Chevy IIs are not known for superior front suspension design, which is why the first thing Chad did was convert the little X-body over to a Total Cost Involved front suspension clip. This made adding power rack-and-pinion steering much simpler along with the Mustang II front spindles, control arms, and the QA1 12-way adjustable shocks. In the rear, Chad retained the stock monoleaf springs with assistance from Competition Engineering Slide-A-Link bars and QA1 shocks.
Despite the heroic horsepower numbers, Chad didn't go overboard on the brakes, perhaps because he knows better than to try to blitz 200 mph. The TCI front suspension clip includes standard 11-inch rotors and GM calipers attached to the front spindles while the rear presents even more shocking stock 9 1/2-inch drum brakes.
Chad did want to give his Nova a little splash, so starting at the front, he went with a pair of Boyd Coddington 17-inch Junkyard Dogs with 235/45R17 Cooper radials. Out back, a larger set of 18-inch Boyds mount 245/40R18 Coopers. For the dragstrip, Chad opts for a set of lowbrow steelies with 15-inch M/T ET Fronts with a sticky set of 26x11.50-15-inch M/T ET Streets that valiantly attempt to maintain adhesion.
With most cars, we don't even list body mods. But with Chad's Nova, there's plenty to talk about. Let's start with the fact that this used to be a four-door. Chad whacked off the whole rear section, added two-door sedan doors, new B- and C-pillars, quarter-panels, and a whole bunch of other parts. Jim Beam Auto Body in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, did the sheetmetal work, but Chad will proudly tell you he did the paint job with help from Krylon.
Besides the granny parking-brake handle and the underdash factory tissue dispenser he turned into a gauge panel ("That really upsets guys. I had one guy really yell at me for that, but it was already dented, so I don't care."), the main additions are a 10-point rollbar with side bars and the six-speed shifter. Toss in an Auto Meter tach and Stewart-Warner gauges and that's all there is to tell.
Performance: On the chassis dyno, the 408 made 1,088 RWHP at 20 psi of boost on race gas. On the more conservative pump gas tune of 12 psi, the numbers are still impressive at 786 RWHP. At the track, this equates to merely a traction-limited 10.16 at 141 mph. The mph indicates the Nova is making enough steam to run 9.40s, and this is at 3,340 pounds. Oh, and just for fun, the Nova gets a steady 12 mpg in the city and 22-plus on the highway. Do we feel inadequate?