Home-Built Hero: Johnny Timmons’ ’72 Nova

Chevy Nova (0417) 1

Johnny plans to add aluminum wheels, but we like the dog dishes.

When Johnny Timmons sent us these images of his ’72 Nova, the first thing we asked is, ‘why a Nova’? Not that there’s anything wrong with Chevrolet’s X-body. On the contrary, they make excellent hot rods. Johnny’s answer was clear and concise, “I am Nova. I had one as my first car after I graduated high school back in 1977.”

Chevy Nova (0417) 2

Johnny went on to tell us that he found this car while perusing eBay. The car was located in California, and he thought it looked like a good project. When the auction ended, he was the new owner and had it shipped to his homestead in the great state of Texas. We asked him what prompted his need for a project, and he told us, “I had sold my last one a couple years prior, and I just felt I needed another one.” Not that anyone needs a reason to start a project, but that one works for us.

Chevy Nova (0417) 3

When the car arrived in Texas, he knew it was in good shape, but the paint was faded and the interior needed a little attention. He affirmed, “The interior is in really good shape, except for the fact that I need to reskin the front seat.”

Chevy Nova (0417) 4

A 383ci small-block is all the motivation Johnny needs – for now.

The area that he did decide to deviate from stock is under the hood. He already had a 383 cubic-inch small-block taking up space in his garage, so it was instantly put into use. The engine features a SCAT 3.75-inch forged-steel stroker crankshaft and 5.7-inch connecting rods with forged Probe pistons. A pair of AFR 210 angle plug heads, a Lunati solid-roller camshaft with .600-inch lift, and an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake with a Quick Fuel 850 Q-series carburetor finish the “motorvator”.

Behind that is a Turbo 350 with a 9-inch, 3,800 rpm converter, connected to rearend filled with 4.11 gears on a Posi unit, and 30-spline Moser axles. According to Johnny, “I plan to run it at the track one day, but I need to get the Weld wheels I want, and some drag radials.”

He finished by saying, “I think this is number 10 of my Nova builds. The last two ran 11.60’s, and that was while spinning off the line. This one should at least run a low 11, but I hope it will do a little better than that.” To help reach that goal, the suspension uses the stock control arms with Del-a-Lum bushings, 90/10 front shocks, Competition Engineering subframe connectors, and Calvert Racing split mono springs and Caltrac bars. Sounds like a great combination to us.

Chevy Nova (0417) 5

The cowl-induction hood might hint to something not entirely stock under the hood, but the dog dish hubcaps add a bit of the sleeper look.

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heros? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to chevyhardcore@powerautomedia.com.

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars, and involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion got him noticed by many locals, and he began to help them with their own vehicles.
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