1967 Chevy Nova Shakes the Streets with 600 hp


There are a million ways a youngster can be influenced while growing up. Everything you experience is eye opening and there are always defining moments that you can look back to as turning points that fueled your passions. For Don Fardie of Lakeville, Massachusetts, growing up in nearby Hanson, some of his earliest automotive memories revolve around helping his grandfather deliver eggs to Boston every Saturday as a time where he would be able to ride in one of his cool Nova wagons. At the same time he was at the kitchen table building kit models to his own specs, which included radiusing rear wheelwells and adding big-inch V-8s to make them custom.

It was his older brother, Ken, who he credits to finally lighting the fuse, getting him involved in hopped-up cars by letting him hang around while he worked on them in the family driveway. As time passed he got to experience the scent of nitro at New England Dragway as well as cruising Main Street in Brockton while watching late-night street racing. By the time he earned his license he bought his first car, a 1957 Chevy wagon followed by a 1967 GTO and 1967 GMC pickup. Somehow though he always remembered back to his years growing up and being fascinated by early Novas, with the 1967 model being his favorite all-time street car. He then made the decision to start looking for a suitable car to build.

At the same time his good friend John Broden unearthed a 1967 Nova from a long-term hiatus in a local barn. The car was a roller that had seen plenty of time racing on the street and strip in the ’70s. It was an original 327ci V-8 four-speed car that was rust-free and showing only 37,000 miles on the odometer. It was 1991 and it didn’t take long for Don to make a deal on the car, dropping in a mild 327ci mill to get it back on the street. Over the years the car went through a number of changes, including a long stint racing in Stock Eliminator class, eventually earning the class record in 2007. In 2016 that he finally decided to change the car into a Gasser thanks to the support from friend Jason Enos and his wife, Sandy. Regardless of whether it’s on the street or dragstrip, let’s see what makes this Nova so cool.

Retaining the stock wheelbase, out back you’ll find a Chevy 12-bolt rear spinning 4.56 Pro Gears from Richmond Gear through a pair of Strange Engineering 33-spline axles. It’s suspended in place by Calvert Racing split monoleafs combined with their CalTracs traction bars and nine-way adjustable CR-series shocks. To add attitude up front, a B’z Rods straight-axle subframe kit does the deed, complete with axle, custom forged spindles, 29-inch parallel leaf springs, Vega box, and PRO tube shocks. Bringing it all to a halt a Strange Engineering dual master pushes fluid through stainless lines to matching 11-inch slotted rear discs with GM vented discs up front. It all links to the asphalt on American Rebel Sprint-model 15×4.5 front and 15×8 rear wheels, wearing Coker Pro-Trac and Mickey Thompson rubber, respectively.

If you’re going to build a Gasser there had better be plenty of go between the framerails. Don contacted Shafiroff Racing for one of their scorching Special Ultra Street 427ci mills packed with all the right bits. Starting with a Dart Little M Sportsman 400ci block it was massaged to 427 ci and packed with a Manley steel crank linked to matching H-beam rods capped with Mahle pistons while a pair of AFR 210 Eliminator aluminum heads generate plenty of power. A COMP Cam’s stick adds thump while a Weiand Hi-Ram tunnel-ram intake breathes deep though a pair of Holley 450-cfm carbs wearing vintage Mr. Gasket stacks. It sparks to life through an MSD Pro-Billet distributor with spent gases dumping through Stahl headers to a custom 2-1/2-inch stainless exhaust by Bill Gilsbach. Power moves rearward through a Jerico Performance DR4 trans with disc and flywheel from Advanced Clutches to a Denny’s Driveshaft. The combination is good for over 600 hp on the dyno, earning the car to a best 10.10 e.t. at 130 mph at the track.

Thankfully, the low-mile body was void of any major sheetmetal issues, making the restoration a breeze. It was made razor sharp by Dennis Plogger of Plogger Auto Body and Derrick Hanoud of 508 Customs and treated to a fresh coating of Axalta Jet Black Crutchfield Signs added the final icing, with custom lettering giving the car a perfect ’60s vibe. Inside it’s all business with a six-point chromoly rollcage by Tube Chassis Designz accented by a factory dash packed with dials from Auto Meter and Sun to monitor the vitals. The factory bench was notched and covered in black vinyl by Hot Rod Interiors by Drew who also freshened up the rest of the office along with seatbelts from RCI Racing. Don had plenty of other friends who helped out on the project, including John Santaniello, Phil Sherman, Tim Baptista, Ray Helger, and Broadbent Bros. Racing. This is one truly wicked Street Shaker.



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