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Projects Building my First Car a Second Time - 1962 Chevy II 2-door Sedan Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by freeflynstl, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    I’ve wanted to do a build thread for a long time. However, these things take so long to create and document. I've been working on this car for almost 6 years anyway. I'm waiting on the state to send me my registration so I can finally start driving it. Figured somebody might be into early Novas on the HAMB. I figured once it got to the point where I could take it for a drive, I’d start to put my pictures together and maybe write a little something about it. Not that anything I do is of particular interest to anyone cept maybe a cool little shoebox Nova.

    Growing up my Dad ran a Pontiac/GMC dealership. He was a car guy and always had neat hot rods and I was always hanging around the dealership sweeping up in the body shop, cutting weeds, etc. Behind the dealership was a small transmission shop where a 62 2-door sedan sat. When I was 15 or so I took about $700 I had been saving by keeping my lunch money and a paper route to buy that old Nova. Inside was a pair of NOS fenders to replace the rusty ones that were on the car. I sold those fenders for $750 at a swap meet and a hustler was born.

    This is me, circa 1993 with my first car. 62 2-door sedan.


    First Car Pose.JPG
    My Dad and I built that old Nova over the next year or so into a pretty neat little car for a 16 year old kid. Lowered, hopped up six, headers with dual exhaust, three speed on the floor. I drove that car for the next 5 or 6 years till some drunken fraternity punk hit me on a rainy Friday night. Always wished I’d kept that car. Wished I had more money for a small block and 4-speed but it was still a special car to me.

    Ugly color. That's how we did back in the late 80s and early 90s. Pastels. Ugh. This is me on my way to my senior prom...May of '95. My Dad let me drive his 47.

    Senior Prom 46 Ford.JPG

    I’ve been a car guy my whole life and I’ve owned a few different old cars and motorcycles over the years but when my wife and I had kids I sold a 37 Chevy Pickup I had cause, honestly me, her and the dog could barely fit in the cab. I wanted to be able to enjoy the hobby with the family a la my childhood. So one afternoon I was perusing the local Craigslist add when I saw an early Nova for sale. It was to rough but it made me nostalgic so I started keeping an eye out and had some friends looking when I found what was advertised as a ’63 Sedan. So I loaded up with a buddy and drove south west for about 3 hours to look at it. Turns out, it was a 62 which was cool because my first car was a 62. The bad was this car was rusty. It lived under a lean-to and sat on gravel and for who knows how long. It had rough small block in it and an automatic trans. I looked in it and under it as best I could and decided it was too much of a project for what I was looking for. The seller was trying to convince me it was a solid car. It was really more of a project than I was looking for so I thanked him for his time and I got in my truck to leave and he knocked on the window. He was all but begging me to buy it. I told him I was really looking for a 63 and that my first car was a 63 (this was bullshit of course) and it was more of a project than I wanted. He asked me to give him a number and I did. So I bought a Nova I wasn’t really sure about it. A pretty decent deal but I was till gambling and I’m shitty gambler.

    Nova on Trailer.jpg

    Nove Home2.jpg


    I got it home and was able to really look it over. It wasn’t a total mess but it was rusty. Some kind of spray can rubberized shit all over the dash and doors. Some parts missing. What I had envisioned in my mind was a running driving car which it was. Barely. Decent shape and fairly solid. I wanted to run a warmed up inline 250 and a 5-speed. I wanted a 63 and up 10 bolt with new axles and upgrade the factory steering and suspension with one of those Church Boys coil over and rack and pinion kits. The rest of the car as much of a factory looking Chevy II as possible. Maybe some subframe connectors but that was it really it.

    I've had this photo of this early Nova on my computer for I don't know how long. Something about the car was just kind of cool to me. Sat real low. When I was a kid I wanted Cragars on my car (not sure what those were but they looked close enough to Cragars). I never had enough money for new set of wheels and tires when I was a kid. So I've kept this photo and always thought if I had a chance to build my first car all over I wanted to be white with Cragars.

    Nova Idea.jpg

    I travel a lot for work. Well, did anyway before COVID and I remember a trip to San Antonio once. I got off the plane and was hungry. I've always love Papadeux and if you know SAT there's one right by the airport. So I stop in for lunch and theres a brand new Corvette in the parking lot. I mean like it just left the dealership. It's white with a bright ass red interior. I always remember that car not because I like vettes but that car was sharp. Well, as it turns out the Nova I bought came from GM white, with a red interior. So that was it. As bright of a white as I can find and as bright of a red as I can manage. With Cragars and maybe those skinny whites.

    So I got to work. As it turns out this car needed floors and the bottom of the original front subframe was a total mess. Not useable. I used some Dynacorn replacements from Speedway. Front to back.

    Nova Floor.jpg

    Nova Floor1.jpg

    Nova Floor2.jpg

    Nova Floor3.jpg

    I wanted to use the original subframe but it wasn't really repairable. I searched and searched for something nearby. A takeoff was what I was hoping for but everything I found was too far away. I was at the Street Rods Nats in Louisville with my Dad when we walked by the TCI booth and noticed a early Nova front subframe. Not exactly what I wanted to do but it sure an easy solution to my problem. Indepent front suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, coilovers, dropped spindles, brake lines, rack, the whole shooting match. Still didn’t have a 250 sourced yet and it was going to be more work to do that. Figured I'd solve one problem at a time so I bought one.

    TCI Delivery.JPG

    Nova Mockup.jpg

    Nova Mockup1.jpg

    Filled a few holes in the firewall, SPI black epoxy. TCI makes it pretty easy really.

    So the 250 problem. Ive always thought hot six cylinders are cool. As a matter of fact, so many years ago I learned that here in St. Louis lives a 37 Chevy Coupe owned by Harry Stirnemann. His brother Jack owns the famed Walker-Morrison 32 roadster. Well in that couple lives a turbo charged 292 and if you've been down to the HAMB Drags you've probably seen it. This thing runs in the 9s. Ryan allows him to run the car down there mostly cause its Ryan's race and he does what he wants. His words not mine. Check out the thread from a few years back. Harry is on the HAMB too.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...t-to-check-out-at-the-2011-hamb-drags.616563/

    So one afternoon at a birthday party for one of my daughters my brother-in-law and I are sitting on the porch and he says I need to but this big block chevy that's in his way and put it in this Nova. I didn't want a big block really. Didn't want a small block even more. I was at the point where I really needed to get this thing figured out and was about to plunk down about $7K from Tom Lowe up in Iowa on a 250. This wasn't exactly a "budget" build but I'm not a rich guy. I'm resourceful and have a lot of family and friends in the hobby who can help. I buy and sell a lot of hot rod parts, mostly 5-speed stuff to help fund my little habit. But I can stretch $7K pretty far. This 396 came in a 29 Plymouth my brother-in-law had. I've ridden it, a lot. The story was that big block came out of a 69 Chevelle that went off into a ditch. So I'm whining about a big block and he says, I'll bring it up here...a thousand bucks delivered but I'm keeping the water pump. So a good running 396 minus the water pump for $1000. Damn it. OK.

    Engine3.jpg

    Engine2.jpg

    Engine4.jpg

    Engine5.jpg


    Bellhousing was mine. A holdover. Bought that on a work trip to Phoenix once. Found in a Craigslist add. Did you know Southwest Airlines will check almost anything? Now you do. The 5-speed I bought from a boosted Mustang guy here in town. He'd torn it all up. I fixed it and put a Chevy case on it and the midshift kit. It's a Frankestein gear box. Chevy case up front, Ford in the rear. Hell, I got more in that midshift conversion than I do in the whole gearbox.

    Nova17.jpg

    Nova3.jpg

    I'll add some more stuff tomorrow. Hope you dig it.

    Andy from STL

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  2. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,800

    flatford39
    Member

    Your pics didn't show. Probably to large.
     
  3. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    Not sure why the pics weren't loading? I checked the web app and it seems to be working ok. Anybody else having issues with pics loading?

    The rear needed addressing. 62 had four lug axles and I had this bitchin set of Cragars I wanted to use. As luck would have it I found someone local with a 10 bolt from a 64. Easy enough to clean up, add a new set of axles from Moser and new gearing. Now I didn't add a Posi. Mostly because I didn't want to spend the money and I wanted to get this thing on the road as soon as I could and I needed so spend the money elsewhere. Furthermore, I've got plans of adding a 12-bolt for a 67 Nova and when that goes in it'll get the appropriate upgrade.


    The leaf sprung rear perches were a freaking mess for all the rust. Lots to replace under there and I wanted to drop this thing about 2 inches all the way around. I don’t think Ridetech makes the kit anymore but several years ago the made this triangulated four link bolt in kit for early Novas. I think they called in a AirBar or something. I opted for the coilover option and the installation was super easy. Some small amount of welding on the rear to join the top bar mounts and that was about it. Got it all mocked up and sitting on the ground.

    Nova19.jpg

    Nova18.jpg

    Tunnel needed some work to fit the shift location of the 5 speed so I made provisons for that. Used a hump from a 65 El Camino and it just almost fit perfect. Cleaned up some surface rust on the floors and seam sealed the floors and I was getting close to starting the body work on this thing. Fun Fact...the dice shift knob I had in my first Nova. Still have it 30 years later.

    Nova10.jpg

    Nova11.jpg


    Now getting this thing stripped was a damn mess. I mean, a freakin mess. This car had apparently been painted three times. I could see in the trunk that this thing had a passenger side quarter put on it once. Little did I know how bad of a job someone did putting this quarter on. I did the best I could given the circumstances.

    Nova9.jpg

    Nova8.jpg

    Nova7.jpg

    A la dog shit.

    Now I've used SPI products and they have always come highly recomended. Barry will answer a text message around the clock if you have questions about the application of his product. This is not a commercial just one hot rodder to another. You can't beat the value. That's where I'll leave it. I shot this stuff on a Saturday morning in my garage at home. I have a good friend who, at the time, taught at the local Techical College and we usually paint stuff down there. However, and the reason escapes me, we didn't have access to it and I wanted to get this thing in epoxy before making the trip 100 miles to my Dad's where he was going to help do the body work.

    Nova12.jpg

    Nova13.jpg

    All totaled I think it took my Dad about 10 months to do the body work on the hood, trunk, doors and shell. I took it to him in pieces and then the car all at once. Much appreciated to my 74 year old Dad for helping me get this across the finish line. I'm telling you, that old man has done more for me over the years than any man should have to for his son. He's kept me on the straight and narrow and kicked my ass when I needed it. He's the hardest working person I know and has had my back no matter what. So thanks Dad! Well be scaring old ladies an setting off car alarms before you know it.

    Nova14.jpg

    Nova15.jpg

    Nova16.jpg


    Andy from STL
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  4. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    Thanks Dad, for being cool and not like the other Dads. He's a real Cary Grant ain't he?

    Dad.jpg

    Andy from STL
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021

  5. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,956

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Love old Novas. I had a 63.
    Great story.
    Let’s get your pictures posted.

    It looks as if you tried posting using the app.
    I’ve had the same issue.
    Don’t use the app and go to your browser.
    From there pull up this thread.
    You can now edit it and add your pictures in the area they need to be.
    Good luck.
     
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  6. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    Well crap. Hopefully you can see the pics? I think I'm cooking with gas now.

    Andy from STL
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,969

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    No pics but, great stories. Have a '63 now, had a powerful '65. Good luck with pics



    Sent from my SM-G930V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  8. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,480

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    All kinds of great pics now.:):):) Looking good . i built a 62 about 15 years ago using Hiedts stuff , might not be traditional. But compared to your first 62 this one will be like driving a new Corvette! Have fun. Enjoy time with your Dad every chance you can. Mine taught me everything , but now he is 89 and in a home with dementia and does not remember much of it. Larry
     
  9. alumslot
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 492

    alumslot
    Member

    Great thread I've had several Nova's and have a OT one now. All the pictures look great. Going to be a FUN car when you get it done.

    Jim
     
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  10. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,764

    quick85
    Member

    Dude, you're long winded but it actually was a great intro to the car. I can't wait
    to see it finished but, please, no whitewalls with the Cragars. I've had five Novas
    myself but they were '66, '67 and '68. By the way, I like the way your first
    car looked.
     
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  11. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,956

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Much better. Pics are showing
    Man that’s a lot of work.
    Looks great.
     
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  12. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 425

    Greg Rogers
    Member

    Love it! Great job.
     
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  13. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,899

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Nice car now, and I personally love the little big block Chevy! The 396 is one of my favorite BBC engines.
     
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  14. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,405

    AHotRod
    Member

    I love my Chevy II Wagon, it and my Coupe are my only daily drivers.

    IMG_1066.JPG
     
  15. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    Your Ansen bell-housing/scatter-shield was meant for a 55-57 Chevrolet; may have been ale to get a few dollars for your project by selling it, and getting something with the Chevy II clutch fork position to make things a little easier. Not being critical, just an observation on my part. Had a 63 Chevy II wagon "street racer" myself many years ago; still have the engine (327), and 4500 stall torque converter (Powerglide) that were in it. Sold the rolling car to a guy who dropped in a 350, and then wrecked the car. I wanted a 2 door sedan, but a wagon seemed more non-descript for a "street racer". I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  16. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    Great thread ! I have owned a few Chevy II 2 door post cars. Not Nova's, but Chevy II. A 65 and a 67.
    The 65 was a 427 4 speed and the 67 was a 350 with a 350 turbo.
    The 65 with stock suspension and a iron headed big block 4 speed was a hand full on wet pavement.
     
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  17. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    I brought the car back from Dad's in late summer of 2019. I was in a hurry to get the interior painted before the weather turned. I don't mind painting some small stuff at home but the interior of this thing was about as big of something as I've ever painted at home. Plus it was red so the entire garage has to be masked off and a very calm day. The doors were painted with by a buddy at his shop. I didn't want to have to move the car around unnecessarily since it wasn't running yet. So I got it home and set out to get it the interior blocked. I had to get it painted before October because once September is over the weather here is too unpredictable to be able to paint at home in your garage.

    Red interior.jpg

    Red interior1.jpg

    Red interior6.jpg

    Laser red from a Toyota. I was planning on using an original interior reproduction from a 64 available from PUI Interiors. I did the best I could trying to match the vinyl. Masked it up and shot it. Last 80 degree of 2019...October 12th. The doors were painted in February of last year. Right before the world went to hell.

    The plan was to get the interior painted and then over the winter get it fully wired. This meant I could then move it around under its own power and I can get it on and off a trailer a lot easier than having to winch it on.

    Everybody wants to be a hot rodder till its time to do hot rodder shit and I was the only one blocking this car.

    Nova1.jpg

    Nova2.jpg


    I'm pretty frugal and can stretch a dollar. I work hard for my money and I hate to part with it sometimes but I don't mind paying for quality either. These things? Classic Instruments Direct Fit G-Stock gauges? Doood. These are incredible. And don't give me a hard time about my workbench...I'm working here.

    Red interior4.jpg

    Red interior5.jpg

    gauges3.jpg

    gauges1.jpg


    These were taken over the Christmas holiday. I can usually keep my shop about 55-60 long as it doesn't get into the single digits. So over the winter it was wiring. As I said before, I don't mind paying for quality and I used a American Auto Wire Classic Update kit. It's expensive but comes with absolutely everything you can possibly need no matter what you're running. So instead of using something universal and having to source new switches and connectors, etc. This thing comes complete. Saved me a ton of time.

    So I spent the winter wiring and the spring prepping to move this thing. Getting it started and rudimentarily tested so I can drive it out of the garage and move it around. I didn't know it at the time but my paint situation was about to be derailed till my Dad's car club buddy really helped out. That and my painter and very close pal would wind up pulling what would amount to almost an all nighter.

    Thanks for the kind words. I'll post more later.

    Andy from STL
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  18. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,405

    AHotRod
    Member

    Love it man
     
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  19. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,855

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    enjoyed your story. I had 4 Novas, 63, two 65's and a new 67 SS
     
  20. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    I was all ready last spring. Everything blocked and ready to shoot. Started with the hood and trunk lid because I could paint them locally. One of my closest buddies is a collision painter and teaches night school at a local technical college. We were planning on painting there when we were told that the college was getting new paint booths over the summer break. We had about a week. No way I was getting it in less than a week. So we were able to shoot the truck and hood at least.

    Travis Paint.jpg

    Travis Paint1.jpg

    trunk paint.jpg


    The car came from GM in Ermine White but I was looking for something that would attract bugs. I picked a white from a Mercedes...Polar Weiss. It attract bugs so I'm gonna say its a bright white.

    My Dad runs with a car club out of Cape Girardeau, MO called the River City Rodders and a member offered me his shop to paint the rest of the car in. The only issue is that shop is about 100 miles south of Saint Louis. Just made me nervous to get it trailered up when its so close to being done. So I white knucked it all the way and that was June of the COVID summer.

    Paint.jpg

    Paint1.jpg

    So many people helped me get this thing this far. No way I would have ever been able to pull the trigger on this thing. That was a Friday, in June so it was hot, and my pal Travis worked a 10 hour day in the booth. Then drove 2 hours south to paint this car. He painted from about 8pm till almost 3AM. We had a few beers, slept for about 3 hours then cleared it on Saturday morning. He turned around and drove back to Saint Louis that afternoon. I can't thank him enough for that.

    Paint3.jpg

    Paint4.jpg

    Paint2.jpg
     
  21. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,391

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    That would be my next project if I could find one that wasn't rotted away. Yours is going to look really nice.
     
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  22. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,431

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Awesome blueprint in that old pic
     
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  23. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,395

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    All though I like Nova's in a bit def way,as Oval track stock cars,ya I cut up a few,still like'm! Cool ride! Plus !!!!Your paints coming out great !
    I've still got my first hot rod 28A roadster I built for highschool,but my #2 car was a Henry J full custom,but that got stolen in late 64. I have thought about building it again,but turns out now days Henry J's no longer sell for the $75 ,I payed in 1960 for a used one,so ya,that an't happenning !
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  24. jbon64
    Joined: Jul 26, 2006
    Posts: 474

    jbon64
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    NICE !!!! i've had several hardtops ,a 64 wagon and a 63 convertible. gotta love the first gens !! i've been looking out for another convertible .
     
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  25. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 36,920

    loudbang
    Member

    Paint came out REAL NICE. :)
     
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  26. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 425

    Greg Rogers
    Member

    Great job!
     
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  27. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    anybody know how to post a video from my phone? I've got a cool vid pulling it out of the booth but don't know how to get it up on here.

    Paint6.jpg

    Andy from STL
     
  28. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 36,920

    loudbang
    Member

    You have to post it to Youtube first then when it is there copy the address at the top of your browser of that youtube post and put it into a reply here and done. :)
     
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  29. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 278

    freeflynstl
    Member

    Thanks for the tip. Enjoy. Hope you can see the clip below.

     
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  30. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,440

    KJSR
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    That's coming along great!! Thanks for taking the time to post.
     
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