This gnarly 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS396 has a spec sheet longer than this space I have to fill here, so you''ll have to bear with me when I tell you that this car is much cooler than you''d think. With high-quality paint, that thumping big block, and a 100% performance look, this is the car that everyone worries about at the Wednesday night test-and-tune, because it''s the benchmark against which all others will be measured. It''s nasty! Taking weight out is like putting horsepower in, but what if you did both? This Nova is the result. It''s also rather attractive, with expensive Intense Blue Pearl paint that''s like regular old Marina Blue on steroids, which seems fitting, actually. A six-inch cowl induction hood eliminates any guesswork about this car''s intentions, but they did restrain themselves and didn''t add stripes or wings or any of that nonsense. Instead, they just got the basics right, with good bodywork and a great shine that may momentarily distract opponents from the exhaust note when you pull up. Maybe. Nice chrome and trim glitters against the bright blue paint and SS badges have been fitted wherever they were appropriate. And with a car like this, I guess there''s not much point in trying to keep a low profile, so proper ''396'' emblems were bolted to the front fenders. The Nova wasn''t famous for its luxurious interior, but the deeply bolstered racing seats now fitted make an argument that it needed an upgrade. They''re comfortable but not at all constricting, and this car still carries a full back seat so it''s practical as well. The factory gauges were dumped in favor of a set of Auto Meter dials, along with a Monster tach up high where you can see it in the heat of battle. I also like that they put the speedometer up there, which makes sense if you think about it. Nice carpets, reproduction door panels, and what appears to be a nicely preserved back seat make up a very user-friendly interior. There is no radio, no heater, no defroster, but you probably won''t miss them anyway. New rubber seals throughout make it feel tight and not at all like most race cars you''ve driven, and even the trunk remains at least a little usable despite the fuel cell and Optima battery stashed back there. The big 396-inch V8 received a .030 overbore when it was rebuilt, and it isn''t your garden-variety rat motor. Forged TRW 11:1 slugs were dropped into those oversized cylinders and tied to a forged Eagle crank and topped with ported GM heads. A solid lifter cam gives it that old-school race sound but roller rockers add a little efficiency. A big Holley 950 Pro-Series carburetor and matching Strip Dominator intake give it instantaneous throttle response and with the sand-cast valve covers and race-grade braided stainless hose, the sucker certainly looks the part of a full-race piece. The TH400 3-speed automatic transmission is equipped with a B&M Holeshot 3000 RPM stall torque converter and the 12-bolt rear end is filled with Moser axles and 4.11 gears on a Posi. Weld Draglite wheels complete the street/strip look and carry skinny 165/80/15 front and 275/60/15 rear tires that fit inside the original fenders. Big and nasty, this Nova proves the old adage that too much is just enough. This isn''t a car for beginners, but if you crave speed, not many cars deliver like this one. Call today for all the details! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.