By Fuelish Media   –   Photography by the Author

Embarking on the monumental task of crafting a custom car is more than a mere project, it’s an exhilarating voyage of self-expression echoing through the curves and contours of metal and machinery. Whether one immerses themselves as the hands-on artisan or entrusts the creation to skilled craftsmen, the end result becomes a masterpiece of individuality. Yet, in the labyrinthine realm of car building, the term “finished” becomes a paradox; a puzzle that perplexes both creator and observer alike. While some endure what feels like an eternity for completion, others, even upon reaching the finish line, find themselves haunted by the specter of alternative possibilities. These contemplations serve as the seeds of perpetual metamorphosis, revealing that for some, a build is never truly finished but rather an evolving work of art.

Read More: Ground-Up Restored 1966 Nova SS

Step into the vibrant world of John Packard, a visionary hailing from the sun-drenched landscapes of Prescott, Arizona. His canvas, a dazzling ’67 Nova SS, becomes the protagonist in an epic automotive narrative that defies conventions and transcends the mundane. While some owners may merely flaunt their freshly minted machines before parting ways in televised auctions, others, like John, choose a different path—a path of perpetual evolution with their mechanical companions. The rebirth of the ‘67 Nova became a multidimensional journey. The car is a blend of classic styling with the right amount of contemporary flavoring to tie it all together.

006 Rear view of a 1967 Chevy Nova twilight sky

The Nova’s cosmic odyssey commenced with the chassis—a pivotal chapter in this vehicular saga. The factory frame from the previous build gracefully stepped aside, making room for a jaw-dropping, jewelry-level creation by the masterful hands of Matt Tomb from Phoenix. To witness it in person is to be engulfed in awe. Outfitted with Matt’s front suspension and a four-link rear supporting a Strange Engineering circle track rearend, elegantly connected to a Bowler five-speed gearbox, the frame is the sacred canvas upon which the Nova’s new masterpiece is painted.

009 Detailed view of engine components in a 1967 Chevy Nova

The heart’of the beast—the engine—became a symphony of power and precision that transcends the ordinary. Set on a 502ci Chevy big-block, John’s vision extends beyond the confines of ordinary crate engines. Enlisting the expertise of legendary race engine builders at Ryan Falconer Racing Engines, located just a town over in Chino Valley, Arizona, injected a new life into the big-block. Adorned with bespoke billet components, a mock-Hilborn setup powered by a covert MoTeC M800 ECU, and an exquisitely modified Billet Specialties serpentine drive system, the engine is a melodic work of art in itself. The intricate details extend to a breathtaking set of headers and a complete exhaust system, a testament to Matt Tomb’s artistry.

011 Interior view of a 1967 Chevy Nova with blue upholstery

Read More: Mike Everett’s Patina 1967 Nova

For all the concealed wonders beneath the hood, the marina blue-clad exterior beckons attention—a siren’s call in the vast ocean of automotive aesthetics. Opting for a more strategic choice, John’s decision to embrace the traditional tire and Halibrand replica wheel ensemble gracefully complements the car without succumbing to the ephemeral constraints of contemporary trends. Transitioning from the depths beneath the hood to the celestial expanse under the roof unveils a blue-hued interior crafted by the skillful hands of Mark Lopez of Elegant Interiors in Upland, California. A timeless and luxurious style dominates the interior, interrupted only by custom billet aluminum air conditioning vents—a stunning detail created by the enigmatic Falconers, Erik and Ryan. This specialized creation pays homage to John’s confidant, the esteemed Hardy “Hoss” Allen, all while prompting the presence of the 502 beneath the hood.

017 Chrome wheel hub detail of a 1967 Chevy Nova

Describing this rolling gemstone that is the ’67 Nova SS transcends the constraints of any narrative. It’s akin to deciphering the intricacies of a cosmic tapestry—an endeavor that demands an expansive canvas. With each viewing, the Nova articulates its narrative, and yet John concludes “I’m done,” with his smile alluding to a future abundant with the excitement of traversing uncharted highways. In the end, the Nova stands not as a mere creation but as a testament to the eternal journey that lies ahead, promising an eagerly anticipated odyssey of highway miles and discovery.

004 Side view of a 1967 Chevy Nova sunset behind mountains

Tech Check:
Owner: John Packard, Prescott, Arizona
Vehicle: ’67 Nova SS

Engine:
Type: Chevy 502 big-block
Displacement: 502 ci
Cylinder Heads: Chevrolet
Rotating Assembly: Chevrolet
Valvetrain: Chevrolet
Camshaft: Chevrolet
Induction: Hilborn intake, MoTeC M800 ECU
Assembly: Ryan Falconer Racing Engines
Exhaust: Matt Tomb
Accessory Drive: Billet Specialties modified by Ryan Falconer Racing Engines
Dress-Up: Modified valve covers by Ryan Falconer Racing Engines
Fuel Tank: 27-gallon custom by Matt Tomb
Wiring: Martin Charles, MC Automotive (Glendora, CA)

Drivetrain
Transmission: Bowler five-speed
Clutch: Twin-disc Centerforce
Driveshaft: Strange
Rear Axle: Strange circle track with limited-slip differential, 3.70:1 gearing

Chassis
Chassis: Full custom by Matt Tomb
Front Suspension: Full custom IFS by Matt Tomb, Strange double-adjustable coilover shocks
Rear Suspension: Full custom four-link with Panhard bar by Matt Tomb, Strange double-adjustable coilover shocks
Brakes: Wilwood ceramic rotors and four-piston calipers, custom master cylinder reservoir bracket by Ryan Falconer Racing Engines

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 15×6 and 15×10 polished American Rebel with custom caps
Tires: 195/65R15 BFGoodrich Advantage (front), 325/50R15 Nitto NT555 RII (rear)

Interior:
Upholstery: Blue leather with center white stripes in seats and door panels, custom stitching
Seats and Seatbelts: OEM
Steering: Electric power steering with OEM wheel
Instrumentation: OEM with vintage dash-mounted tach
Pedals: Modified throttle, Wilwood brake and clutch pedals fitted with OEM foot pads
Shifter: Hurst
Climate Control: Vintage Air with custom billet vents by Ryan Falconer Racing Engines

Exterior:
Bodywork and Paint: Marina Blue exterior, electric door, and hood locks
Hood: Goodmark cowl induction
Grille: OEM
Bumpers: Modified front and rear

001 Front view of a 1967 Chevy Nova sunset backdrop
002 Side profile of a blue 1967 Chevy Nova at dusk
003 Rear three quarter view of a 1967 Chevy Nova sunny sky
004 Side view of a 1967 Chevy Nova sunset behind mountains
006 Rear view of a 1967 Chevy Nova twilight sky
005 Front angle view of a 1967 Chevy Nova sunset horizon
007 Engine bay of a 1967 Chevy Nova showcasing chrome details
008 Close up of the engine setup in a 1967 Chevy Nova
009 Detailed view of engine components in a 1967 Chevy Nova
010 Close up of the polished engine accessories on a 1967 Chevy Nova
011 Interior view of a 1967 Chevy Nova with blue upholstery
012 Dashboard and steering wheel of a 1967 Chevy Nova
013 Close up of aftermarket gauge pods on a 1967 Chevy Nova
014 Gear shifter with a 50th anniversary ball in a 1967 Chevy Nova
015 Wide view of the dashboard in a 1967 Chevy Nova
016 Tachometer mounted on the dashboard of a 1967 Chevy Nova
017 Chrome wheel hub detail of a 1967 Chevy Nova
018 Suspension coil and damper detail on a 1967 Chevy Nova
019 Undercarriage exhaust and suspension of a 1967 Chevy Nova
020 Super Sport badge on the blue exterior of a 1967 Chevy Nova
021 Close up of the Super Sport badge and tail light on a 1967 Chevy Nova
022 Trunk interior with battery setup in a 1967 Chevy Nova
023 Front grille and badge of a 1967 Chevy Nova SS
024 Underside of the hood of a 1967 Chevy Nova
025 Detailed view of the engine in a 1967 Chevy Nova
026 Interior front cabin view of a 1967 Chevy Nova
027 Dashboard with custom gauges in a 1967 Chevy Nova
028 Close up of the custom door sill plate in a 1967 Chevy Nova
029 Door sill detail showcasing the Chevy logo in a 1967 Chevy Nova
030 Detailed view of electronic components and wiring under the dashboard of a 1967 Chevy Nova
031 Close up of the blue bench seat with white stitching in a 1967 Chevy Nova
032 Interior rear seating area and door panel of a 1967 Chevy Nova
033 Blue door panel with window crank and stitching details of a 1967 Chevy Nova
034 Suspension and brake parts visible under the 1967 Chevy Nova
035 Undercarriage view showing the exhaust system and suspension of the 1967 Chevy Nova
036 The underside of the trunk lid of a 1967 Chevy Nova
037 Side view of a 1967 Chevy Nova showing the Super Sport badge
038 1967 Chevy Nova in blue rear quarter view with Super Sport badge
039 Open trunk of a 1967 Chevy Nova revealing clean blue carpeting
040 Blue interior of a 1967 Chevy Nova showing door panel and speaker grille

 

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of 1967 Chevy Nova SS Restomod.acp april 2024

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