Put on your thinking caps, and enter the way-back machine and think back to the 1982 Car Craft Summer Nationals when an incredible car stood the hot rodding and musclecar community on its collective ear. That car that drove down the lane was none other than Rick Dobbertin’s 1965 Chevrolet Nova, a period correct paint job and BBC were part of the package, with a BDS 6-71 blower sticking through the hood.
But what made this car the Street Machine of the Year when it debuted in 1982 wasn’t that it was a nicely-painted Pro Street Nova. It was that feeding that 6-71 supercharger was a pair of turbochargers, and of course nitrous oxide was part of the package, too. These three components were a part of Rick Dobbertin’s business at the time.
This car drove in during a time when people didn’t ask about boost pressures, horsepower, or quarter mile times because none of that really seemed to matter with this build. People were simply blown away by the fact that the car worked, and entered the show under its own power instead of on a trailer.
Did we mention that the fuel delivery system was a pair of draw-through Holley 750 cfm carburetors? Fuel injection wasn’t a common component for a street machine back then, and it was typical to see a pair of carbs atop a roots-type supercharger. But seeing those carburetors – which sat just behind the headlamps, feeding a pair of turbochargers that fed into the bug catcher – was simply amazing because it was something that just wasn’t done back then.
Inside that scoop, the pressurized air from the turbos was kept separate from the air passing by the butterflies, and the whole system functioned as it should. We hadn’t seen much turbocharging back then, with some wimpy turbo systems in factory vehicles that barely provided much power. After all, it was the 1980s and horsepower from the factory was dwindling down to nothing.
The one true feature of this 1965 Nova SS is that it never gets old, and if you’re remembering back when this car entered the scene in 1982,you can relive those moments and head on over to eBay (item #381500636891) and pick the car up for just under $150,000. It has changed hands a couple of times over the years, but it is still as awesome today as it was in 1982. Is it a bargain at that price? Only a pure enthusiast who remember this car might feel that way.
It’s definitely a huge part of musclecar culture, and the sum of its parts is probably worth more than the car itself. Remember: this was a time when you couldn’t just call up a manufacturer and order these parts – pretty much everything was custom-built for this 14-time cover car. Ahhh… the memories.