We made it: 1,100 miles from South Jersey to Tampa in a 509-powered ’72 Nova. We burned more gas than we expected, but added exactly zero oil, coolant, ATF or power steering fluid during the trip. That's a testament to the aftermarket products used.
As co-pilot Dan Foley had never been there before, we exited I-95 in the Sunshine State for some photos outside Daytona International Speedway. OK, I wanted these pictures for posterity. That's me giving you the thumbs-up. The Nova's a lot dirtier, the wheels need polishing after all the rain, and the tire shine's gone, but the Nova's no worse for the wear and tear.
On Nitto 555 drag radials (same tires you see here), the car ran 10.47 at 129.21 at Atco Raceway. We decided to throw it on the office DynoJet in our Snap-On Tools Tech Center in Tampa to see what kind of power it was making. Dan had changed the air bleeds before leaving Jersey in the hope of improving the fuel economy, but we put the ones we used at Atco back in the Proform 950 carb for the dyno pulls. Turned the rollers to 503 horsepower—impressive given how much you lose going through a TH400 automatic and 9-inch rear. All V-belts were hooked up. Now we're thinking about an electric water pump and fan, plus a serpentine system to free up even more ponies.
Been driving Nova to work the last couple of days. I'm really proud of the old girl. We asked a lot of her, but she never let us down. Better still, every time I fire up the 509, it startles the neighbors.