Matt H’s 1971 Nova

Built From The Ground Up

Matt H’s 1971 Nova

Before this 1971 Nova, Matt had a 1972 Nova he got after graduating high school. Unfortunately, not long after, he was hit on the driver’s side by a drunk driver.

Working to rescue the car, he located another shell it was another 1972 Nova. However, upon further inspection, the car he had just picked up was a 72′ body custom-fitted on a 74′ frame.

Frustrated, Matt put both cars up for sale and swore he was done fixing up older-style cars. Reluctantly, this wasn’t the case as a 1971 Nova came up for sale in 2008. It claimed to have a “stout” 383 small block. But shortly after taking the Nova for a spin, he couldn’t quite figure out why it lacked the power it should have. This lead to the motor being yanked and torn down to the block.

Problems soon persisted as he dug deeper and found the block hadn’t been machined correctly as a stroker should. Losing faith in the block, he ventured out and bought a 70s 4 bolt main small block.

Bringing it to life started as 350 4 bolt main bored then stroked it out into a 383. It has a 400 crank, 108 hydraulic roller cam with solid lifters, and Crane roller rockers. It also has the original dart-iron eagle heads. For exhaust, there are busy one headers and a side pipe exhaust system. Adequate fuel is helped by an electronic fuel pump assisting a 650 Holley with 700 Holley internals with a power valve delete.

Matt has an MSD distributor and ignition box. Mated is a Turbo 400 3-speed full manual valve body. In the rear, you will find a line lock and 4.11 Richmond gears. The bodywork and paint scheme had been influenced by his brother who unfortunately has since passed. Leaving the look of the car even more special to Matt as a remembrance of his brother. In honor of his brother, he let the Nova lose with a big smokey burnout for his brother at the funeral.

Matt again found courage in upgrading the 1971 Nova with his father but tragedy struck again as his father had gotten into a very bad accident the day after Christmas of 2012.

80% was family built the other 20% were aftermarket parts or he had machine work done that he couldn’t do in his small garage.

Future modifications involve a goal of 700hp either by a signature engine or 427 stroker. He is also looking into doing a 5-speed swap depending on his money situation. As far as the chassis itself he wants to go with all new shocks around the car and possibly making an L88 out of metal.

Ground Up Parts Featured In This Build

1968-1979 Nova Door Handle Kit

Part #: MEM-1601

$49.99

Best Price Available

1970-1972 Nova Bumper Kit Front And Rear

Part #: MX-KIT70

$379.98

You Save: 5%

1966-1973 Nova Headlamp Mounting Buckets Pair

Part #: LHB-67K

$46.73

You Save: 15%

1971-1972 Nova Parking Lamp Orange Kit

Part #: LAMP-KIT71X
1971 Nova 1972 Nova Parking Lamp Kit

$89.98

You Save: 10%

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