December 20th, 2011

Text and Photos by Anthony Grimes

Blake Foster’s ‘72 Chevy Nova

Blake Foster, owner of Blake Foster Speed Tech Performance, is well versed in building high performance muscle cars, and his newest creation does not disappoint. Blake’s ’72 Nova started life as a Super Chevy build project that sponsored by Speed Tech, which donated the front subframe and rear torque arm suspension. About halfway through the build the original owner contacted Blake explaining that he would not be able to complete the build. The two worked out a deal and the car came into Blake’s possession. With so many Speed Tech parts already on the car, he decided to begin a new project. “I named the car ResurreXion because it started life as a Super Chevy build, spelling includes the ‘X’ for the Nova body style,” Blake told MCP. The vehicle was shipped across country, and after it arrived, upon further inspection, the build crew discovered that the original workmanship was not up to their high standards. “We decided to completely strip the car including removing the subframe connectors and roll cage and sandblasting the entire car,” Blake said.

With a blank slate, Blake set out to build a car that was street legal as well as fully track ready, which is no simple task. However, since he knew exactly how he wanted to car to look, the build went relatively quickly.

After receiving the car on May 13, they had only a few short months to get it ready for the Good Guys West Coast Nationals at the end of August. Lightening up the car was the first task on the list. “The Nova bumpers suck, not only do they look heavy, but they are heavy,” Blake said. So he and the boys at Speed Tech grafted in a 1969 Camaro taillight panel and rear valance, and they swapped the taillights too. This allowed them to use a Camaro rear bumper once they had shortened it and sunk it into the rear quarter panels. The result is a unique, one-off look and a significant decrease in weight. Up front the Nova valance was replaced with a Camaro model, and the front fenders were extended to fit. Also the Camaro’s turn signals were replaced with driving lights, and the nova bumper was cut and sectioned to fit it tightly to the body. Finally, all of the trim pieces were painted the basecoat color and finished in flat clear for a beautiful matte finish. The car’s appearance is inspired by the traditional road race cars with a street car twist that results in an impressive-looking machine. With a car that looks so good, and as the owner of a high-end performance shop, Blake added plenty of performance to match.

Features underneath the hood include a 2006 GM 6.0L engine with Eagle H-beam rods and Manely flat top pistons with a 10.75:1 compression ratio. All of the custom machine work was done by Richmond Engines of Langley, British Columbia, and including balancing, squaring the decks, honing the lines and torque plate and the heads were cut 0.030. Then a new COMP Cams camshaft was installed, and new titanium retainers and beehive valve springs were added. To ensure that plenty of fuel got to the engine an Aeromotive A1000 pump was installed in the Aeromotive Stealth fuel tank. A 10-micron inline filter was also used. The engine was finished off with ATS carbon fiber valve covers, SPAL dual 11-inch fans, a performance radiator and full ARP studs were used on the heads and mains.

A custom 3-inch front-to-back exhaust system was designed by Speed Tech to fit its custom subframe and was built by Stainless Works. The exhaust system features dual Dynomax VT mufflers with long tubes and merge collectors. The result is an engine that is making 510 hp at the flywheel at 6,200 rpm, and 543 ft-lbs of torque at 5, 400 rpm. To make sure all this power is successfully sent to the wheels, a manual Tremec Magnum T56 six-speed transmission was installed, and a Ford 9-inch rearend was outfitted with 3.89 gears. A Tru Trac differential and Strange aluminum center section with aluminum pinion support and chrome-moly yokes were installed with a 3-inch chrome-moly performance driveshaft.

While this car would obviously be fast in a straight line, making it handle while going around a corner was also a top priority. So, a full overhaul on the suspension and braking systems was deployed. Up front the car boasts a full set of Ridetech monotube coil-overs with Hyperco springs, Speed Tech Performance Track Time subframe with high clearance tubular control arms, rack-and-pinion, and 1.25-inch sway bar. Steering was done via a Unisteer First Gen Camaro rack conversion kit. The rear features a Speed Tech Performance Track Time torque arm suspension system with Ridetech monotube coil-overs and Hyperco springs, and a 1-inch adjustable sway bar. Included is a set of Speed Tech articulating trailing arms.

The Nova rolls on a set of Forgeline three-piece aluminum rims, 18 x 9.5 with 6.5-inch backspacing up front and 18 x 11 with 5.5-inch backspacing in the rear. The rims are fitted with 275/35/85 and 295/35/18 Nitto Nt05 in the front and rear respectively. Braking is handled via Baer 14-inch vented and slotted rotors with six-piston calipers in the front and rear. The end result is a powerful car with looks and handling to match.

“We were out testing the car three weeks prior to SEMA and exploded the original motor,” Blake told us. “There was a very big rush to put together an upgraded motor in two weeks, the call went out to Jim at Richmond Engines for some assistance in putting together a new six liter motor in just two weeks. Richmond Engines really came to the party to help out, working a couple Saturdays and bumping a couple other jobs to get this finished in time. The new motor was put on the dyno with a carb and intake to save some time and simplify the break-in period. After a trip around the block we put it in the trailer and drove to Las Vegas for SEMA and then straight to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge where it placed fifth.”

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