Wheels in Motion for Sunday, June 17, 2012: Let’s do the Costa Nova

LIHU‘E — Marketing legend has it that GM had a difficult time marketing its Nova line in Mexico, because in Spanish, “no va” roughly means “it doesn’t go.” But believe me, this Nova can go!

Wayne Costa is well-known in Kaua’i’s automotive circles; he is proprietor of D&W Auto Repair (which stands for Dawn and Wayne) and he and his family generally win more than their fair share of trophies at the Mana Drag Strip.

Costa’s 10-car garage is enough to cause any gearhead’s mouth water; it’s filled with an awesome collection of special interest vehicles, including Datsun pickups, Chevy trucks, Corvettes, dragsters, even a Chevy SSR. Who knows what else lurks under all those car covers?

The 1968 Chevy Nova SS has been in Costa’s stable of cars since 1975. Through the years, the Nova has undergone a total “frame-off” restoration.

Andy Reaurin sprayed on the glossy black paint 20 years ago, and it still shines like new. Every piece of chrome was re-plated.

The interior was totally redone. Except for the Cragar SS rims, the car pretty much looks like it did when it rolled off the assembly line almost 45 years ago.

 If you look closely, you can see that the rear wheel wells were slightly enlarged to accommodate the 10-inch wide rims.

Under the hood, it’s a different story. The engine is a 427-cubic-inch small block, manufactured by Scott Shafiroff Race Engines, of Bohemia, New York.

The engine obviously has a larger bore and stroke than a typical Chevy small block, and is fitted with an Edelbrock Victor Junior intake manifold with a four-barrel 850 double pumper.

The 292 hydraulic roller cam is from Competition Cams. The exhaust flows through Hooker headers and a 2.5-inch Flowmaster system.

The drivetrain features a Muncie M-22 “Rock Crusher” transmission and a 12-bolt GM rear differential with 4.56 gears for a quick getaway.

Though the Nova would do well in the quarter-mile drag race, this car is enjoyed only on the street.

The “Costa Nova.” It sounds so good, there should be a song or dance by that name. Yeah, this Nova really swings.

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