SoCal’s 2013 Nova BBQ: Food, Cars, and Charity At TCI Engineering
Check out TCI Engineering’s video above to see all of the action!
NPHNP: Nova People Helping Nova People. This is the motto that the members of Steve’s Nova Site live by. It’s been that way from the beginning, and today with more than 30,000 members there remains a feeling that you are with family while browsing. When the first of the now legendary BBQs organized through Steve’s Nova Site was held at a friend’s home in 2006, it was attended by just a few pals hanging out, having a good time, with one thing in common, they all happened to have a love for Novas.
Every year since that first simple gathering the event has grown until it became simply too large to be held at a member’s home. That’s when Total Cost Involved (TCI) Engineering came to the rescue. A meeting was arranged via the Steve’s Nova Site to discuss the 2013 BBQ. All members of the forum were invited to take part in the meeting and provide planning input.
Once the membership had spoken, industry heavyweights such as R.K. Smith of Hot VW’s magazine, Dale Snoke from Snoke’s Metal Shed, and Wade Hicks joined Sal, Evan and Jason from TCI Engineering met for dinner at Vince’s Spaghetti to iron out the details.
Out of that meeting of minds, the date for the 2013 BBQ was set for April 6, and the Ironmen Foundation came on board as the charity of choice for the event. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the 2013 BBQ were donated to this worthy charity that helps provide scholarships to the children of slain and disabled U.S. warriors.
TCI Engineering has worked with the Ironmen Foundation before and donated a complete chassis to assist with the build of the “Metal of Honor” 1932 Ford for the foundation, generating $150,000 at auction for the charity.
- Boze Forged Wheels
- BS Hot Rods
- Budnik Wheels
- Chevy Hardcore
- Classic Industries
- Classic Performance Products
- Doug’s Headers
- Energy Suspension
- Inland Empire Driveline
- K&N Filters
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OER)
- Redline Synthetic Lubricants
- Rod Authority
- Snoke’s Metal Shed
- Speed by Spectre
- TCI Engineering
More than 70 Novas and 125 attendees had pre-registered for the BBQ and members of Steve’s Nova Site were posting meet up points so they could all cruise in together depending on their local starting points. TCI Engineering’s parking lot can hold at least 75 cars, but there was a slight snag early that morning.
The FedEx trailer they use to load parts onto was scheduled to be moved out to the street the night before; however, with all of the prep for this event, the trailer had to be moved the morning of the BBQ. Have no fear, once the parking spots were fixed up, the parking lot began to fill up rather quickly with the coolest Novas from all over So Cal and beyond.
One by one, Novas of all generations found a parking spot to call home for the day. An orchestrated cruise group pulled up together, making for a great attraction. The sounds of lopey cams and the smell of high-octane gas filled the air.
The day had just begun, yet it already had all the makings of a great event, when at around 10:00 a.m., Evan Dalley, TCI Engineering’s sales manager, hopped onto the mic’ and made some announcements regarding food, vendors, and of course the Ironmen Foundation charity. Dalley also mentioned a very special vehicle in attendance.
Steve and Jason Crain attended the BBQ as guests of honor. The Nova pictured below was the restoration project of Michael Crain, slain Riverside Police Officer who lost his life in the line of duty on February 7, 2013 at the hands of Christopher Dorner.
C&C Automotive in Riverside, California decided to help the Crain family by offering to restore the primered 1970 Nova. TCI Engineering heard about the restoration through Steve’s Nova Site and contacted C&C Automotive to have the car at the BBQ to help get the word out about the restoration project.
TCI Engineering announced its support of the project with suspension parts needed for the build, and in the week following the BBQ there has been an overwhelming number of people and companies donating time and money to help build the Nova for Michael’s 10-year old son Ian. Chevy Hardcore will be following this build, so stay tuned!
TCI Engineering opened up their R&D facility to show off their fabrication skills. As attendees entered the shop their attention was focused on the 42-inch big screen TV mounted to a front and rear suspension product display. This TV played a long loop of videos ranging from Overhaulin’ TV shows to drag racing and autocross events. Our own Mike Alexander from our sister publication, Rod Authority was at the shop just the day before the BBQ, shooting for an upcoming piece on their 1936 Ford build, covering the complete build of the TCI Street Rod Chassis.
Two Novas were being built in the shop. One belonged to Evan Dalley, TCI Engineering’s sales manager and the other to Sal Solorzano, the company’s VP of Operations. Also in the shop was the infamous TCI Engineering ’68 Camaro test car and ’37 Ford AA/Gas drag car. Ed Moss, company owner, was found working in the shop on his *cough* ’67 Mustang *cough* during the BBQ festivities. Moss also used this opportunity to unveil a new Nova front end. Nova fans will be happy to know that the old “Mustang II” spindle and coil spring are a thing of the past with this new TCI Engineering front end kit.
Food And Fun
As for the long-distance awards, there were a couple of Novas that traveled a great distance to be a part of the BBQ. Those belonged to Craig Schwab from Tracy, California, who traveled 360 miles with his ’63 Convertible, and Larry Boughter who drove 350 miles from Tempe, Arizona in his ’62 Wagon to hang with buddies and enjoy the scenery.
Dale Snoke graciously volunteered to serve all attendees their choice of either beef brisket or pulled pork catered by Canyon City BBQ. By his side volunteering their time as well were his wife and daughter. If you have not had the chance to enjoy the great food prepared by Canyon City BBQ in Azuza, California, make sure you give it a try. Not only do they cater events both large and small, they also have a fun little sit-down restaurant as well.
As the BBQ wound down it was time for everyone’s favorite part of the show, the charity raffle. One of the many things discussed in the set-up meeting was if extra raffle tickets would be available. Since each Nova in attendance automatically receives a raffle ticket, it was unanimously decided that in order to keep things fair and friendly, no extra raffle tickets would be sold.
The money generated would be provided by TCI Engineering based on food ticket and t-shirt sales. TCI Engineering paid for the t-shirts, catering and drinks out of their own pocket so that every penny collected could go directly to charity. There was almost a 1:1 ratio of raffle tickets to prizes so almost no one went home empty-handed.
The prizes were separated on two different tables, big ticket items on one and swag on the other. The concept was simple; once your ticket number was called you came up and took your choice of any item from the swag table. Once that table was empty, the ticket numbers called would be for the big ticket items. Unfortunately, some of the attendees did not hear their number called and missed out on picking out a prize.
The problem with some people not hearing tickets numbers called did not come to light until the end of the raffle when it was discovered that there were three prizes left and only two raffle tickets to choose from. At this point, Chuck Caswell from the Ironmen Foundation stepped up and graciously gave each of the attendees who didn’t hear their number called a “Metal of Honor” t-shirt from the foundation.
Since a big-ticket prize and no more raffle tickets remained, the decision was made to hold an impromptu auction with the proceeds going directly to the Ironmen Foundation. The bidding for the TCI Engineering 4-link kit was started at $100 by the makeshift auctioneer, Evan Dalley. The bidding continued in $100 increments until it stalled at $600, less than half the retail value of the 4-link kit.
All of a sudden a voice from the back yelled out a $1,000 bid. It was Andy “The Nova Guy” Mule, a local who scours the Pomona Swap Meet and Craigslist for Nova parts and redistributes them to people in need at little-to-no mark up.
With the bidding that high, Evan decided to go ahead and throw in the transmission crossmember and anti-sway bar, more than a $400 value on top of the 4-link kit. Within seconds of Evan making that announcement, Andy yelled out, “$1,100” bumping up his own bid. The crowd erupted in applause and Andy took home the 4-link kit with the winning bid. It was a fitting end to a great day.
Chuck Caswell of the Ironmen Foundation is very passionate about the work the foundation does and where it all began. He was on the mic’ a few times throughout the day and his dedication was evident when he said, “We are simply a group of American patriots, from all walks of life.” Caswell also took time to talk about the Crain family and its Nova build.
At the end of the day, more than $3,000 was raised and donated to the Iron Men Foundation. “The contribution generated was ten times the amount we have ever received from a car show sponsor. We are so blessed to know the people at Total Cost Involved,” Chuck Caswell shared. Best of all, like all good car gatherings, the day closed out with some excellent burnouts to the cheering sounds of on-lookers.
Check out the PHOTO GALLERY below to see all of the Novas in attendance: