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1963 Chevy Nova - Secret Squeeze

Don't get caught looking. This Nova is good for easy 10s.

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Tech Notes
Who: Mary Bourdy, who is a member of a gang. Not really. She owns her own business as a holistic health practitioner.

What: The sleepiest '63 Nova that will ever take your money.

Where: The car is from Anaheim, California, home of the Angels and that place with the mouse and cotton candy.

Engine: Yes, kids, it's a small-block Chevy from 1975 with 9.0:1 compression, a Comp Cams 260 hydraulic, and 0.030 inch of overbore. It came with a set of Edelbrock RPM heads and a Victor Jr. to which Jim added a 750 Edelbrock carb

Transmission: The transmission is from Mike's Transmission in Lancaster, California. It's a basic street/strip unit with a Continental 2,500 converter.

Suspension: The wasted frontend was swapped for a Total Cost Involved complete independent front suspension. It comes with engine mounts, tubular A-arms, a 2-inch drop, and GM disc brakes. It cleaned up the handling and got the car to go straight. The rear uses the stock leaf springs and a set of CalTrac bars.

Interior: You would think the 'cage would get in the way until you note that the door bar swings out of the way. Otherwise, the interior uses a set of Auto Meter Pro-Comp Ultra Lites in a Covan's Classic instrument panel. The shifter is a B&M Pro Stick that was already mounted on the pole when she bought the car, and the upholstery is snazzy tuck 'n' roll with red piping. Mary painted the ashtray red just before the photo shoot.

Wheels: Just an average set of Weld Racing Drag Stars. The skinnies are 15x4 and the rears are 15x7. Jim said they have had no problems with the 7-inch wheels holding the 235 tires, even though Mickey Thompson recommends an 8-inch width.

Tires: The magic in the 1.40 60-foot is undoubtedly due in part to the 235/60R15 ET Street Radials. We've seen impressive cars running the 235 and 275 sizes. The littles are funky 165/80R15s made by Capitol.

Rearend: The 9-inch had 4.10:1 gears, but they changed them to 3.50:1 gears because it was over-revving through the lights and was a pain in the butt on the street.

Exhaust: It has 17'8-inch TCI headers with 3-inch collectors and 2.5-inch exhaust all the way out to the DynoMax mufflers.

Cage: Wayne from Speedway Muffler in Gardena, California, built the six-point cage right after Mary saw mid-11s for the first time.

Fuel stuff: All they're using is a Carter mechanical high-pressure fuel pump to feed all that nitrous. The plate is T'd into the fuel line after the regulator. Jim runs 6.5 pounds of fuel pressure.

Electronics: The trick to this car is the MSD start-retard box that pulls 9 degrees of timing out when the nitrous is activated. Otherwise it runs 40 degrees all day long. The Nitrous Oxide Systems timed-based controller is usually set for 10 percent for three seconds. That means the hit is 10 percent off the line then ramps up to 100 percent in three seconds.

Nitrous: The system uses an NOS bottle with a Wilson spray bar plate and Wilson Pro-Flow solenoids. The system is rated from 175 to 400 hp. The current tune-up uses the suggested 205hp jets and slightly less fuel pressure than recommended. Lean is fast (and dangerous).

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