In the world of classic cars, few vehicles capture the imagination quite like the Chevy Nova SS. This iconic American muscle car is revered for its timeless design, powerful performance, and thrilling driving experience. Today, we have the pleasure of diving deep into the story of a truly remarkable Nova SS, a 1966 model that has been supercharged and meticulously restored to perfection. Join us as we explore the journey of this stunning restomod and uncover the intricate details that make it a true masterpiece.

The Beginnings

The tale of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS begins approximately six years ago when the ambitious project was initiated by its owner, a passionate enthusiast looking to create his dream pro touring car. The starting point was far from glamorous, as the car was discovered in a dilapidated state, hidden away in a Kansas cornfield. It took considerable effort to extract the vehicle from its resting place and transport it to the skilled hands of the builders. The initial assessment revealed extensive sheet metal damage and structural issues, requiring significant repair work before any progress could be made.

A Labor of Love

Under the expert guidance of Lakeside Speed and Shine, a renowned restoration and customization shop based in Havasu, the Nova SS restoration journey began. The team’s dedication and expertise transformed the neglected car into a work of art. They meticulously replaced the damaged sheet metal, leaving no room for compromise when it came to quality and precision. The end result was a solid and structurally sound foundation, ready to be transformed into the owner’s ultimate vision of a pro touring masterpiece.

A Subtle Beauty

Upon lifting the hood of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS, it becomes evident that the focus of the build was on clean lines and understated elegance. The engine bay showcases a pristine presentation, reflecting the philosophy of simplicity and attention to detail that permeates the entire vehicle. To achieve this level of refinement, the builders collaborated with TCI Engineering, a leading provider of high-quality suspension components. The front inner fender wells were replaced with a complete kit from TCI, featuring their innovative IFS Pro Touring front suspension system. The integration of strut bars ensures enhanced rigidity, complementing the overall performance of the vehicle.

Power and Performance

At the heart of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS lies a formidable power plant—an LS1 engine built by Colby over at TurnKey Engine Supply. Originally rated at around 400 horsepower, this LS1 has been supercharged using a Magnuson system, propelling the car to new heights of performance. With the addition of the supercharger, the engine’s output now reaches an impressive 550 horsepower at the crank. This power is more than sufficient for the intended purpose of the vehicle, providing exhilarating acceleration and a thrilling driving experience. Whether it’s a leisurely cruise or an adrenaline-fueled burnout, this Nova SS delivers in every aspect.

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The Importance of Balance

In the world of automotive enthusiasts, there is an ongoing debate about the necessity of extreme horsepower. Many argue that a high-performance car must possess astronomical power figures to be truly enjoyable. However, the builders of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS take a different approach. They believe in achieving a harmonious balance between power, drivability, and reliability. While a 1,000-horsepower monster may be impressive, it is often impractical for everyday use. With approximately 550 horsepower at the crank and 450 horsepower at the wheels, this Nova SS strikes the perfect balance. It offers ample power to bring a smile to your face while remaining manageable and dependable in any situation.

Transmission and Shifting Experience

The transmission plays a crucial role in delivering power to the wheels and ensuring a smooth driving experience. In the case of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS, it features a Gearstar 4L65 package—a high-performance electronic transmission with overdrive capabilities. To enhance the driving experience further, a Bluetooth paddle shifter system developed by HDM was integrated into the vehicle. This allows the driver to seamlessly switch between manual and automatic modes, adding a touch of modern convenience to the classic driving experience.

Attention to Detail: Wiring and Plumbing

One aspect that sets this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS apart is the meticulous attention to detail paid to the wiring and plumbing. The builders understand the importance of clean and reliable electrical connections, which is why they utilize weather packs and mil-spec products. Every wire connection is carefully heat-shrunk, ensuring longevity and durability. The stainless steel components, such as brake lines and exhaust systems, are crafted in-house to maintain the highest standards of quality. This dedication to excellence extends to every aspect of the build, guaranteeing a vehicle that is not only visually stunning but also reliable and serviceable.

Impressive Exhaust System

The exhaust system of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is a testament to the builder’s commitment to perfection. Instead of opting for exposed fabricated exhaust tips, they decided to keep the appearance close to the original by tucking the exhaust right behind the rear bumper. A rear filler panel was custom-made to create a clean and seamless look. The entire exhaust system, constructed from fully polished stainless steel, complements the car’s aesthetics while providing a satisfying growl when the engine roars to life.

Suspension Upgrades for Superior Handling

To achieve exceptional handling characteristics, the builders turned to TCI Engineering once again, this time for the rear suspension. The Nova SS features TCI’s four-link kit, which provides precise control and improved stability during spirited driving. The subframe connectors tie into the pickup points, ensuring optimal chassis stiffness and eliminating any potential weak points. Paired with a panhard bar, the suspension setup delivers a balanced and confidence-inspiring driving experience. The result is a car that hugs the road with precision, allowing the driver to push the limits while maintaining control and composure.

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The Perfect Stance

One glance at this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is enough to appreciate its stunning stance. The builders opted for a custom air ride setup, allowing the vehicle’s ride height to be adjusted for both style and performance. The suspension system utilizes AccuAir’s e-level system, which provides advanced control and precise leveling capabilities. The right tech shock waves offer a smooth ride quality, while the careful calibration ensures the car maintains optimal handling characteristics. This dynamic combination of style, comfort, and performance results in an unforgettable driving experience.

Wheels and Tires: A Striking Combination

Choosing the perfect wheels and tires is crucial for achieving the desired aesthetic and enhancing the overall performance of the vehicle. In the case of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS, the owners selected Budnik Gasser wheels. These custom wheels feature a cerakote finish on the silver faces, adding a touch of modern style to the classic design. The front wheels are 19×9 inches, while the rear wheels measure 20×12 inches. The tires, with a width of 245mm on the front and 305mm on the rear, strike the perfect balance between grip and comfort. The resulting combination not only enhances the car’s aggressive appearance but also ensures a planted and confident driving experience.

An Interior that Defines Luxury

Stepping inside this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is like entering a realm of pure luxury. The interior upholstery, expertly crafted by Elegance Auto Interiors, is a sight to behold. The seats, sourced from Acura, offer lumbar support and full power adjustment capabilities, ensuring maximum comfort for both the driver and passengers. The stunning combination of gray and red leather creates a visually striking contrast against the chrome accents and white exterior. The interior also features power windows, a Dakota Digital gauge cluster, and a custom-built dashboard that seamlessly integrates modern controls while retaining the classic Nova styling.

Meticulous Body Modifications

While the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS maintains a largely stock appearance, several subtle body modifications enhance its overall appeal. The SS grille, which underwent minor alterations, exudes a sense of refinement and sophistication. The bumpers were meticulously fitted, removing all visible hardware and achieving a clean and integrated look. The cow vents were eliminated, giving the car a sleeker and more streamlined profile. By carefully analyzing every line and detail, the builders ensured that the body modifications harmonize with the car’s overall design, resulting in a cohesive and captivating aesthetic.

Unleashing the Beast: Supercharged Performance

Under the hood of this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS resides a beastly powerplant—a built LS1 engine by Colby over TurnKey Engine Supply. Originally producing around 400 horsepower, this engine has been supercharged with a Magnuson system, pushing its output to an estimated 550 horsepower at the crank. This increase in power ensures exhilarating acceleration and thrilling performance on the open road. Whether cruising along the coast or unleashing its power at the track, this Supercharged Chevy Nova SS offers a driving experience that is both thrilling and satisfying.

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Summary

The Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is a prime example of automotive craftsmanship and attention to detail. From the moment you lay eyes on its pristine white exterior and striking chrome accents, it’s evident that this car is something special. The combination of modern performance upgrades, meticulous body modifications, and a luxurious interior results in a vehicle that excels in both form and function. With its supercharged LS1 engine, precise suspension setup, and thoughtfully designed interior, this Nova SS embodies the perfect balance between a classic restomod and a modern cruiser. Whether you’re cruising down the highway or showcasing it at a car show, the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is sure to turn heads and leave a lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How long did it take to complete the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS?

A1: The Supercharged Chevy Nova SS project took approximately four and a half years to complete, starting six and a half years ago.

Q2: What is the horsepower output of the LS1 engine in the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS?

A2: The LS1 engine in the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS originally produced around 400 horsepower. With the addition of the Magnuson supercharger system, the estimated horsepower output at the crank is approximately 550 horsepower.

Q3: What suspension system does the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS utilize?

A3: The Supercharged Chevy Nova SS features a TCI Engineering front suspension kit and a TCI Engineering four-link rear suspension kit. These systems provide enhanced handling and stability, ensuring a smooth and controlled driving experience.

Q4: What kind of wheels and tires are on the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS?

A4: The Supercharged Chevy Nova SS is equipped with Budnik Gasser wheels. The front wheels measure 19×9 inches, while the rear wheels are 20×12 inches. The tires have a width of 245mm on the front and 305mm on the rear, offering a perfect balance of grip and comfort.

Q5: Who crafted the interior upholstery of the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS?

A5: The interior upholstery of the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS was expertly crafted by Elegance Auto Interiors. They combined gray and red leather to create a visually striking and luxurious interior space.

Q6: What modifications were made to the body of the Supercharged Chevy Nova SS?

A6: The Supercharged Chevy Nova SS features several subtle body modifications, including alterations to the SS grille, seamless fitting of the bumpers, and the elimination of the cow vents. These modifications enhance the car’s overall aesthetic while maintaining its classic appeal.