The Final Chapter: We Wrap Up Project MaxStreet In Grand Fashion

Our 1966 Nova Project MaxStreet is the longest-running project car on Street Muscle Magazine, and it’s time to write the final chapter of its story. Like any other project car, this Chevy has been through a few different phases, and the final one has seen the biggest changes yet. Let’s take a look at the final form of Project MaxStreet and see what it did on the dyno.

MaxStreet: The Beginning

When we first got our hands on MaxStreet, it was a very pedestrian Nova with a worn out small-block under the hood. The car looked good at first glance, but when you really gave it a once, over you saw all the problems waiting to be fixed. So basically, it was your standard project car that was going to need a whole bunch of work to become a great ride.

Once MaxStreet got in the shop, it was time to get the party started with a big-block engine swap. From there, the Nova got plenty of other upgrades including a four-link rear suspension, a G-Machine front suspension, and new front clip installed. MaxStreet’s big-block got a nice dose of boost thanks to its first ProCharger kit, and some fuel system upgrades as well. Then, an upgraded transmission from TCI found a new home behind MaxStreet’s big block.


The big-block that MaxStreet was rocking just wasn’t enough, so an Edelbrock/Musi 555 cubic-inch monster was bolted between the front fenders. That big-block got a nice EFI upgrade thanks to FAST, plus the car got some better brakes and a 10-point roll cage. Eventually, MaxStreet finally got its bodywork done so it would look as good as it ran. The interior of MaxStreet also got some love from TMI and it paid off with a nice award at SEMA in 2022.

MaxStreet’s Final Chapter

Cutting-edge technology eventually becomes outdated, and when you’ve had a project car for a while, that means it will probably need to be updated. MaxStreet’s supercharger, ECU, and fuel system were the best of the best when they were first bolted up to the car, but these days there are better parts available. With that said, the decision was made to upgrade MaxStreet once again to make it an apex predator on the streets. You can learn about all the upgrades right here.

The objective of the last round of upgrades centered around making MaxStreet easier to drive on the street. This meant moving from a cog-style blower system to a serpentine system. We also wanted to get away from the meth injection and move the car over to E85. This all required a new supercharger, drive system, an upgraded to the fuel system, and a new ECU.

To kick things off, we moved from the F-2 ProCharger and its cog-drive system, to an F-1 A-94 supercharger that uses a serpentine belt system. There are numerous benefits that would be gained from this switch. Sometimes, bigger just isn’t better when it comes to superchargers.

Greg Acosta, Editor of EngineLabs, explains why the blower switch was a good choice.

“Much like having too much camshaft can actually hurt power, having to spin a larger blower takes more power. If you aren’t using the extra airflow capabilities of the bigger blower, it’s a net loss, all for no reason. The physical size difference also plays a part. The physically larger F-2 looks cool in the engine bay, but the F-1A-94 gives a little more room to work around in the engine bay. Plus, the reduction in drive power allows for a more street-friendly serpentine drive belt to be used, as opposed to the cog-belt setup that was run on the F-2.”

So, what it boiled down to was a more efficient supercharger would help MaxStreet. It takes a lot of horsepower to really get the most out of a big blower, and that can impact how a street car behaves.

“In a street car, a wide efficiency range is king. The F-1A-94’s size and impeller design make it operate more efficiently at lower RPM, and as a street car, a majority of the time, you aren’t at WOT. Plus, a more efficient blower puts less stress on every other system that it interacts with, making the overall engine package happier. Less stress on components generally increases longevity, which is a huge plus in a street car,” Acosta says.

The new supercharger was just one piece of the new set of upgrades MaxStreet received. The move away from meth injection would require a new fuel type for the Nova, so it made sense to move to E85. This would allow us to drive MaxStreet on the street without worrying about running an exotic fuel to keep the engine happy.

“Moving to E85 has a lot of benefits over standard pump premium gasoline. Obviously, the one that everyone immediately goes to is the octane number, but beyond that, the latent heat of evaporation of the ethanol component helps keep IAT’s in check and allows a more forgiving tuning window. That has benefits beyond just a horsepower number, say when driving on a hot day or having to hot-lap the car at the track. Plus, there is the cost-per-gallon and availability benefits over a similar-performing race gas. The only potential downside of E85 in a street car is that you are effectively reducing the volume of your fuel tank, since E85 requires a higher volume of fuel for the same power level. So, you’ll have less range and have to fill your tank more often,” Acosta explains.

The new fuel system and other upgrades would need a robust ECU to control them. A Holley Dominator ECU would allow us to take advantage of our new E85 fuel capabilities. Plus, it will provide a variety of other tuning options. Now MaxStreet will have room to grow even more if needed in the future.

Time To Hit The Rollers

With all of the parts were installed, it was time to take MaxStreet to the dyno and see what it would do. The goal wasn’t to rotate the Earth, we were more interested in optimizing this combination for street duty.

After sorting out a plug wire issue, it was time to get down to business with MaxStreet. The Nova made several baseline pulls to make sure everything was good to go before we started looking for horsepower. Well, the parts package we put together did its job, and MaxStreet made 926 horsepower and 776 lb-ft of torque.

These numbers aren’t earth-shattering, however, the car now makes over 26 more horsepower with a smaller blower on E85. That’s the kind of improvement we were looking for, because now we can take MaxStreet on long cruises and not have to worry about filling a meth tank. It really shows just how efficient the new ProCharger blower is and how well the Holley Dominator controls everything.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed MaxStreet’s journey as it went from basic street car to a big-block monster. Chances are you’ll see MaxStreet at shows on the West Coast and cruising down the freeway making plenty of big-block-powered noise.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. Brian enjoys anything loud, fast, and fun.
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