A mountain motor, a six-speed, and … sacrifice
own chassis to handle over 4,000 horsepower.” Rich’s Nova would only have half as much grief to deal with, so that’s just what he and his gang did when they got together and whittled down that stack of chromemoly tubing to combat the inevitable twisting and bending. Ultimately, the Nova would hunker on RideTech air springs.
To install the Ford-like Chris Alston’s Chassisworks FAB9 housing, they set the back-end up with a custom four-link arrangement and located the mass with a Panhard rod. They grew the front suspension from Stainless Steel Brake Company spindles, put RideTech bags between the Heidts tubular control arms and then the fabricators checked chassis movement with a custom-made antisway bar. There was no thought of assuming the extra weight of an unnecessary rollcage.
One of Rich’s special pals is Dean Mattoni, a man from Toledo who’s apparently hell on sheetmetal and paint. “Candy Man” Mattoni (mostly) and Rich addressed the trim and styling cues germane to such car builds, to wipe away the obvious flashing and let the original form shine through. To that end, they removed the driprails; tightened up the gaps; chopped, shaved, and tweaked the bumpers; fashioned a spoiler for the decklid; and smoothed out the firewall, cowl, and new hood.
The Taylors refer to their
X-body as the Blacken Blue Nova for its deep blue and black accents fiendishly captured in the old-school marbleizing technique over the entire car, and that included the framerails. Dean wanted some flames flirting around out there. He laid them out on the hood flats and down the Nova’s flanks so they would flow with the natural contours and curves. He used candies and pearls to create the ghosting effect that would bury them so deep down in the blue that only the rays of the sun would be able to lure them out.
Meanwhile, Rich envisioned long trips in the reloaded Nova. He was all but panting to incorporate some of the sleep-robbing thought and designs he envisioned for the interior as well as making the place as safe and comfortable as it might be. The primary plan would be wrapped in the ambience of 2008 Pontiac G8 GT seats that Brian Huston covered in perforated leather. Hard to tell from where we’re sitting, but it looks like Rich got the seats at least. He settled the interior with custom door panels and a console that he crafted from wood and then had covered in that black hide. Though the Taylors decided against a serious HVAC system, they wanted to be tapping their toes down the road ahead. In Mentor, Brian Huston, this time wearing his Stereo Installs
hat, extended a serious challenge to the mountain motor’s murderous machinations with a phalanx of Sony and Kicker components.
At the end, he got sober about the years he missed. His reveal was candid and unusual. Rich talked about how the experience had brought change to his life, his very way of thinking. “The build consumed me for over three years. Working my day job to maintain the finances and then wrenching in the evenings seven days a week. Although the quality of the build was never sacrificed, I now realize that something had to give and it was my family that felt the sacrifice.” His wife, Kim, supported him every step of the build, offering ideas and grabbing wrenches on a regular basis without complaint, but somebody had to be there for their daughters [12 and 16], especially the older one who survived brain surgery without any lasting effects. It was a blessing and it was an omen.
“The long months prior and many other related items took their toll on me and put me in the hospital with only a few days left to complete it for an upcoming car show. Everyone jumped in and rallied in a concerted effort not to fail. It got done right and on time.” He made his resolve. “I will never sacrifice the love and attention of family and friends for a pile of well-painted, shiny, awesome steel that will never be there for you in time of need.” CHP