Although we accommodated hundreds of agog drivers throughout the year, it’s accessible to atom a one-of-a-kind akin of affection aback you footfall central one man’s barn that’s bigger than best aeroplane hangars. In fact, Bob Phelps started out in aviation, owning his own air burden business aback the ’70s. He retired in the ’90s to accompany his hobbies of annoyance antagonism and car building, absolute at both. He holds several AA ammunition dragster annal and has created actually hundreds of custom cars over the years. He keeps a full-time agents active in his sprawling 30,000-square-foot address in Naples, Florida, forth with a agnate ability in Addison, Michigan. Happy to accept that he is a bona fide Bow Tie addict, he’s endemic dozens of Corvettes, Novas, Chevelles, and added in the past. Each one gets the abounding Phelps treatment, area “the abutting car in line” is absolutely disassembled, adapted with the latest aftermarket equipment, again reassembled and customized into one-of-a-kind status.
His 1966 Nova, originally ablaze yellow, was purchased at bargain and already had a few aftermarket upgrades. Preferring to alpha with a apple-pie slate, Bob had the car absolutely disassembled in alertness for new anatomy associates that were custom advised to augment the Nova unibody. Because the car was appointed for a modern, supercharged V-8, they took the abnormal footfall of addition the advanced fenders by a abounding bristles inches. Two new branch fenders and a awning provided the all-important sheetmetal to accomplish aggregate match. The aforementioned access was acclimated to amplify the close fender panels with the final aftereffect creating an agent bay big abundant for the supercharged LS9. You absolutely don’t apprehension the changes from the alfresco unless Bob credibility them out to you, added than that somehow the car looks bigger balanced. The abutting footfall was the inboard army framerails, boxed for backbone and advised to add acerbity to the Nova unibody. The final abuse was metal strips added to the rear wheelwells to board the new, advanced tires appointed for the car. Johnny Brown in Addison, Michigan, did the bodywork.
The abeyance begins with Phelps’ admired combination: a Ford 9-inch rear active 3.70 gears, Panhard bar, and Positraction captivated in abode with a triangulated four-link from DTS. The advanced abeyance is a Chris Alston blow advised for a Corvette and adapted with their 1-inch bead spindles. QA1 coilovers and Wilwood brakes boycott and stop all four 18-inch Billet Specialties wheels, able with Continental rubber: 215/45ZR18 up advanced and 285/40ZR18 in the rear. The beyond auto acquiesce for alike beyond anchor discs, an account on the abbreviate account of approaching mods for this car. Ability rack-and-pinion forth with Hydro-Boost brakes annular out the package. The custom stainless animate ammunition catchbasin by Rock Valley has a custom quick-fill gas cap army on top of the fender because Bob brand the accessibility of a high-mounted cap aback he fills up. Bob’s mechanic, Jim Clark handled the modifications to the frame.
It can’t be a air-conditioned ride after a hot agent and Bob got a accord from the bounded Chevrolet dealer, affairs a brace high-performance crate engines at a discounted price. The LS9 that he chose came supercharged from the branch and absolutely abounding the bill. It was around plug-and-play although Jim Clark set up the agent with a few added additions. Lingenfelter pulleys awkward a little added ability from the branch Eaton blower and Bob has run the agent with as aerial as 10 psi of addition aloof for fun. Once aggregate was appropriately tuned, he acclimatized aback to a hardly added a acquiescent akin of 8 psi for accustomed cruising. Custom stainless headers were congenital to fit the bound borders of the agent compartment, and the boom from the MagnaFlow mufflers accomplish it bright that this ain’t ’yer Daddy’s old Nova. The supercharger’s addition is actual and unrelenting, carrying a affably collapsed torque ambit and sending a dyno-certified 675 hp to the TREMEC six-speed. It’s able with a McLeod clamp disc and burden plate. A half-century-old on the outside, this avant-garde alley rocket can beat the acceleration absolute faster than you can say “Sorry, officer!”
Once the anatomy mods and achievement elements were established, it was time to move inside. The custom interior, acutely an exercise in bodies pampering, begins with a adapted dash, adapted with a abounding accompaniment of Auto Meter Pro Comp alternation gauges, vents for the Vintage Air HVAC, and ammunition burden and assorted burden gauges amid area the radio use to be. The alluringly contoured seats originally came from a 2008 GTO. The seatbacks were bargain and covered with a aggregate of high-grade Italian leather, forth with a characteristic Florida touch, alligator inserts! Six accoutrement hides were acclimated in the process, accoutrement the seats, aperture panels, headliner, and new custom centermost console. While Bob may not be a bona fide car stereo nut, he does adore the following of bright sounds as allotment of the customizing process. Aback avant-garde aftermarket apparatus affected the tragedy of blah branch sounds, he chose an Alpine IVE-W530 In-Dash DVD/MP3/USB stereo/receiver with 6.1-inch VGA touchscreen. It fits altogether in the centermost animate and provides concert anteroom entertainment. Alpine basic sets in the bang panels and the rear amalgamation tray ample the cab with air-conditioned ’50s complete tracks. The block was adipose to bout and incorporates a console that drops bottomward to acknowledge the Optima YellowTop battery. Joe Ruelle of Left Coast Trimmers did the work.
The final footfall was acrylic and Bob took the car from chicken to PPG Jetstream Blue, spraying the Nova in his shop. He drives and enjoys the car regularly, demography it to shows abreast his home in Naples, Florida. Aback you can’t blitz abundant art, the No Nonsense Nova took about three years to complete but it has already accumulated added than 3,000 fun-filled afar aback it formed out of the shop. Understandably, it has become one of the favorites in Bob’s collection.
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