Chevy Nova Chassis Build - Erectus Maximus, Part 1

Project Getaway Receives A Full Chassis Makeover

Dan Ryder Apr 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0904_01_z 1966_chevy_nova Chassis_build 1/20

Yes, Project Getaway is still alive and kicking. We know it has been a while, but circumstances arise and projects get put on hold from time to time. Before moving forward, we'd like to pay tribute to Leo Barnaby III. Leo was a huge asset to Carroll's Rod and Racecraft (the official builder of Project Getaway), as well as the entire drag racing community. Leo died from injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident and will surely be missed by all.

We last left Project Getaway sitting patiently, awaiting the arrival of the Kenne Bell-supercharged, LS2-based 408 built by Turn Key Engine Supply in Oceanside, California. Without the engine present, it would have been a guessing game on how the engine would sit in relation to the stock hood, as well as firewall clearance. Since placing a blown LS2 into a '66 Nova is not an everyday install, proper measurements were a necessity, and guessing could result in disaster.

Sucp_0904_02_z 1966_chevy_nova LS2_engine 2/20

Once the Kenne Bell-blown 408 arrived from Turn Key Engine Supply, we anxiously popped the crate to check it out.

As we try to progress with Ed Krawiec's ride (by the way, congrats, Ed, on winning the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship), it always seems detours become the norm, usually for the good of the project. If you've been following along, no mention has been made of making the Deuce a fully framed vehicle. Well, we're doing it. And yeah, sure, we should have been in the paint shop by now, but one can rest assured that whether it is large changes (such as the full frame job) or little subtleties (which have not yet been forged in the builder's mind), this will be a one-of-a-kind machine.

During the course of the next few installments, fabrication will be the name of the game. No prefabricated components, just a little old-fashioned elbow grease, several tools, a man and his welder. A full frame will yield the ultimate results in both chassis stiffness and that one-off look. The more ponies you throw at a chassis, the more reinforcement is needed. While adding a custom rollcage to the original chassis configuration would have been fine, we are looking for added insurance. Beyond the massive Intro Wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber, the high-powered LS2, the full frame and custom cage, this Nova is sure to be an experience behind the wheel.

After installing the prefabricated rear clip from Chris Alston's Chassisworks, along with a Chassisworks front clip with its serious suspension hardware, it was kind of a no-brainer to link the two via some 2x4 rectangular steel tubing. What makes this car differ from a traditional full-frame GM vehicle is that the frame is welded to the Nova's carcass. Most early model, mass-produced full frames are linked to the body via body bushings and mounts. While this will help in the cushy ride department, it is not what we are striving for. What are we looking for? A race-inspired, Pro Touring machine that can serve under several conditions, including the dragstrip and a night on the town.

Now follow along as Bob Carroll of Carroll's Rod and Racecraft continues to chop, cut, and create Project Getaway.

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