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Chevy Nova Wagons - Morrow's Vision

Building Knowledge And Understanding By Circling The Wagons

Photography by Christian Morrow, Steve Campbell

Gold one
What: '66 Chevrolet Nova station wagon

Owners: Christian and Marlene Morrow

Hometown: Mission Viejo, California

Short-block: The wagon is powered by a 406ci Chevrolet small-block that carries the original crank fastened by four-bolt splayed Milodon main caps. The crank has been polished 0.010, and the Eagle 5.7. I-beam connecting rods control SRP pistons on JE pins. The pistons are fitted with moly rings and are dished to reduce compression to a manageable 10:1.

Heads: The Chevy Bow Tie 202 angle-plug 64cc cylinder heads were ported and polished and carry 202 valves actuated by Isky 1.5:1 roller rocker arms. That setup is capped with a set of plain, sheetmetal valve covers.

Fuel and Fire: The Edelbrock Bow Tie Victor Jr. aluminum manifold shoulders a Holley 750 double-pumper with mechanical-secondaries. An MSD 6AL ignition provides the spark.

Exhaust: A set of 131/44-inch Hooker Super Comp headers vent to 211/42-inch tubes and two-chamber Flowmaster mufflers.

Cooling: A Meziere electric water pump feeds the system, and a Perma-Cool electric fan pulls air through the fins of a Howe radiator that Morrow bought through Summit Racing.

Drivetrain: The TH350 auto trans was modified with a B&M shift kit and is mated to the 406 with a 3000-stall B&M torque converter. Power is then routed through the stock driveshaft to a Chrysler 831/44-inch differential, which Morrow's friends told him was sturdier than a GM 10-bolt and not as expensive as a 12-bolt. He found one in the Recycler that already had the Nova-spaced spring perches welded on, so it was a bolt-in piece. The 3.23 Posi-equipped gears turn 30-spline axles.

Suspension: Morrow likes the slammed look, but not when he's driving over speed bumps. Air Ride Technologies ShockWave airbags at each corner allow him to raise and lower the Nova's stock unibody frame at will. The system is controlled through a remote control to tailor the ride and works in conjunction with a 111/48-inch sway bar at the front and a custom-installed four-link setup at the rear. The four-link kit was Air Ride Technologies' standard configuration, but Morrow shortened the bars about 111/44 inches, made his own brackets, and spent about five days under the car welding everything up

Brakes: Baer discs provide the braking at all four corners. Each of the front 13-inchers is drilled and slotted with anodized hats, and it's the same arrangement with the 12-inch rears.

Wheels/Tires: The wheels are all 17x7 Budnik Tiller 5 forged billet-aluminum pieces. They're clad in Goodyear F1 215/45-17 rubber at the front and slightly larger 225/50-17 F1s at the rear.

Body: Morrow removed most of the trim from the body, fashioned a custom gas-filler door, and shaved the rear door handles. Then he swapped in a cowl-induction hood and painted the station wagon with Light Autumnwood two-stage PPG enamel. Custom-made bronze glass highlights the scheme.

Interior: Morrow retained the stock bench seat, but he enlisted the help of a couple of friends on the upholstery. Buddy June made the headliner and installed the light tan, tweed seat covers, and Rick Everding installed the tweed headliner as well as making and installing the tweed door panels, all of which complement the Corvette-tan carpet. The instrumentation is all white-face Auto Meter gauges in Morrow's custom dash and includes a speedometer and tachometer as well as fuel, water-temperature, and oil-pressure monitors. The steering wheel is a Budnik Tusk II, and the trans operations are controlled by a B&M Star Shifter.

Techs: Rich and Buddy helped shape up the interior; John Picolla provided a much-needed quarter-panel; Kevin Carr of Carrtech gave voice to the exhaust; and auto-body instructor Ron Dohy provided expertise and a place to work at school.

Silver oneWhat: '64 Chevy Nova station wagon

Owners: Christian and Marlene Morrow

Hometown: Mission Viejo, California

Engine: The stock 283ci small-block has been outfitted with a few look-good accessories, such as the flamed valve covers and air cleaner, but it's a stocker under the skin for the most part. Exceptions include the Edelbrock Performer intake manifold and the Holley double-pumper carburetor, which features a manual choke that's operated the old-fashioned way-by pulling a knob in the dash. Even the exhaust manifolds are stock, though the exhaust is routed through dual 211/44-inch tubing to aftermarket turbo mufflers. The Perma-Cool electric fan sits behind the new radiator from Classic Industries.

Drivetrain: Not many mods here, either. Morrow wanted this car to be a simple cruiser, so he retained the unadorned TH350 transmission running into a stock differential with 3.08 open gears.

Suspension: Morrow cut the stock front coils 1 inch for a slight drop, and he added 1-inch lowering blocks to the stock rear single-leaf setup. A single Monroe shock damps the spring action at each corner, and Morrow retained the stock 31/44-inch sway bar at the front.

Wheels/Tires: Nitto NT 450 215/45-17 tires are wrapped around 17x7 Boyd Coddington Smoothie II cast-aluminum wheels at the front, and the rear 17x7 Boyds carry 225/50-17 Nitto rubber. Stock drum brakes reside at each hub.

Body: Morrow added a 2-inch, steel cowl-induction hood and replaced all the trim he didn't completely delete from the station wagon. He then block-sanded the sheetmetal and applied Honda Silver/Grey PPG paint for an understated look.

Interior: The original gauges remain in the paint-matched silver dash, and all the upholstery-from the door panels to the carpet and headliner-has been replaced with N.O.S. components. Morrow covered the factory seat in vinyl, and he swapped in a Budnik GT steering wheel.

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