The Chevrolet Nova is one of the smallest musclecars ever put out by Detroit. However, what happens when you take a small car and stuff it with modern technology and then put it on the track? Well, let’s ask Aaron Ginn from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Starting off with a 1970 Chevy Nova purchased back in 1999, Aaron began his project with a mild 350ci small-block and 4-speed transmission. Though this netted him high 12’s in the quarter; it was nowhere near as fast as he wanted to be.
As he began weighing his options, he tried the classic “no replacement for displacement” method. This led Aaron to drop in a 454ci big-block sporting dual 4 barrel carbs and TH400 transmission. A few runs later, and he was dialed into the low 11 second quarter mile. While this kind of set-up would make any gearhead proud, Aaron was nowhere near done. Enter the year 2006.
By this point Aaron had played with all kinds of naturally aspirated motors, including a 388ci stroker on nitrous which was loaned to him by his good buddy Matt Titus. Despite the low elevens and high tens he was pulling on the track it still wasn’t satisfactory enough. In his pursuit of more speed and faster times, Aaron finally found the engine and transmission combo that pushed him into the 8 second time at 175 mph.
This was delivered by an LQ4 iron block out of a 2001 GMC pickup paired up to a powerglide transmission. While this may not sound like a combination to push a Nova into the 8 second quarter mile, the secret is a turbo. And we aren’t talking your run-of-the-mill turbo either. After boring, stroking, and concreting the engine, the 98mm turbo built by Custom Racing Turbos was then added in the engine bay. A P13000 A2W (air to water) intercooler was added to keep this beastly turbocharger cool while it’s spooling up 25 pounds of boost.
Of course, when you’re running something this massive, you’ll need some serious management to keep it all in-line. Knowing this, Aaron decided on running Big Stuff 3 EFI system; complete with 160lb/hr. fuel injectors, a Magnafuel belt-driven fuel pump, and a Waterman cable fuel pump drive.
The power is sent through a home-built 1.80 Powerglide sporting a PTC converter. Hooked up to an NCDLS 3.5-inch DOM driveshaft and 8.5-inch 10-bolt rearend with 3.42:1 gears, there’s no problem running the track with the 28/10.5 Mickey Thompson rear tires.
Where does this put Aaron today? Well, as of the beginning of the 2012 season, he was ranked number one in the Ultimate Street category, with number one championships in the 2009 and 2011 Ultimate Street category in Colorado.
Before anyone begins thinking anything, Aaron spends his free time with his brother and a few friends building everything by themselves. This isn’t just a track-only car either. According to Aaron, he drives it on the street every chance he gets! With the 2012 season underway, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Aaron can put another championship under his belt this year. If you’re interested in seeing what this horsepower looks like on the track, check out Aaron’s YouTube channel here.
Aaron sporting his 2012 #1 qualifier trophy