There is no doubt that Chris Goodnow of Bealeton, Virginia, has one gorgeous ’62 Chevrolet Nova II. What’s more, Chevy’s little shoebox has always been his car of choice. Chris told us, “For as long as I can remember, I have loved the looks of the first-generation Chevy II. Even when my wife and I were dating in high school, I told her that I would have one someday.” That someday came some years later.
Chris continued by saying, “I started looking for a project car during the summer of 2014. Prices on decent project cars were all over the map, and I was considering all options and a variety of cars. I had given up on actually finding a Chevy II, until one rainy weekend I decided to look at the local Craigslist ads to see what might be around. After about 30 minutes of looking, I came across an ad for a Pro Street ‘62 Chevy II. The front end sheetmetal was off the car and it was stored outside under a cover, and I couldn’t help but think I needed to take a look at this car.”
Chris spoke with the owner over the phone for more than an hour, and he learned that the car had been in the owner’s family since it was purchased new in 1962. The following Monday, Chris and his wife drove to the guy’s house to look at the Nova. It was raining, and the owner didn’t want to uncover it for fear it would get wet. Eventually, he did reluctantly uncover the car, and Chris got his first look at his next car.
When he first laid eyes on the car, the front end was off it, but was there. The car had a fiberglass hood and a full interior with a rollcage. The owner had just installed a freshly-built 383ci small-block with an ATI-built Turbo 400. The rearend was a Dana 60 with a spool and 5.13 gears. According to Chris, “The car wasn’t beat up, it just had some dated and worn out parts, and needed some refreshing to be put back on the street.”
Chris knew that he had a project of a car, and he spent the first weekend fitting and assembling everything so that the car looked complete again. After replacing the alternator and battery, and rebuilding the starter, the 383 cubic-inch small-block came to life. That’s when he learned the carburetor needed some help. So, a Quick Fuel SS 750 was installed, and the car could finally move under its own power.
When it came to the interior, Chris also need to make some changes. “Instead of trying to figure out the wiring nightmare in the car, I decided to pull the interior and the dash to fix all the wiring,” he said. At this point, the car was drivable, but when he was ready to drive it, he left the house one morning and four of the five wheel studs sheared off. He decided it was time to then dig in to the rearend. The Dana 60 then received new Strange 35-spline axles while the 5.13 gearset remained.
Chris has plans to swap the rear gears to a more street-friendly 4.11 ratio, and also install a Gear Vendors unit behind the Turbo400. He is also considering replacement of the current small-block with a twin turbo-supported LS engine. In his words, “If I can get this car to pump out about 1,000 horsepower, I will be smiling from ear to ear.”
Chris says that he is really happy with the car and how it is turning out, and since he is doing the work himself, that qualifies this little hauler as a real Home-Built Hero.
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