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1963 Chevy II Nova Brings Father and Son Closer

Published June 26, 2015

Scott Ellis always had a thing for classic cars, and it’s a quality he passed to his son Cody, who wanted his first set of wheels to be those of a vintage Nova wagon. Since Scott’s work required lots of travel, he was able to scour the country for just the right car for the project. Eventually, he located this 1963 Chevy II Nova with just 63K miles and everything all original; it was a steal at $3500.

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Scott decided on an LS truck motor for the Nova’s power, which posed its own set of problems. He notes “not many people back when we started put LS motors in stock Chevy II front clips. So, it was trial and error getting the LS-based truck motor in there, but worth it all because we built it together in our home garage.”

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Throughout the project, Scott and Cody worked in tandem to create a sweet first ride to stand out and demand attention. Chuck Church of Church Boys Racing helped the pair choose a rack and pinion conversion kit along with tubular control arms and a sway bar. The modifications on this vintage Nova didn’t end there, however.

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The pair used Classic Performance Products brakes, adjustable Ridetech Shockwave air shocks, and Hooker cast exhaust manifolds. Once these and other tweaks were finished, they were able to drop in the 5.3-L truck motor that gets its air and fuel from a Street Avenger carburetor and an Edelbrock LS intake.

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Once Scott and Cody had everything up to snuff under the hood, they turned their attention to the aesthetics. They reupholstered the seats in black leather, installed Auto Meter gauges, and plopped in a Billet Specialties steering wheel to complete the restored look in the interior. For the Nova’s exterior, they turned to Vic DeMatteo for the shiny new DuPont Jet Black paint job.

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Now, the father-son duo reminisce about their time together restoring this classic 1963 Chevy II Nova. “When we started this, Cody didn’t know anything about cars,” Scott recalls. “I had always owned Novas my whole life and wanted one of my sons to have an interest in cars too . . . My most memorable experience was watching him pull out of the garage going to his first car show with the wagon.”

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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