The Chevy Nova has always been like the smart, quiet kid at the back of the class who never said much but always got the best grades. It sold well, was reliable, affordable, and these days endlessly modifiable. The collector car market has also left them surprisingly cheap to get at, and the rat rod culture is starting to influence the budget drag car builders looking for something different.
It doesn’t get much different than the Crusty Nova, an early 60s Chevy and a twin-turbo LS engine cobbled together from various sources that lays down consistent 8-second quarter-miles and 400-foot wheelstands.
Yup, you read that right. This rusty, crusty car cuts a 1.39 60-foot on its way to a 8.76 quarter mile at a speed of 156 mph, with a wicked 400-foot wheelstand. All of this is made possible by a 370 cubic-inch LS engine with the stock block and stock crank, upgraded rods and pistons, and a pair of 62 mm turbochargers that deliver an estimated 1,100 horsepower to the rear wheels.
Not only is it a consistent menace at the drag strip, but the Crusty Nova was on display during drag week, and drove over 700 miles between four different race tracks. Street car, race car, who can even tell anymore? All we know is that the Crusty Nova is the kind of car that deserves your respect, no matter what brand you pledge allegiance too. This fast old Chevy econobox is a legend in its own right.