Joe is semi-retired and has owned this late-model car with so much potential for more than 30 years. He stored it in his garage for most of that time because he was just a little hesitant to tackle anything this major. The car had previously been set up for mild drag racing with a Dana 60 rear-end axle. The only damage apparent at the time was bubbled paint on the hood from a small engine fire.

We pulled the entire front clip off the car and replaced it with a Heidts front end. From the firewall forward we put in all new frame rails, rack and pinion power steering, and different motor mounts and fender aprons, delivering a modern front-end to improve handling.

We used a rebuilt, small-block Chevy engine that Joe had set in place but never fully installed. We replaced the front-end drum brakes with disc brakes and added disc brakes to the rear as well. When we installed the engine, we replaced the four-speed transmission with a Tremec TKX five-speed with a hydraulic clutch for a more modern pedal feel. We also installed an updated accessory drive system.

Joe wanted to maintain a retro/hot rod-style header, so we brought the headers up and over the front rails to exit out the fender aprons between the fender and the inner apron and applied a new ceramic coating.

Finally, we added a Dakota digital retro gauge cluster, so Joe has more accurate gauges to monitor performance.

We worked with one of our preferred body shops to repaint the hood. Other than that, the body was in very good shape, sporting the silver-blue metallic factory finish.

Anyone with a Nova or Chevy from that era knows that the ’66 and ’67 models were already very cool cars – we just brought that all out and enhanced it, delivering a reliable, smooth-handling, head-turning cruiser that will finally emerge from the garage!