jason mant chev Nova 1 crop

780hp supercharged Chev Nova – Dubai Car News

Most of us have a certain make or model of car that stopped us in our tracks during our early years of ever wanting one. For Brisbane bloke Jason Mant, that car was a second-generation Chevy Nova. He needed one in his life but never thought he would be able to fulfill it. But then, when he least expected it, the perfect example came along and he pounced on it.

First published in the November 2022 issue. Street Machine

Street Machine Features Jason Mant Shave Nova 6 Crop

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“When I saw this red Nova for sale, I knew it was for me, and with the support of my late wife Bronwyn, I drove to Victoria,” explains Jason. “After going to Melbourne to look at the car, I bought it from Chris MacDonald of MacDonald Brothers Racing in January 2015.”

The Nova was finished in Holden Sting Red paint and cleaned as a whistle, but it was lighter than wild, powered by a stock 350ci small-block with a Turbo 700 transmission. Jason enjoyed the Nova a lot in this guise, keeping its wheels for a few years, before parking it while he cared for his wife when she fell ill. Sadly, Bronwyn passed away in 2016, leaving Jason looking for a distraction. “I decided I should continue my dream by paying tribute to him, and construction began in 2018,” he says.

Street Machine Features Jason Mant Shave Nova 4 Crop

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Jason reasoned that he should start by figuring out what size tire he could slide under the back of the Nova without hacking too much, and go from there. As such, the first port of call was Monty’s Competition Engineering attended in the back. A custom-built nine-inch differential went with a 35-spline strange axle and Trotrac center, wrapped in leaf springs in place with Gazzard Brothers traction bars and AFCO dampers.

When it came time to fit out a new engine and trans for the Nova, Jason looked to the popular South East Queensland LS Grow, High-Torque Performance. “I called Kent at HTP and he was very helpful and wanted to get the build going,” he says.

Street Machine Features Jason Mant Shave Nova 17

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Jason wanted some serious thrust under the bonnet, so obviously the tired old mouse motor had to go. And what better starting point for building the modern Pro Street Nova than GM’s venerable LSA? The factory supercharged 6.2-liter bent-eight is good for around 580hp out of the box, and you only have to look at them and they’ll make a lot more than that. The team at HTP knows a thing or two about fatalizing an LSA, so they immediately got one and got to work.

The factory crankshaft was retained, but JE slugs and Compstar rods bolster the rotating assembly to cope with higher boost levels than the factory planted. Breathing is aided by an HTP S/C1-grind camshaft, paired with a set of CNC ported cylinder heads equipped with oversized Feria valves. The factory 1.9-liter LSA blower was also ported and pulleyed to boost 14psi.

The Street Machine features the Jason Mont Shiv Nova 10.

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Staged Bosch 044 fuel pumps deliver either pump fuel or E85 to the thirsty LSA, with a Haltech Elite 2500 ECU scaling the tune based on flex fuel sensor data. The result is a very easy peak power number of 780hp at the tires.

Backing the engine is a remarkably tight Turbo 400 with a dominator 3000rpm converter, sending grunt to the rear of the aforementioned nine-inch third member.

Street Machine Features Jason Mant Shave Nova 18

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Amazingly, the car was in such good condition that there really wasn’t much to do on an aesthetic level. Both the body and the Sting Red doco were flawless, but it’s no surprise that slapping the car on some Weld V-series Bigs ‘n’ Littles does wonders to improve its street presence.

The cabin has also been extensively shopped: the factory seats are neatly trimmed in red vinyl, with an ever-sharpened billet twirler. However, the B&M Pro Ratchet Magnum Grip Shifter and Haltech iC-7 Digital Dash have been added to improve the user experience with the new powertrain.

The Street Machine features the Jason Mont Shiv Nova 12.

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To date, the Nova has managed a best pass of 9.90 @ 142mph, all while the 275/50R15 ET Strats struggle to control and grip. Some of the set-up changes will likely see a drop in ET, but it could mean upgrading the safety equipment, as Jason was invited by track officials to go after the final trip down the strip. what was “I had never drag raced before, so I was ready to get that nine, even with the pedals,” he says. “I can put a half cage in it; that way I can put some harnesses on, put it back down the track and try to catch that middle nine.”

Otherwise, the car is now gone, and Jason has a new partner, who is generally a big supporter of both the Nova and Jason’s automotive exploits. “Kerry has been amazingly helpful throughout the process,” he says. “The car scares the crap out of her, but she loves it!”

The Street Machine features the Jason Mont Shiv Nova 15.

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And with Nova Build running its course, Jason is eager to move on to the next project. “I have a small HB Torana that is sitting on the side at the moment,” he explains. “I’ve always loved the look and would eventually like to put a barra or something in it – or maybe do something different and turn it into an electric!”

Jason Mant
1966 Chevrolet Nova





























paint: Sting Red


engine
Brand: GM 6.2L LSA
include: Ported LSA supercharger
ECU: Haltec Elite 2500
Heads: CNC ported, feria valves, dual springs
Camshaft: HTP S/C1 Grinding
Conrods: Compstar
Piston: JE is fake
Crank: GM
Oil pump: Moroso High Vol
Fuel System: Staged Bosch 044 pump
Cooling: Custom PWR radiator and fans.
Emissions: 17/8in headers, twin 3in exhausts


Transfer
Gearbox: TH400
Converter: Dominator 3000rpm
Difference: 9in, Truetrac center, 35-spline axle


Suspension and brakes
in front: TCI front end, tubular A-arms, Ridetech coil-overs
Back: Elsewhere are leaf springs, AFCO shocks
brake: Willwood Discs and Calipers (f&r)


Wheels and tires
password: Weld Racing V Series; 17×4.5 (f), 15×10 (r)
Rubber: Mickey Thompson ET Front 26×6.00 R17 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street 275/50R15 (r)

Thanks
Kent and Dallas Dalton for basically building the car and all the team at High-Torque Performance; Steve Ryan at Hi-Torque to build the engine; Monty Brown, for all the rear-end fab work at Monty’s Competition Engineering; Lace and Scotch Fat Pipes for Exhaust; Ben Welkin at Elite Automatics for the killer Turbo 400; Ross in Suspension Dynamics; Joe Cubito and Troy Swift at The Bump Shop for continuing to do great work on the paint and panel side of things. My partner Kerry for always being there and supporting me.

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