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Fesler Nova Placed in Top 12

23rd Feb 2011

1972 Chevy Nova - Project Julia Juxtaposed

Or A Little Part Of Arizona Anyway
From the January, 2010 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Terry Ward
Photography by Chris Fesler


1966 Chevy Nova Front View
Bryan Millhouse tells it from the heart. No hesitation, no stumble, no searching for words. It's mantra. It's gospel. He's lived every minute of this and it is part of him. His entire hot rodding career has been no different. And this is a good story, too. A family story, a story with a very happy ending.
Power Module And Support
The 427-cubic-inch LS7 engine is rated at 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The factory knows all about insurance "surcharges" applied to overabundant powerplants like this one, so it becomes prudent to underrate the production package. Think more like 540 hp and 500 lb-ft of grunt. This thing comes with a dry sump oiling system, in this case abetted by a Stef's oil accumulator, as well as a compression ratio of 11:1, a stout hydraulic cam (0.591/0.591, 211/230 at 0.050), and forged titanium connecting rods to go with that good steel crank. Hooker Super Comp headers (13/4-inch primaries, 3-inch collector) merge with a MagnaFlow 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system. The LS7 sports a Billet Specialties aluminum coolant pump, pulleys, and breather, and is serviced by a Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine accessory belt drive (Tuff Stuff 130-amp alternator, Vintage Air HVAC compressor, and Detroit Speed power steering are the ancillaries). There's an Optima cell stationed in the trunk to run it all. The 427 is fed by a Walbro pump (Holley fuel regulator, Earl's fittings, stainless lines) sucking from a custom aluminum fuel cell (leading corners were flattened to accommodate the width of the back wheels). Cool air comes in through a fabricated air duct to an Air Raid element. The engine controller is a GMPP stand-alone unit. The transmission cooler is integrated into the Be Cool aluminum core (utilizing the stock radiator support) that is pursued by a single 16-inch SPAL pusher fan surrounded by custom-built aluminum shrouding. Torque is processed by a beefed GMPP 4L65E transmission via a sensible 2,300-stall converter and companion stand-alone controller. A Drive Shaft Shop steel prop hurries the guff to a Currie 9-Plus axle that turns 4.11:1 gears on a limited-slip differential and spins 33-spline axleshafts.
1966 Chevy Nova Chassis
1966 Chevy Nova Custom Suspension
Air Ride Air Shocks
Fesler 3 Piece Wheels
Rollers & Clamps
Fesler Built's own FS905 3-piece, 19-inch rims are prominent: fronts are 9.5 wide and hold Michelin Pilot Sport P255/35s. The back ones measure 11.5 inches and are wrapped with P345/30ZR PSs. Lurking behind these massive and intricate hoops are 14-inch Wilwood velocity burners with six- and four-pot calipers, respectively. A Hydratech master cylinder works with a dual-reservoir booster.
1966 Chevy Nova Interior
Fesler based the Nova's electrical foundation on a Ron Francis wiring system and from there the goodness naturally flowed-to the gaggle of Auto Meter gauges in the fabricated instrument cluster, to the Dakota Digital air ride and Vintage Air control panels, the Electric Life power window lifts, the Pioneer AM/FM/CD/DVD head, the Kicker trunk-based amp, navigation system, and so forth. Before any of this was established, however, Fesler lined all of the car's naked surfaces with sound-absorbing/heat-quenching Dynamat. The panels, seats, carpeting, and the very interior scheme itself are low-key but obviously rich and sumptuous. The Recaros, original back seat, door panels, custom-made console, and armrest are upholstered in leather; headliner, package tray, and sunvisors are done in contrasting suede. A Fesler billet wheel anoints the Billet Specialties tilt steering column that's held by a custom column drop bucket. While Bryan holds the leather-wrapped wheel, Julianno's 3-point safety belts hold him. Shiny points in the bottom are Lokar stuff.
1966 Chevy Nova Truck
Air Ride Controller
Chevy Nova Hood Hardware
1966 Chevy Nova Rear
Gary Sharp applied the PPG water-based argent shade after the Fesler crew had their considerable way with the metal. Among the major triumphs, they smoothed and filled the body, shaved the drip molding, attached a Goodmark cowl hood, milled the firewall clean, built the mini-tubs, custom fabbed the rear bumper (notched for Meg's exhaust tips) and moved it closer to the body, and laid in tinted glass all 'round. But they left the door handles intact. What you are not likely to notice right off is the Fesler billet aluminum hood and trunk hinges or the stainless steel trunk strut support. Check out those slick Fesler custom taillights, kissed lightly by smooth billet surrounds.
To view the original article on Chevy High Performance's website, click here