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1966 Chevy II Sedan - The Effort To Excel

Doug Evans' rascally red '66 Chevy II.

Photography by ,

Tech Notes

Who: Doug Evans
What: '66 Chevy II sedan
Hometown: The thriving megalopolis that is Terril, Iowa.
The work: 3,200 acres of corn and soybeans.

Engine: Doug had friend Larry Demeer from nearby Carroll, Iowa, built the 0.030-over 350 with 9.5:1 forged pistons and a mild hydraulic cam together with a Moroso 7-quart pan to complete the short-block. For heads, Doug chose a set of Brodix aluminum castings ported to match the Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake. Ignition energy is supplied by an MSD Pro Billet distributor and 6AL box. Despite the smallish 650-cfm Mighty Demon Barry Grant carburetor, the little 355 still made 443 hp at 5,400 rpm with an equally impressive 450 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm on the engine dyno.

Exhaust: Hooker fenderwell headers help with ground clearance, but Mark still had to relocate the No. 7 pipe to clear the brake booster. Exhaust Systems in Spirit Lake, Iowa, built the custom 211/42-inch exhaust system mere days before the car's debut at the '05 Car Craft Summer Nationals in St. Paul.

Transmission: A B&M MegaShifter sitting in the stock interior controls the Denny Thompson-built TH350 along with a 2,800-rpm Midwest Converter, a Denny's aluminum driveshaft, and a Perma-Cool trans cooler mounted just ahead of the radiator.

Differential: Currie built the 9-inch rearend for the Nova that included a 3.73 gearset and a Detroit Truetrac limited-slip unit. Currie narrowed the housing a total of 6 inches to offer up more room for the bigger tires.

Suspension: Lair's Custom Auto Body & Restoration took on the job of building the front and rear suspension for the Nova. Up front, TCI supplied a complete front subframe assembly, but it required some effort to fit this little Chevy II. The kit included a complete rack-and-pinion conversion, which required additional effort with parts from Flaming River to hook up with the stock steering column. Stiffening the little Chevy II took form with a set of Competition Engineering subframe connectors that Mark swapped side to side to generate just the right amount of width. He then tied the TCI front to the rear along with new Competition Engineering framerails in the rear. With much wider rubber on tap, Mark retained the stock look by widening the stock fenderwells. A set of Jegster slapper bars complete the rear suspension.

Interior: The interior photos reveal original Saddle Tan door panels, seat covers, and steering wheel in this little Chevy II. Only the headliner had to be replaced, and that's only because welding sparks caused a couple of holes. The only concession to performance is a slightly modified rear seat frame narrowed to clear the wider wheeltubs. Mark also mounted the tach to the nub left over from the stock shifter arm on the steering column, negating the use of a simple hose clamp.

Paint: That's a Mark Lair custom-mixed PPG basecoat/clearcoat paint scheme that complements the otherwise stock exterior body shell. The only other addition is a steel cowl hood from Goodmark.

Wheels: There's something timeless about the American Torq-Thrust five-spoke wheels with 15x411/42s up front and 15x811/42-inchers on the rear. Tires are 135/60R15 skinnies steering the way and 275/60R15 BFG Drag Radials contributing to the traction profile.

Cool stuff: Mark built all the stainless steel brake lines with AN fittings from Speedway that mirror the routing of the 11/42-inch aluminum fuel lines along the framerail. The stainless steel fuel cell in the trunk comes from Summit. Roger Doyle worked his machining magic by custom whittling a set of one-off aluminum caps for all four wheels and also created a special water-pump snout cover to clear the electric fan mounted on the Griffin aluminum radiator.

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