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Boosted Brilliance: Vintage Styling Meets Modern 1,000-hp Firepower on This ’66 Chevy Nova

Southern California sunshine and the roar of classic engines – that's the world Tony Causor grew up in. Like many car enthusiasts, his passion was ignited early, fueled by disassembling and customizing miniature cars. These weren't just toys; they were canvases for his imagination, a glimpse into a future filled with tinkering and hot rodding. As he matured, the garage became his classroom. Working alongside his father, Tony honed his hands-on skills, assisting with various car projects. These early experiences instilled in him a deep respect for mechanics and a love for the transformative power of customization.

Front of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Classic Aspirations

The dream of owning a classic Chevy burned bright, but financial realities in his early twenties kept it just that – a dream. Joining the military provided the means to finally make it a reality. Through an eBay auction, a maroon 1966 Chevy II Nova with a gold interior and a 350ci engine became his. It was a classic beauty, rolling on iconic Cragar wheels and embodying the spirit of the era. Armed with the knowledge garnered from his father's garage, Tony poured his heart into improvements.

Dash of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Vintage Inconveniences

However, the road to automotive bliss wasn't without its bumps. Reliability issues plagued the car, and the lack of modern amenities like air conditioning and power steering took their toll on the enjoyment factor. The Nova found itself sidelined for years, a testament to the harsh reality that sometimes, even passion projects need to take a backseat.

Rear of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Then, a shift in Tony's financial situation opened the door for a complete transformation. This wasn't just about restoring a classic; it was about creating a dream car – a modern daily driver that retained the soul of a bygone era. Enter David and Terry Stoker, renowned Nova experts with a reputation for creating show-stopping machines. Tony knew he had found the perfect partners to bring his vision to life.

Supercharged LS3 Engine of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Rocket Booster

The collaboration resulted in a masterpiece of automotive engineering. Under the hood, a potent LS3 engine, enhanced by a formidable Boost District TVS 2650 supercharger, now unleashes a staggering 1,000 horsepower. A heavy-duty TREMEC TKO 600 transmission and a McLeod twin-disc clutch ensures seamless gear changes, allowing Tony to harness the engine's full potential. The engine bay itself became a work of art, a testament to meticulous attention to detail. Eddie Motorsports hood hinges complements the blacked-out engine compartment with a shaved firewall and custom inner fenders, showcasing the marriage of form and function.

TCI / Ridetech Suspension of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Handling it

The transformation extended beyond the engine. To achieve exceptional handling, the car received a high-performance TCI Pro Touring front clip and a four-link rear suspension. This wasn't just about raw power; it was about precise control. Adjustable Ridetech ShockWaves allow Tony to switch between a smooth, comfortable ride and a slammed stance that demands attention when parked. Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners provided the stopping power necessary to match the car's newfound capabilities, with a manual master cylinder ensuring strength and reliability.

Nitto NT555 G2 Tires of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Getting a Grip

Schott Vulcan EXL wheels, wrapped in high-performance Nitto NT555 G2 tires, flawlessly blend modern performance with a vintage aesthetic, a perfect embodiment of the car's spirit. The 255/35ZR18 tires in the front provide a balance of sharp handling and a comfortable ride, while the wider 305/30ZR19 tires in the rear maximize grip for those bursts of 1,000-horsepower acceleration. Both front and rear tires are Nitto NT555 G2s, which are UHP summer tires known for exceptional traction, handling, and wet-weather performance – crucial qualities for a car that demands peak performance in all conditions.

Interior of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Retro Cool

Inside, Tony opted for a blend of classic character and modern functionality. Stock components remained, a nod to the car's heritage. However, Dakota Digital RTX gauges replaced the originals, offering a clear view of vital engine information while maintaining a vintage aesthetic. Art of Sound in Upland, CA, stepped in to create a top-notch sound system featuring an Alpine head unit, JL Audio speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer, adding a touch of luxury to the driving experience.

Front of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Green with Envy

The exterior transformation was entrusted to R&A Autobody. Gone was the original maroon paint job. In its place, a clean PPG Willow Green finish took center stage. It was a no-frills look, a deliberate choice that set Tony's Nova apart from the crowd of heavily modified Pro Touring builds. The goal wasn't to scream for attention; it was to create a car that spoke volumes through its understated elegance and raw power.

Rear of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Sunshine Cruiser

Tony's Nova is more than just a car; it's a culmination of dreams, passion, and collaboration. It embodies the spirit of classic Chevys with the power and handling of today's performance machines. It's a testament to the enduring spirit of backyard tinkering, a reminder that even the most ambitious automotive dreams can become reality with dedication and the right guidance. This Nova, a SoCal sunshine cruiser with a heart of gold, is a rolling masterpiece that turn heads and is ready to carve its own path on the open road.

Front of Tony Causor's 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

Hard Facts

Vehicle: 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova
Owner: Tony Causor
Engine: Chevrolet LS3 engine, Boost District TVS 2650 supercharger, LSX Concepts accessory drive, Aluminum cylinder heads with L92-style port with 68cc chamber, FiTech fuel pressure regulator, fuel surge tank, fittings and stainless lines, Airaid U-Build-It intake tube with filter, U.S. Radiator aluminum radiator with electric fan, Hooker Blackheart LS swap exhaust manifolds, Custom 2.5-inch exhaust with Black Widow Neighbor Hater mufflers
Drivetrain: Silversport Transmissions TREMEC TKO 600 transmission, Currie F9 rearend with 31-spline axles with limited slip differential and 3.70:1 gears

Total Cost Involved Pro touring front clip and rear four-link, 2-inch drop spindles, Ridetech air-ride system, Wilwood 12-inch disc brakes with two-piston calipers

Body: Willow green paint, Paint and bodywork by R&A Auto Body of Montclair, CA, Eddie Motorsports hood hinges

18x9 and 19x10.5 Schott Wheels Vulcan EXL

Tires: 255/35ZR18 and 305/30ZR19 Nitto NT555 G2

Interior work by Elegance Auto Interiors of upland, CA, Black loop carpet, Dakota Digital RTX gauge cluster, Vintage Air climate control

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