Featured Car / Parking Spot Car Feature

Parking Spot Car Feature: Chris Konecny’s 1963 Chevy Nova

There are many ways to announce your arrival. Vibrant, glistening paint is our favorite but your car’s stance, or better yet its sound can also do the trick. A gurgling, rhythmic rumble from a lumpy V8 or the whine of a supercharger tugging at the bit ready for action will make any enthusiast with a heartbeat snap to attention.

Our head snapped around the moment we heard Chris Konecny’s 1963 Chevy Nova hit the parking lot at our October Caffeine & Gasoline event… and we were across the concours lawn, far from the driveway.

Luckily the rumble got louder and we were able to lock-and-load our camera as the old Bow-Tie backed into its parking spot. The car was a standout that Saturday and we liked that its Pro Street theme matched the race car theme of the show.

Chris has owned the Nova about nine months and says it was complete when he purchased it but had been sitting and needed some attention. “The builder had spent a couple of years building it, put about 250 miles on it, and pretty much parked it,” says Chris. “Although it ran, it didn’t run well. It had an overheating issue, it frequently backfired on cold start up, was losing fuel pressure to the carbs, and the suspension hadn’t been dialed in. These issues aside, I knew I wanted the car when I saw it, it was obvious that with the right help that it would be a quality driver when tuned up. The guys up at Honest Performance have really helped get this car squared away, both in terms of work done on the car and advice provided when sorting out odds and ends.”

Part of the revival included modifying and installing a bigger radiator and fabricating a fan shroud to solve the cooling problem, modifying the pop-off valve on the 6-71, and replacing a blown gasket. Chris also re-wired the fuel pump to solve the voltage drop/fuel pressure issue, and addressed the suspension.

The Chevy is built on an Art Morrison chassis fitted with a ladder bar rear suspension and a strut front suspension. It runs a 355-inch V8 that’s topped by a Weiand 6-71 blower and fueled via Holley 9379 annular booster carbs modified for supercharger duty. The small-block is backed by a TH400 transmission and a narrowed 9-inch rearend with aluminum center section. Inside we find a full roll cage and a very tasteful gray tweed interior that extends from dash pad to package tray, including a pair of Kirkey Racing bucket seats.

Chris says the Nova struck a nostalgic chord. “My first car was an orange Nova. Although I tracked it down a couple of years ago, the current owner wouldn’t budge in selling it back to me. I’ve always been a fan of the first-gen Novas, so when I ran across this car I found a way to get it in my garage… I had to have it.”

The boosted small-block has not been dyno tested but Chris reports the builder is a bracket racer and had run this engine for a number of years before installing it in the Nova. Based on that Chris believes it pushes about 650 horsepower and should power the car to mid-10s in its current configuration. Chris was quick to relate his goal is to put some additional miles on the Chevy before taking it to the strip within the next year or so.

The orange Bow Tie is certainly a show-stopper and we thank Chris for his sharing his time and his car with us. See more pictures on our Flickr page by clicking here.

Have fun in your garage!


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