in Spotswood, New Jersey, decided to add a subtle change, which is not his first and we're sure not his last. Bob chopped the front A-pillars 34-inch to lay the front of the roof down making the door line more parallel with the roofline, while this will go unnoticed by many, some hardcore Bow Tie fans will notice this subtle trick. It is little changes like these that give any hot rod that distinctive, one-off appearance.

Since the Deuce is not a dedicated race vehicle, but more of a multi-purpose weapon, Bob had to decide on how to route the roll cage within the carcass. In a race-only application the rear seat is generally of no concern, but since he needed to facilitate room for passengers, routing the rear portion of the cage was critical. Also considered during the fabrication was aesthetics. Bob tried at all costs to route the bars in tight to the A-pillars, roofline, and sail panels, to give Getaway a more stealth look from the outside.

After the minor top chop and the cage, Bob began tackling the firewall area. Since we sliced out the old firewall, a new unit had to be constructed from scratch. While we were a bit taken back by what seemed to be a rather involved task, Bob made it look easy by taking an 18-gauge sheet of steel and whipping it into shape. After all of the aforementioned fabrication, Bob will end up tying it all together for the ultimate in stiffness and strength.

Future installment ideas have us installing a custom 90-degree master cylinder assembly inside the car under the dashboard for a sleek, clean look. We are also figuring out what type of steering column to install, along with custom gauges and a brake/throttle pedal assembly.

Additional fabrication will have Bob marking out and installing a custom transmission tunnel and crossmember--all in effort to nestle the Turn Key Engine Supply, Kenne Bell-boosted LS 408 and the TCI-built 4L80E transmission into place. Once the drivetrain is secured where it belongs, the remainder of the floor will be constructed in conjunction with the rear wheeltubs and trunk area, which will hopefully bring us one step closer to splashing some color on this beast.

Now let's get building!

In order to slightly tilt the roof forward and make the window opening more parallel, Bob has to first mark the areas to be cut. It is best to find the straightest, most workable areas to cut so they meet as close as possible for re-welding.

Once a 3/4-inch section was cut from both A-pillars and a 1/8-inch pie cut was performed on the sail panel, the roof was stretched forward. While most will not recognize the difference, it is more than evident in the photos (left). Bob then fully aligned all points and tack-weld them into place. We will not be reinstalling the vent windows, as they are being replaced with a one-piece side glass. The rear windows will still fit like stock.

Upon our arrival to the shop, Bob had most of the bars pre-fabricated, notched and ready to be installed. Pictured here are the front strut tubes, which (since going to a full frame) were custom-made to attach to both the cowl and the dash bar. Also pictured is the door bar, which may be transformed into a swing-out in the near future for easy entry and exit. All tubing used is 4130 chrome-moly, 1 5/8-inch diameter and a 0.083-inch wall thickness. Because of the strength of chrome-moly, a thinner wall thickness is utilized, which additionally allows for a weight savings over using mild steel tubing.

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