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    Results 1 to 14 of 14
    1. #1
      Join Date
      Aug 2022
      Location
      Tennessee
      Posts
      14
      Country Flag: United States

      Home-built 72 Nova, "Full Tilt"

      Hey everyone. I'm new here, but the idea of for this Nova has been in the works since I was a little kid. I've always wanted to build a 68-72; one that I could drive, race, cruise, and enjoy. I looked for years, and couldn't find one that I could afford. When I was 22, I found what I thought was a pretty solid 72 body, and traded my daily driver 74 Chevelle for it. The car was built during the 3rd week of July, 1972, the same week that my birthday fell on 25 years later; it felt as if it was meant to be.
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      I came to find out that it was not as solid as I had originally thought, but it was good enough to repair and make a decent driver. On a tight budget, I ordered what I could to get it ready for the road, with essentially no direction as to what I really wanted it to be. It sat for around 2 years as I pecked away at what I could afford to do to it. By the grace of God, I landed the job I had been trying to get for almost 2 years after graduating college, which enabled me to somewhat "restart" the Nova in an entirely different direction, and give it the rebuild it deserved. This started off with the replacement of a majority of her sheetmetal, down to and including the frame rails. I'm not a metal guy by any means, and didn't want to screw my car up from the get-go, so this work was carried out by Midwest Nova Kings. Highly recommended.
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      While the car was away, I started on the engine, a Dart-based 427 small block. I went back and forth on whether to run an LS or not, which truthfully would have been the easiest way to reach my goals for this car. However, I wanted to steer this car in a more "unique" direction, and opted to stick with a traditional (yet far from factory) gen 1 SBC. Since getting the car back, I've started installing DSE minitubs (a first for me. again, I'm not a metal guy, but I'm learning), and will likely be raising the driveline tunnel in the coming weeks.



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      I have the majority of this build planned out, and I can't wait to update you all on it as I go. I've finally settled on "Full Tilt" as a moniker for this project. I'm giving it everything I've got, using everything I've learned on my other cars over the years to do the work myself, with the intended outcome of a car that can be road tripped, beaten on, cruised in comfort, and brought home safely time and time again.


    2. #2
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Location
      Kansas City, Missouri
      Posts
      604
      Country Flag: United States
      Hey buddy welcome. Looks like u got a good start. Always loved the novas. My very first car was a 70 nova that my dad had bought new. It was like new when he gave it to me. We took it to a muffler place to put dual exhaust on it and the car fell off the lift and ended up on its side. Good luck with the car. Keep chipping away at it

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Aug 2022
      Location
      Tennessee
      Posts
      14
      Country Flag: United States
      thumper, thanks a bunch. It took a while to get to "ground zero", but it's only going up from here. What ever happened with your nova? Did the shop have insurance, or were you guys SOL? I would have had difficulty keeping my composure lol

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Location
      San Diego
      Posts
      23
      WOW! It always amazes me to see a car go from this...

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      To this...

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      Amazing work.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Location
      Kansas City, Missouri
      Posts
      604
      Country Flag: United States
      They did have insurance but it wasn't near enough to replace that car. I was only 17 at the time. I was pretty much in shock. Now my dad was a different story lol. He definitely lost his temper. I have never seen him so mad. It was really hard for me because the car meant a lot to the family We did get estimates to fix it but this was back in 1979 and it was just to much to fix back then. If u would have know should of just bought it back. Of course i have had several cars that i should of kept.
      Quote Originally Posted by 72Xbody View Post
      thumper, thanks a bunch. It took a while to get to "ground zero", but it's only going up from here. What ever happened with your nova? Did the shop have insurance, or were you guys SOL? I would have had difficulty keeping my composure lol

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Aug 2022
      Location
      Tennessee
      Posts
      14
      Country Flag: United States
      rs67convert, I feel the same way. It's nearly unbelievable that a car can be brought back from such a low point! They did an incredible job. It makes a world of difference working on a car (particularly, installing mini tubs) and finding no rust or anything that needs replaced as you're cutting away!

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Apr 2014
      Posts
      803
      Country Flag: United States
      Very cool! Congrats and good luck with your project!!
      Pat

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jul 2006
      Location
      Chesapeake, VA
      Posts
      578
      Wow, that's a different way to back half a car! I always love it when someone saves a car that would otherwise go to the crusher. I'm not sure I could do it.
      Cars are meant to be driven.

      John B

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Location
      Ontario, Canada
      Posts
      2,322
      Country Flag: Canada
      You know you have a rust problem when......................

      Quote Originally Posted by rs67convert View Post
      WOW! It always amazes me to see a car go from this...

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      To this...

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      Amazing work.
      It is oddly satisfying to see a car saved like that.
      Well done.

      Ken
      If there is a hard way to do something, I'll find it!
      My other car is a Vega.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Aug 2022
      Posts
      14
      Dang, that rear was ate up. Glad to see it saved. Im hoping mine won't be bad when I cut in for tubs.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Oct 2015
      Posts
      314
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks great! Why didn't you have them put the mini tub in it when they were putting it back together?
      My half a$$ed build thread.https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...elle-6-0-4L60E

      Tighten it till it strips & back it off a quarter turn.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Apr 2022
      Location
      Monterey, CA
      Posts
      8
      Country Flag: United States
      How are you liking that Eastwood Mig Welder? I'm in the process of researching Migs for sheet metal work mostly.

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Aug 2022
      Location
      Tennessee
      Posts
      14
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Alwhite00 View Post
      Looks great! Why didn't you have them put the mini tub in it when they were putting it back together?

      That would have been an additional $3500 labor to the mini-tubs...even with it apart already. I also wasn't sure what direction I was going with the car, and honestly didn't think I would need the extra room. As soon as I got the car home, I figured it out and knew it would need them lol

      - - - Updated - - -

      Quote Originally Posted by 69Elky View Post
      How are you liking that Eastwood Mig Welder? I'm in the process of researching Migs for sheet metal work mostly.
      I have loved it so far. it hasn't given me a single issue. It's my first welder, I taught myself to weld with it. In my opinion it's well worth the money, and pretty forgiving for a beginner.

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Sep 2013
      Location
      Houston, TX
      Posts
      240
      Country Flag: United States
      69Elky: I have that same MIG welder and have used the $h!t out of mine. I did a full floor pan replacement, outer wheelhouses, trunk drop offs, and tons of smaller patches to fenders and doors. I even used it to repair the rusted body mounts in the frame before powder coating. I had to make two passes on the frame mounts to get good penetration in the thicker steel. My only issue was the trigger switch in the gun went bad after about 8 months. I replaced the micro switch but then the wires in the snake cable between the welder & trigger developed an intermittent break in the wiring so the gun would just stop working in the middle of something. Eastwood was straight up with me and replaced it free of charge even though it was over one year since my purchase. Buy the accessories kit with replacement tips. Good, clean tips help to make good welds.
      Rodney
      Rodney Meyers
      72 Olds 442 Rest-mod clone