Terry started looking for a car rebuild project in late 2019. His kids were grown, and the COVID-19 pandemic had just gotten underway – the timing couldn’t have been better. He’d always liked the style of the little Novas but never had one.
One listing caught his attention: a project 1963 Nova with a 383 Stroker motor, 700R4 overdrive transmission with a 3000 stall converter, narrowed Dana 60 rear end housing, and 4.11 gears. So the motor, transmission, and back end were installed, but the suspension was simply mocked up and needed to be bolted tight. The fuel cell was wired to a 2×4, and the car had no brakes. There was still work to be done, but someone had made a high-end investment in this car!
Come to find out, the rebuild started as a father-son project. In 2005, the son bought the car, and the father purchased the motor. Father and son shared a love of cars, mainly those that were cool when they were in school. Street rods for dad, muscle cars for the son. The father regularly attended car shows, often as a member of The Shriners, to raise money for children’s hospitals.
Midway through the project, the father got sick and later passed away. The son, Gary, decided to sell “as is” after the car sat in the garage for several years. Terry could relate – his dad is also sick, a long battle with cancer. Yes, he bought the car.
“I’m happy I sold it to him. He is doing what I wanted for the car. It means a lot to me that he can relate to my experience and wants the same things for the car that I wanted.” – Gary H. (previous owner)
This 1963 Nova has a 383 Stroker motor, 700R4 overdrive transmission with a 3000 stall converter, narrowed Dana 60 rear end housing, and 4.11 gears!
Features for this 1963 Nova include:
Installed Chris Alston front suspension and four-link rear suspension
Upgraded 4-wheel disc brakes
Replaced sheet metal (2 doors, hood, 2 full 1/4 panels)
Made and installed compartment for fuel cell and battery box
Reinforced the inside of rocker panels
Replaced driver’s side front floor pan
Installed new chrome tilt steering column with custom steering wheel
Installed tech on the dash
Replaced all stainless steel moldings
Installed high-volume vacuum pump for brake power
Replaced both bumpers and front grille
Replaced both outside mirrors and headlight bezels
Finished installed complete wiring harness
Built custom radiator saddles
Installed new front windshield
Replaced both rear tail lights
Installed new custom dash bezel with Dolphin gauges
Installed custom six-point roll cage
Replaced all door handles and lock assemblies
Terry’s future plans for the car include finishing final touches, like the headliner and stereo, then taking it to a quarter-mile track. The car weighs 2,980 pounds with a full tank of fuel – hopefully, it’s at least a 10-second car!