Brock Robertson is a Sprint Car fanatic who owns a company called BR Motorsports in Visalia, California. But if you dig back far enough in Brock's past, you uncover an association with Top Fuel and even alcohol dragsters as far back as high school. So it should come as no great surprise that one day Brock would build a machine for the street that could also be freakishly quick in the straight-line quarter-mile. How quick is this showoff? How does 10.30s at 134 mph sound?
Brock combined his two mechanical affections into this Candy Tangerine '66 Chevy II, and the result is spectacular. He retained all the Chevy II's external cues with the addition of the Ed Quay rear spoiler and classic fat-tire-tubbed approach. But the real treat with this little X-body is the engine compartment, so that's where we'll spend our time.
Sprint Car builders are obsessed with shaving weight, so Brock started with a Donovan aluminum block and trimmed a few pounds from it before having Tom Reitz Racing Engines in Fresno, California, assemble the 422ci stroker. Using a 4.00-inch Moldex crank and filling the 4.100-inch bore with JE pistons, this 10:1 Mouse spins a radical mechanical-roller camshaft with 284 degrees at 0.050. The stick tickles 2.100 titanium Manley intake valves along with titanium Isky retainers. The Manley exhaust valves are stainless steel. The heads are ported Brownfield alloy castings complete with Crane rollers and big roller springs.
Instead of Enderle mechanical fuel injection, Brock opted for a more typical single four-barrel induction system comprised of an Edelbrock Super Victor with a 1-inch spacer combined with a Barry Grant fuel pump and 825-cfm Race Demon carburetor. All this runs on 92-octane pump gas, but there's much more to the story. Brock had Dan Lemons build a set of 171/48 to 2-inch stepped headers that plugs into an oval exhaust system for ground clearance, quieted by a set of Spin Trapp mufflers. Cooling all this rowdiness is the responsibility of a Griffin aluminum radiator and an Edelbrock aluminum water pump, while CNC Machine supplied the custom pulleys. There's also a complete Vintage Air A/C system with the compressor tucked in down low on the passenger side with the hoses routed away from the engine compartment to keep everything exceptionally clean.
The rest of the drivetrain consists of a Turbo 350 trans and a Hughes 3,000-stall converter backed up with an Inland Empire driveshaft. The narrowed Ford 9-inch spins a 3.73 gear and Summers Brothers axles. Brock also tubbed the wheelwells, and the rear subframe locates a set of Alston Chassisworks ladder bars and a set of Aldan coilover shocks. All this is slowed to a stop with a set of four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes.
The key to this streeter is its incredible attention to detail, which extends throughout the entire vehicle. Despite its competition flavor, Brock's Nova has won several awards at local car shows. It's a standout everywhere it goes.
Car Craft Q & A
Car Craft: Where did this car come from?
Brock Robertson: The car actually came from right here in Visalia. It even had the Giant Chevrolet license-plate frames still on it. In fact, I'm only the second registered owner of the car.
CC: Why this car?
BR: These cars came out when I was in eighth grade and I've always loved 'em. I've always thought that when I build a car, that's the car I'd like to have. I think it was originally a six-cylinder car, but we're not sure since it didn't have a motor or trans when I bought it.
CC: Was there a theme to this car from the beginning?
BR: I really didn't have a theme except for building it around a Sprint Car-style motor.