Bill Z’s 1963 Nova

Built From The Ground Up

Bill Z’s 1963 Nova

Bill takes pride in the fact that he bought this Nova on Uncle Sam’s dime, a $300 government stipend got him this 1963 Nova to enjoy back in 2003.

Bill had seen this Nova for a long time stored outside of a wrecking yard with a “NOT FOR SALE” sign posted on the back window. When he found out that the lot was moving locations, he found the owner’s address and made his offer with the government stipend.

This 1963 Nova has been steadily worked on bit by bit since then whenever Bill determined it needed something replaced or upgraded. Over the years, it’s had a quarter panel replaced, as well as had the stock front suspension rebuilt with poly bushings and upgraded to a 5 lug setup.

The engine had been swapped to a 327 small block unit with L89 cams, paired to a stage 2 700R4 transmission with 3.73 gears in the rear. This powerplant has now been swapped to a 2004 5.3L LS with Texas Speed cams and LS6 heads with upgraded trunnions. The LS also has a Holley aluminum intake and Holley Sniper Stealth carburetor.

The supporting mods for this build include a TCI front end as well as a mini-tubbed TCI 4 link rear end, subframe connectors, and a 9 inch narrowed rear axle. The 700R4 transmission also has a Hughes 3000 RPM stall converter.

“I bought the car with the government’s money and have built most of it originally myself.”


An unfortunate incident at the track in 2016 left the 1963 Nova wrecked and insurance totaled out the car, but Bill bought it back and had the body and paint work redone to his specs.

Aside from performance, Bill’s had the upholstery redone recently.  The outside was rattle-can black primer for a little while, but he upgraded to a real paint job back in 2012 at the same time he chose to add the 4 link rear end and mini tubs. It’s since been redone after the crash in 2016, but he had his 1963 Nova repainted the same way as it was beforehand, featuring a ’60s flame paint scheme.

He has just recently added sectioned fiberglass bumpers painted chrome to his longtime 1963 Nova project. Other interesting modifications to the exterior include shaved door handles, a modified left tail light to accommodate a fuel filler door, while relocating the tails to the rear bumper. He also installed an aftermarket grille and integrated turn signals with the headlights.

Bill plans to finish up his 5.3 LS conversion installation soon so that he can “drive the wheels off it”. He’s anxious to dig into a 1965 Nova once this one’s all done.

"I have purchased many parts for my Nova from Ground Up and have always been happy. Now I am ordering for the 65 and i am sure I will have the same experience as I did before."

-Bill Z

Ground Up Parts Featured In This Build

1962-1979 Nova 7 Inch LED Headlight Set

Part #: LED-7


You Save: 10%

1962-1964 Nova Bumper Kit Front And Rear

Part #: MX-KIT62
1962 Nova 1963 Nova 1964 Nova Bumper Kit Front And Rear


You Save: 10%

1962-1965 Nova Front Inner Bumper Bracket Set

Part #: MBB-X62


Best Price Available

1962-1965 Nova Front Outer Bumper Bracket Set

Part #: MBB-2240


Best Price Available

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