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1963 Chevrolet Nova - The Family Business

Father And Sons Collaborate On This 9-Second Tire Shredder.

By , Photography by , Wes AlIison

Tech Notes
Who: Joe Brynteson
What: '63 Chevrolet Nova
Where: Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The city's website calls Coon Rapids "an exciting community and the area's gateway to the northern part of the state."

Engine: The Nova's block is '76-vintage Chevy iron. Wheeler Racing Engines in Blaine, Minnesota, did the machining work, and the block was bored 0.030 over and clearanced to fit a massive 3.875-inch-stroke Eagle crankshaft. Do the math and you've got a big-block-sized 396 ci in a small-block wrapper. Six-inch Eagle rods swing Diamond 10.6:1 pistons. Rings and bearings are by Total Seal and Clevite. A Bullet Racing solid roller cam specs out at an impressive 272/286 degrees duration at 0.050 and 0.675/0.662-inch lift. The pushrods are from Comp Cams, and they actuate a set of Harland Sharp 1.5:1 roller rockers. The heads are supertrick AFR 210s that were treated to a porting job, and they're fitted with 2.08/1.60-inch valves. Joe says this combination makes 570 hp, and we have no reason to doubt him.

Induction: That's an Edelbrock Super Victor intake topped by a Barry Grant Demon 750 double-pumper carburetor.

NOS: A 250hp two-stage NOS plate resides under the carb and helps this car scoot to quarter-mile times of 9.40 seconds. On the motor, it is no slouch, either, and will go 10.46 at 129 mph.

Ignition: An MSD electronic distributor doles out the sparks. An MSD coil is on the supply side, and MSD wires send the volts to NGK V-Power plugs.

Exhaust: The headers are Hooker Super Comps that measure 13/4 inches at the primaries and 3 inches at the collectors. Three-inch tubing carries the fumes to Magnaflow mufflers.

Transmission: A manual valvebody TH350 backs up the engine. It was built by Jeff Gilles and Don Nelson who stuffed it with a 5,000-stall PTC torque converter and topped it with a B&M Z-gate shifter.

Rearend: A Victory 31/2-inch prop shaft leads back to a '70 Mopar 83/4 rear, virtually unheard of in a Chevy.

Suspension: The stock Nova stuff disappeared years ago, replaced with a much better designed AJE Racing bolt-on front subframe that employs coilover shocks and rack-and-pinion steering. The rear leaf springs were yarded out in favor of a ladder bar setup, also with coilovers.

Brakes: Wilwood 10-inch front discs handle that end's stopping duties. Mopar drums still reside on the rear.

Wheels/tires: Up front 15x3.5 M/T ET Drag skinnies are mounted with 26x6 M/T Street Radials. Out back, scope out the 28x12.5-inch M/T ET Streets on 15x10 M/T ET Drag wheels.

Paint/body: Joe and his dad did the bodywork and paint job, spraying the car with PPG Gold Metallic, a '69 Camaro color. See how we work a first-gen Camaro into every issue?

Thanks: Props to Joe's dad, Bob, brother, Steve, and Jake Cooney, Don Nelson, Blake Nelson, and TNT Race Shop. "The car couldn't have been built without these diehards."

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