This ’65 Nova Was Rescued From An Ill-Fated Rebuild

Many times, a project car is acquired from a well-intentioned enthusiast who has either ran of out money, ambition, or realized he was in way over his head. It happens more than many realize, and it’s a shame. Taking on a project car shouldn’t result in an incomplete realization of a dream. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, try not to take too big of a bite.

The ’65 Nova you see here had befallen the fate of being relegated to incompleteness when it was located by Daniel Overmire of Spanaway, Washington. “I found it through a Craigslist ad,” says Daniel. “It was a roller with no fenders, core support, glass or interior.” Although not a complete car, someone had begun the process of building it into a Pro Streeter. The rearend was narrowed, and the suspension was in place. We say in place, because Daniel ran into a few problems with the way it was done. “The rear suspension was not installed properly, so I had to tear it all apart and start from scratch,” says Daniel.

No tunes, no air-conditioning, no carpeting, and no other creature comforts you'll find in a dedicated street car. This Nova is all business. All images courtesy of Tony Gordon ( Eyes of a Crow Photography)

Starting Over

When Daniel says he started from scratch, he isn’t kidding. “With the rear suspension not up to what I felt was a safe standard, I decided to have a new, Chromoly chassis built for the car,” affirms Daniel. Upfront, we find a set of tubular control arms by Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) supporting Mark Williams disc brakes. Steering is handled by a rack-and-pinion unit.

The 9-inch rear is supported by an AME four-link, and is filled with a spool rotating a set of 4.10 gears. To keep the car rolling, a set of Hoosier tires (25×5-15 and 33×17-17) are wrapped around a set of Billet Specialties wheels.

Although the basic body shell was intact, Daniel had plans to really up the Nova’s game. That meant having Patrick’s Ultra Motorsports remove the floor from the firewall back so the body could be positioned over the new chassis. As you can imagine, the rear wheel openings are stretched to accommodate the huge Hoosiers. Once the shell was ready, a complete aluminum floor was constructed and put into place.

I had to tear it all apart and start from scratch. – Daniel Overmire

Creature Comforts? Yeah, Right

To keep the race car theme going full-tilt, you will not find a stereo belching out tunes, cushy seats aiding in driver comfort or air conditioning to keep the cockpit cool. This is all race car. That means it’s noisy when driven and hot when running. Can it get any better? A pair of Kirkey Racing seats are positioned behind the OE dash with AutoMeter gauges and carbon fiber accents.

Nova

You’re looking at 632 cubic inches of a ‘not available as a factory-installed’ mill.

Motivating this maker of mayhem is a 632-inch monster. The engine began life when Walt Austin Racing in Tacoma, Washington filled a Brodix block with a 4.750-inch stroke crankshaft. Connecting the Callies crankshaft to the Diamond Racing pistons are Manley 6.700-inch connecting rods. Between the horizontally moving parts is a Bullet camshaft with .780/.760-inch lift and 285 degrees of duration at .050-inch. We could call it a mild bump stick, but we’d be lying. Topping the short block is a pair of Brodix BB-3X heads and a BDS 8-71 blower. Finally, two Quick Fuel 850cfm fuel squirters are aided by a 200-horse shot of giggle juice.

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Power To Burn

That’s a lot of engine for any transmission to keep under control. For that reason, you can bet it’s a stout unit. Daniel had Transmission Specialties start with a Powerglide case and fill it with the best parts to help it survive. An 8-inch torque converter couples the mill to the mover. We asked Daniel if the car has made any quarter-mile passes yet, and he tells us it has. But, he would rather not disclose any times, as he does some grudge racing when the need arises.

Nova

The zoomie exhaust, slicks, and rear wing say it’s a race car while the license plate says it’s legal for the street.

Like many enthusiasts, Daniel Overmire has taken a once pieced together and forgotten project and put together a serious monster that is just as capable on the track as it is while at any cruise night or car show.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

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