A small team of Chevrolet engineers and mechanics has built a resto-modded 1967 Nova SS that demonstrates just how far the internal combustion engine has come since the 1960s.
Displayed for the first time at this year’s SEMA show, the stunning coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter LTG crate engine that makes 272 horsepower thanks to a direct fuel-injection system and a large turbocharger. By comparison, the carbureted and naturally-aspirated 5.3-liter V8 that the Nova SS shipped with in 1967 generated 275 hp, while the smaller 4.6-liter V8 that was also offered that year churned out just 195 ponies. Chevrolet is seemingly out to prove that there’s indeed a replacement for displacement.
The Nova’s original four-speed transmission has been replaced by a modern six-speed manual unit. The lighter drivetrain reduces the Nova’s weight and gives it an enthusiast-approved 50/50 weight distribution. It also allows the coupe to reach 60 mph from a stop in a brisk 6.2 seconds. Powerful disc brakes on all four corners and an air suspension system on both axles round out the major mechanical modifications.
The four-cylinder engine easily fits in the Nova’s cavernous engine bay because it’s much smaller than the eight-cylinder it replaces. However, Chevrolet mechanics had to make minor modifications to the coupe’s transmission tunnel in order to shoehorn in the six-speed manual gearbox.
No SEMA concept would be complete without a long list of exterior modifications. The hot-rodded Nova delivers with a Black Gold paint job, custom Z/28-style 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped by low-profile rubber, a billet aluminum grille, as well as narrowed and tucked bumpers on both ends. Finally, the Bowtie has shaved off the door handles and replaced them with electronic latch releases for a sleeker look.
Enthusiasts who want to breathe new life into their Nova by performing a similar conversion can order all of the parts necessary from Chevrolet’s Performance division.