On the chassis dyno, this rascal pumped out 790 rwhp at 6,200, and that was through a TH400. Most surprising of all is the stock-looking corporate 8.5 rear axle, but what you can't see is the 4.11 gear. Matt needs to actually take gear away from it since his last pass ran out of rpm before he ran out of track. With an Unlimited fiberglass 4-inch cowl hood the only external clue to this Nova's capabilities, Matt's got this sleeper thing covered, especially when the Nova will run 10.30s at 130.
Car: '76 Nova
Owner: Matt Curlovic, Hartford, IllinoisEngine: Shafiroff-built 598ci big-block Chevy, 4.60x4.50, tall-deck Merlin iron block, Eagle 4340 steel crank and rods, J.E. 10.75:1 pistons, Comp Cams solid roller (0.650-inch lift), Dart Pro 1 CNC-ported aluminum heads, Dart single-plane intake, Demon 1,095-cfm carb, and a nitrous system soon
Trans: TH400, Coan 10-inch, 3,500 converter
Rear: GM 8.5-inch 10-bolt, 4.11 Richmond gears
Performance: 10.30 at 130 mph (ran out of rpm)
There's nothing like a big motor in a small car, and that's exactly what Hickory, North Carolina's Todd Howell did with his '69 Barracuda. Todd's best friend in high school drove this car, but when Todd took over, he decided it should drive him. Starting with a '68 440, it ended up at 451 inches with compression and some machine work by the legendary Herb McCandless. Todd also added a Mopar Performance cam, a little head work, and an NOS Big Shot nitrous system to help make the power.
In the best Mopar dragstrip tradition, Todd also added a set of Super Stock rear springs, along with an upgraded 727 TorqueFlite and a 4,000-rpm 9-inch converter spinning the driveshaft back to a set of 3.73 gears that complete the power play. With a set of sticky M/T tires out back, this little A-body makes excellent use of the big Mopar's torque to twist up mid-10s at 127 mph. 'Nuff said.
Car: '69 BarracudaOwner: Todd Howell, Hickory, North CarolinaEngine: 451 ci, 440-based RB engine, 11:1 TRW pistons, Mopar solid-lifter cam with 0.590 lift, Isky rockers, 2.14/1.81-inch valves, ported 915 iron heads, Milodon 8-quart oil pan, CCPA headers, M1 single-plane intake, Holley 1,050-cfm carb, NOS Big Shot nitrous plate systemTrans: Ed Roam 727 TorqueFlite, 9-inch, 4,000-stall converterRear: Dana 60 with 3.73, limited slip, pinion snubberPerformance: 10.65 at 127 mph "on juice"
Fair and Fast
You won't usually find a bracket car at a car show, especially one with a Dominator carb and a 514ci big-block. So when we spied Herbert Klemz's ET Street meats parked with the spit 'n' shiners, we immediately jumped off the golf cart to take a gander. What looked like a resto from across the fairgrounds at the Car Craft Nats was actually a former radio-delete six-cylinder driver that now has a big stall, a 'cage, and a set of dead-consistent 11.70 timeslips.
Taking a fast car to a show is worthy of street cred in our book. To do it, Herbert first had to "borrow" the car back from his daughter who used it to commute to school in the summer with the promise that he would build it into something fast. He knew he wanted big-block power, and at the time the Ford Motorsports crate engine gave you 600 hp for $6,500. Herbert says it's the best bang for the buck he's ever seen. The crate required the addition of some race-car-type stuff he collected from local yards and builders. A tool maker by trade, Herbert knew that to get the car to go straight, he'd need help with the chassis, so he took his collection of parts to Bob Fuller at C&F Racecars to install the 9-inch, suspension, and put the 'cage in the car. He wanted a big Ford with no compromises, hooking hard and driving like a Cadillac on the freeway. Now he cruises it around his hometown of Blaine, Minnesota, and to car shows in surrounding cities. With streetable gears, he digs being able to get on the freeway and loaf along then blast it on the track.