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1971 Chevy Nova - Project Super Nova Part VII

Car Craft Magazine Transforms A 1971 Chevy Nova Into Their Super Nova

Photography by Matthew King

Last month we promised that we were also going to make some changes to the front suspension. To aid in weight transfer, we planned to add a set of Moroso Trick drag-racing springs and 90/10 front shocks that work together to shift the car's weight onto the rear tires under acceleration. We received the parts but ran out of time to install them prior to our scheduled date at the dragstrip. But even without them, we were amazed with the results. SuperNova's 60-foot times, the best indicator of a car's traction, improved nearly a full tenth of a second, from 1.78 to 1.66 seconds. With the chassis working to provide maximum traction to the tires, SuperNova ripped off an 11.77 at 113 mph and entered the realm of a truly fast street car. Awesome!

Project RecapSo far we've spent a grand total of just over $13,000 on SuperNova, which includes every nickel and dime from the initial purchase price of the car ($1,200) to the engine buildup, a rearend swap, a new transmission, all new brakes and suspension, wheels and tires, and lots more. Along the way, we've taken it from a 15-second tire burner to a seriously fast 11-second ride, knocking off a total of 4.1 seconds in elapsed time and picking up 17.5 mph in the quarter-mile.

Part Mfr. Price
Trick springs Moroso $69.95
90/10 shocks Comp. Eng. 75.90
Reset pinion angle   150.00
Subtotal   295.85
Previous installment totals   $12,965.56
Grand total   $13,261.41

On The WebIf you've missed any of the previous installments, you can catch up with the progress of Car Craft's Project SuperNova on our Web site,

Dragstrip Performance
  60-ft 11/48 e.t. 11/48 mph 11/44 e.t. 11/44 mph
Baseline w/540hp 383
and stock Powerglide 2.60 10.57 No data 15.87 95.87
TH350 w/3,000-stall 2.54 9.08 87.30 13.49 111.98
Dana 60 w/4.10 gears/slicks 1.76 7.66 91.93 -No data*-
Traction bars 1.78 7.68 91.81 -No data*-
Optimize pinion angle 1.66 7.46 92.21 11.77 113.37
*Testing for these installments was conducted at an eighth-mile track

Coming Next MonthWe've got lots more in store for SuperNova over the coming months, but we're taking February off. Our next installment will involve brutal wrenching and wicked dragstrip flogging, which will take more than a month to finish.

Competition Engineering/Moroso
80 Carter Dr
CT  06437-0570
Dept. CC0301
Hotrods To Hell
100 East Prospect Ave
CA  91502
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