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Chevrolet Nova 'Innovator' wins Goodguys award

Tue, 12 Jul 2011

Alex Covington knows that picking the proper street machine takes time. Many fit the basic bill, but few stand up to the scrutiny of the judges at the Goodguys Optima Batteries Street Machine contest. His customized 1967 Chevrolet Nova, named Innovator, rang all the right bells on July 9 when it won the 2011 Street Machine of the Year award.

After Covington found the Nova, he chose the Roadster Shop in Mundelein, Ill., and Jeremy and Phil Gerber to do the build for the event. The Gerbers' idea for the project was a high-tech-looking piece of American muscle with cutting-edge innovation. Thus the Innovator was born.

Every panel on the custom Nova has been redesigned. The top was chopped almost an inch, the fenders were sloped, new body lines were made and a new rocker panel profile goes around the entire vehicle. The headlights and grille assembly were reworked, as were the tail bezels.

The body was covered in PPG white, with accents in charcoal, silver and bright yellow.

For power, the Nova uses General Motors' LSX engine producing 700 hp, set in a handmade engine bay. New underhood panels were machined, as was a custom intake.

Inside, the cabin has a handmade dash and console assembly, a full roll cage and racing seats covered in black and white leather. The Gerbers added illuminated headliners and floor inserts, adding to the futuristic look.

Along with Covington, the top five finalists were Joe Brown's 1967 Ford Mustang, Gerry Kerna's 1962 Chevy II, Matt Lazich's 1969 Mustang and Alex Stoner's 1970 Mustang.

By Jake Lingeman