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1970 Chevrolet Nova - The Cupholder

The brotherhood of Nova

Photography by

What: A '70-ish Nova that is streetable enough for us

Who: Brian Omatsu

Hometown: Torrance, CA

Body mods: At first the car had what was called the "big" hood. It was a cowl with a Harwood Pro Stock snorkel attached. Brian couldn't see around it, and neither could we. He's since changed to a standard 5-inch cowl with a Scott Roberts paint job. The doors, front fenders, and trunk lid are also fiberglass.

Engine: The 400-inch iron block was bored to 4.155 and stroked to 3.875 for 420-inch displacement. This was a fairly radical size in the day before aftermarket blocks became inexpensive. It's the only way to build a 400 in our opinion.

Exhaust: This is all custom stuff. The primaries are 2-inch that lead to 4-inch collectors with Dawson collector muffler inserts. It's actually not as loud as you'd think.

Goodies: It has a custom-plumbed nitrous Fogger from NOS that is capable of a big hit. So far, Brian has only sprayed a 150-shot that is only worth half a second when you are already in the 9s.

Heads: Serious power comes from the Edelbrock 18-degree Chapman CNC heads. They require a dedicated intake, exhaust, and some specialized valvetrain parts. You can buy them off the shelf these days.

Ignition: Brian uses an MSD Digital 6 Plus that he hides in the glovebox with the coil. The digi 6 includes two rev limiters that can be adjusted in 100-rpm increments: a single stage of timing retard for the nitrous and another to start the engine.

Interior: Yes, that is a cupholder welded to the center console. The 'cage is certified for an 8-second pass, and the carpet means it can be driven on the street. The gauges are from Auto Meter, and the fabric is from Fast Ed at Fast Ed's Interiors with powdercoats by Bob Barnes at Verne's Chrome in Gardena, California.

Rearend: The rearend is a fairly radical Dana 60 with 4.30 gears, a four-link, and a spool.

Suspension: The engine cradle was built by "a guy in New Jersey." Remember, this is what you get when you buy off the Web. It has a rack-and-pinion and Wilwood disc brakes.

Transmission: Nothing too radical here. Just a Powerglide from Mike's Transmissions in Lancaster, California, and a Continental 8.5-inch converter that stalls to 5,500.

Wheels/Tires: Ken and Jen at Esajian Wheels in Torrance, California, fiddled with the stretched-out wheelwells and ended up fitting Weld 15x10s and 15x3.5 wheels and M/T ET Fronts and 30x13.5 ET Streets.

Shout out: "Buddy Lee" Moromisato and all the guys at Hot Rod Performance in Torrance, California.

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