Building a racecar, show car, and street car all require different approaches to achieve an outstanding final product, but what if your goal was to meld all three together? There are multiple hurdles that would be in front of a builder that wanted to tackle this task and Dylan Goacher was more than happy to clear all of them. His 1968 Nova “Kingpin” is a seamless creation that combines all three with a healthy dose of boost to boot.
Goacher was sentenced to a life of all things car-related as he grew up in his father’s custom car shop. Being surrounded by so many different types of vehicles that had different purposes influenced him deeply and took center stage for what he wanted to do with his life. As time marched on, a vision of a project entered his mind and that was the guiding force behind the Kingpin Nova.
“Growing up in a custom car shop building muscle cars, street rods, show cars, and race cars I wanted to have something from all the worlds put together in one car. The idea behind this car was to build something that was capable of laying down impressive track times, do well in competitive indoor car shows, but also be able to drive to the ice cream shop,” Goacher explains.
The racing side of Goacher’s obsession stems from his experience in the cockpit of a Jr. Dragster when he was just eight years old. After he aged out of the Jr. Dragster program, Goacher wanted something bigger and faster, so he built a diesel truck that laid down 10-second passes at the track while still being driven on the street. The Nova represents Goacher coming full-circle and wanting to get back into a classic muscle car.
The Kingpin began life as a design at Goachers Street Legends before it went to Larson Race Cars to get a 23.5 chassis. The front underpinnings of the Nova consist of a Smith Racecraft bolt-in front subframe and Menscer Motorsports shocks. In the rear, Goacher created a suspension that is both a 4-link and ladder bar with two custom Moser Engineering rearends that can accommodate big or small tires. The rearend features a Mark Williams Enterprises third member and gun-drilled axles, while braking duties are handled by a full set of TBM Brakes.
Powering the Nova is a Dart Big M block that has been punched out to 632 cubic-inches and is filled with parts from Bullet Racing Cams, GRP and Diamond Pistons. Air is introduced into the cylinders via a set of 18-degree Big Chief heads, a Pro-Filer Performance Products intake, Wilson Manifolds billet intake elbow, and Nick Williams throttle body. Fueling is handled by a set of Billet Atomizer injectors that are fed by an Aeromotive Dual Phantom street pump, Aeromotive regulator, and a Waterman belt-driven race pump. The engine’s vital functions are controlled by a FuelTech FT600 ECU.
Bringing in the boost is a pair of Precision Turbo & Engine 88mm turbos that Larson Race Cars created a custom set of headers and turbo system around. To add to the Nova’s clean show car look, both the intercooler and ice tank were hidden in different locations inside the car. Behind the engine and turbo system is an M&M Transmission TH400 transmission and bolt-together converter that Goacher shifts by…you guessed it: an M&M air shifter.
With all of the performance areas covered Goacher wanted to be sure his Nova had an award-winning look. That mission was accomplished and the final product earned him a top 12 finish in the 2018 SEMA Battle of The Builders. The custom back and blue paint that Goacher Street Legends created looks as deep as the ocean after it was laid down in-house on the Nova. The fiberglass bumpers were narrowed, tucked, and received a liquid chrome treatment to make them shine. The interior boasts custom upholstered seats, a leather-wrapped dash, and transmission tunnel.
Now that Goacher has completed and debuted the Kingpin as a show car he’s ready to demonstrate just how much go the Nova has.
“The goals for racing with this car are to be competitive in both big and small-tire no-prep racing. We will also slap some radials on the car to do some Limited Drag Radial class racing, too. We also want to try and get the car on Drag Week and Rocky Mountain Race Week.”
Dylan Goacher took an idea he had as a kid in the shop and made it into a real thing with the Kingpin Nova. This classic muscle car really is equal parts show car, street car, and race car executed in a perfect package. Don’t be surprised to see Goacher driving his Nova to a local car show to win some hardware on his way to the drag strip to turn on some win lights in 2019.
Photos Provided By Cameron Richardson