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1962 Chevrolet Nova - You Can't Look Away

Mike Jordan's '62 Nova

By Steve Campbell, Photography by Steve Campbell

"It was a lot of detail," he says. "Every piece is hand-shaped and -formed, so we had to figure out what would clear, what would fit, and what would work. All that stuff was just mind numbing. As Bryant was building and fabricating, I was trying to stay ahead of the details."

The car has yet to receive a full race tune, but it did get a session on a chassis dyno. Even with only 6 pounds of boost and too much timing, a half-throttle run brought 450 hp and 780 lb-ft on pump gas. It was also one of the feature vehicles at the '08 SEMA show, where it received plenty of attention along with speculation about whether it was strictly a feature car or if it could run as well as it looked. Jordan plans to answer those questions in the near future when he takes the Nova to the track to complete his dream.

Tech Notes
'62 Chevrolet Nova
Owner: Mike Jordan
Hometown: Ventura, California

Duttweiler Performance machined the block and pistons, and the engine was assembled by Bill Bradley at BBS Services. The 428ci, Brodix 8b 1,000, CNC-machined aluminum block with a 4.125-inch bore houses a knife-edged Callies Stealth crankshaft with a 4.00-inch stroke. The crank spins 6-inch Oliver billet connecting rods pinned to dished Ross 8.5:1 pistons that are fitted with Speed-Pro chrome-moly rings.

McKenzie's Racing cylinder heads built the Chevy splayed-valve NASCAR heads with 50cc chambers. The heads are fitted with Manley stainless steel 2.20 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves actuated by Jesel 1.7 roller rocker arms over Comp Cams springs. The lifters are Comp Cams offset rollers, and the pushrods are custom-length Smith Bros. 3/8-inchers with titanium retainers and keepers. The camshaft is a Comp Cams billet roller that received a custom grind from Ken Duttweiler to provide 0.630-inch lift and 292-degree duration. The moving parts reside under a set of custom covers built by Bryant Custom Fabrications.

A 20 percent underdriven BDS 8-71 Stage 2 supercharger gets the air moving into a custom Hogan's Racing Manifolds intake. A set of 16 nozzles inject fuel into the plate at 30 psi. The fuel/air mix is lit by an MSD Digital 7-Plus ignition control and crank-trigger distributor through Crane 8mm sleeved Firewires. Spent fumes vent through a custom header set from Bryant Custom Fabrication.

The Brown's Transmission TH400 reverse-pattern automatic was built to handle a minimum of 1,000 hp and is fitted with a B&M trans cooler with an American 3,500-stall converter turning a custom steel driveshaft built by Coast Driveline Service. An extra-heavy-duty yoke makes the connection to an Art Morrison 9-inch housing around 4.11 Richmond gears that incorporate a Detroit Truetrac unit and spin a set of 33-spline Strange axles.

The Nova rides on a 2x3-inch boxed Art Morrison frame that is suspended by a Strange one-piece strut coilover front assembly and Alden coilovers fitted to a four-link setup with a Panhard bar at the rear. The front Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires measure 26x5-15 and are wrapped around Weld Racing 15x5 Alumastar wheels mated to a Morrison mechanical steering rack, and the monster 33x22.5-15 rear Hoosier ET drag tires ride on 15x15 Alumastars. The Wilwood discs, proportioning valve, and master cylinder are linked with stainless steel lines and fittings and incorporate a Hurst line-lock.

Brilliant! Bryant Custom Fabrications designed and fabricated all the body sheetmetal, and Cal Custom in Camarillo, California, smoothed and filled the layers before spraying House of Kolor Lime-Candy Yellow paint. The window holes were fitted with green glass from House of Glass.

From the headliner and door panels to the carpet, the interior is all custom by Gold Coast Auto Upholstery in Ventura, California. The Corbeau racing buckets were re-covered in leather. Deist cam-type black five-point harnesses and an Art Morrison 12-point 'cage secure the front occupants, and huge tubs dominate the rear. As with most of the interior sheetmetal, Bryant Custom Fabrications built the center console, which carries a Precision Performance air-type cable shifter and a switch panel by Auto-Rod Controls. The modified dash was fitted with Classic Instruments' All American oil, water, fuel, tach, and speed gauges, and the steering wheel is a Billet Specialties 15-inch Outlaw model.

By Steve Campbell
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