DSE’s Track-Ready Chevy II
DSE’s Track-Ready Chevy II Is Fit For the Long Haul
hWhen Bob Gawlik wanted to transform his V8 four-speed 1967 Nova hardtop from a clean daily driver to a track terror capable of eating up highway miles, he went right to the source of some of the most potent Pro Touring hardware available: Detroit Speed & Engineering. The company, long known for its suspension systems, has a number of full builds under its belt. Bob’s plan was to combine Detroit Speed’s full arsenal of Nova suspension parts with an angry V8 engine, custom bodywork, and a no-nonsense interior to create a car that was capable of entering autocross, SCCA Solo, Ultimate Street Car Association, and other time-attack events.
It’s hard to beat a free-revving, naturally aspirated engine for road-course duty, so a Chevrolet LS7 block was prepped with a 4-inch Callies crank and 4.125-inch JE forged pistons. The 7.0L short-block was topped with a pair of Brodix BR7 heads that feature porting from West Coast CNC. A custom cam from Bennett Racing Engines and Johnson lifters actuate the 2.205- and 1.615-inch valves with GM rockers that use upgraded trunnions. To match the tremendous airflow capability of the top end, an MSD Atomic intake manifold was selected and was fitted with a 102mm Nick Williams throttle-body. A true 1960s Chevy racer should breathe through the windshield cowl, so Detroit Speed fabricated a metal airbox that met a 180-degree tube from the throttlebody. Once it was fitted properly, it was used as a buck to make the part in carbon fiber. With the mechanics and
01] A Smartwire key pad is located out of the way, on the cage crossbar at the top of the windshield.
Black leather and perforated Alcantara upholstery were sourced from Relicate and was wrapped over the Recaro seats by M&M Hot Rod Interiors in Holly Pond, Alabama. Six-point harnesses are from Schroth.
03] DSE started with an incredibly solid Nova as a donor, so all of the sheetmetal you see is original. Of course, there’s more than just sheetmetal in the bodywork of this Nova. The hood is carbon fiber, helping to offset some of the weight gained by the inconspicuous rollcage. Total curb weight is 3,300 pounds.
04] Three-piece Forgeline GZ3R wheels are forged from 6061-T6 aluminum and offer plenty of brake clearance. AP Racing calipers are a two-piece forging and use six stainless-steel pistons. They’re an upgrade usually found on C6 Corvettes and clamp down on 14.6-inch rotors in front. Braking force is all manual, with a Tilton master cylinder and Detroit Speed bias control.