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1967 Chevy Nova Wagons - Wagons Ho

Relatively Rare, These Novas Represent the Birth of a New Network

Photography by Steve Campbell

Tech Notes
What: '67 Chevrolet Nova Wagon

Owner: Mark Johnson, for 30 years a paper-hauling forklift operator at Weyerhaeuser

Hometown: Lakewood, California, next door to Long Beach

Engine: Mark tried to blow up the original six-cylinder, but it withstood his best efforts. He eventually swapped in the current 5.7L TPI V-8 from a '92 Z28 Camaro. It's cooled through a Be Cool radiator with dual SPAL fans, and it carries a Vintage Air A/C system, all of which were installed by Mac's Radiator Service in Bellflower, California. The car runs at 180 degrees consistently, even with the air on-and it gets 26 mpg!

Camshaft: The stock bumpstick remains in the unaltered L98 mill. Its advertised specs included 0.413-inch intake and 0.428-inch exhaust lift with 202-degree intake and 207-degree exhaust duration.

Induction: Mark polished the runners and the body of the stock L98 350 tuned-port-injection system. Then he polished everything else that he thought might benefit from a buffing.

Exhaust: A set of Hooker Super Comp headers is mated through 21/2-inch tubing to Flowmaster mufflers. The setup sounds ballsy, but it doesn't overpower the stereo.

Power: The L98 engine was advertised at 245 bhp and 345 lb-ft of torque by Chevrolet. It was subsequently replaced in Corvettes and Camaros by the venerable LT1.

Drivetrain: The 700-R4 tranny came with the 350 out of the Camaro. It's been upgraded with a mild shift kit that's just enough to provide a hard tire chirp on throttle-up into Second. The driveshaft was shortened to fit the new engine/trans combo and turns 3.08 gears in the stock rearend.

Suspension: The chassis is firmed with Alston subframe connectors. The front coils and rear leaves are from Vehicle Spring & Forge and are controlled by KYB gas shocks at the front and KYB coilovers at the rear. Hellwig antisway bars are fitted to both ends, and the wagon's stance comes from the combination of Classic Performance Products' 2-inch-drop front spindles and 2-inch-drop rear blocks.

Brakes: Classic Performance Products supplied the brake components, which include power discs at the front and drums at the rear.

Wheels/tires: The big 'n' little rolling stock features front Weld Draglite 15x3.5 wheels wrapped in Kelly 165R15 rubber and 15x7 Draglites out back with 215/70R15 BFGoodrich TA tires.

Body: The paint is a factory Emerald Turquoise Green, but the painter mixed a little metallic into it for a brighter sheen. And while most modern car crafters seem to want perfectly clean lines, Mark retained the factory roof rack due to its rarity and the coolness factor. Just to be different, he also molded in a gas-filler door scavenged from a junkyard Mazda.

Interior: The interior was crafted by Armando's Custom Upholstery in San Jacinto, California. It's a full leather-and-tweed treatment that included reshaping the seats, creating a fold-down armrest and center console, and fashioning upholstered flames in the door panels and headliner, as well as a flamed Chevy Bow Tie in the front seatback. Mark built the tonneau that covers the rear cargo area and had its mirror-smooth surface painted in flames as well. The tonneau covers a Kenwood and JBL stereo system that Mark designed to provide stout overall sound rather than just a thumping base.

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