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Working abandoned in his Calgary garage, Harry Harder congenital his 1966 Chevy Nova from the arena up. While architecture any custom car is a time-consuming task, this retired dentist has the appropriate attitude.

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“During the build, back neighbours would stop into the barn and attending at the project, they’d say, ‘What a big job!’” Harder explains. His reply? “It’s not a big job, it’s a amateur baby ones.”

After a abounding decade of architecture and the achievement of all those baby jobs, Harder’s ’66 Nova will accomplish its Alberta actualization admission at the 54th Anniversary World of Auto at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park. The car will be on affectation with added than 250 added customs, hot rods, adequate cars and motorcycles the weekend of Feb. 21 to 23.

Growing up on a acreage abreast Lethbridge, Harder was hands-on from an aboriginal age. He abstruse to bond and wrench, and with advice from his father, congenital a 1963 Chevrolet Nova. Aloof afterwards he was accomplished aerial school, Harder took the six-cylinder agent out of the four aperture Nova and put in a 327 cubic-inch V8. Shortly afterwards that, while visiting Speedway Park in Edmonton, he witnessed a 1966 Nova annoyance chase and exhausted a 1968 Mustang 428 Cobra Jet. He says that’s back his adulation for the shoebox-style 1966-67 Chevy Nova was absolutely cemented, but it wouldn’t be until 2009 back he’d acquisition the appropriate car to alpha his own project.

Originally launched backward in 1961 as the Chevy II, the Nova (which was absolutely the archetypal name for the top-of-the-line Chevy II trim) was an intermediate-sized and economy-focused agent in Chevrolet’s lineup. Weighing about 2,500 pounds, the cars were powered by either a four or six-cylinder engine. A Super Sport option, offered aboriginal in 1963, added a adumbration of achievement but the car was still able with ‘just’ a 194 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine. In 1964, Chevrolet added added agent options, including 283 cubic-inch baby block V8s followed by, in 1965, a 327ci V8. Second-generation Chevy IIs launched for the 1966 archetypal year with a complete makeover and added able eight-cylinder powerplants, and the cars remained abutting to banausic for 1967. These shoebox-style Novas were alone offered for that abrupt two year span.

A acquaintance in the Lethbridge breadth knew Harder was attractive for a ’66 Nova. Back he spotted an ad in a bounded newsletter alms a adequately complete and active two-door ’66 with automated manual for auction calm with a’67 four aperture genitalia car he alerted Harder. Harder went to attending at the cars and on July 15, 2009 bought them both and hauled them home.

Harry Harder did the aggregate of the assignment back he congenital his 1966 Chevy Nova, including base in all of the ability accessories, but the autogenous was installed by DeGreeve Auto Upholstery in Calgary.

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Bill Knecht

An LS3 agent from a 2010 Camaro lurks beneath the awning of Harry Harder’s 1966 Chevy Nova.

Bill Knecht

1966 Chevy Nova

Bill Knecht

1966 Chevy Nova

Bill Knecht

First, he focused on stripping the four-door car, which originally had a accepted transmission, for parts. Then, he brought the two-door car into his garage. He took it afar and had the car media accursed to abolish all old artificial anatomy accompaniment and betrayal the affliction areas of rust. With the anatomy army on a rotisserie, Harder replaced both abandon of the rusted-out attic pans with area metal from Classic Industries.

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Harder ordered a kit of genitalia from Heidt’s Abeyance Systems to put four-wheel absolute abeyance beneath his Chevy. For power, a ashore 2010 Chevy Camaro with aloof over 3,000 afar on the odometer donated an LS3 agent and six-speed accepted transmission. To board the beyond powertrain, Harder had to abolish the manual adit from his Nova and cut, bend and bond calm a new one.

“The account of all of the being I had to assemble is a continued one,” Harder says, and adds, “It took me a continued time because I capital to do it myself.”

What Harder didn’t do himself was the final anatomy assignment and acrylic – that was completed by T&S Custom Acrylic & Anatomy Works out of Aerial River, Alberta. He additionally alleged in Murray Wessling of Minute Muffler to run the 2-1/2-inch bore bankrupt tubes from the headers to bright the new absolute rear abeyance and avenue in the banal position aloof abaft the rear wheels. Also, the majority of the autogenous install was done by DeGreeve Auto Upholstery.

The blow of it is all Harder’s adamantine work, including base in the new agent and all of the ability options he added such as cruise control, locks, trunk, windows and Corvette C6 advanced seats.

It took me a continued time because I capital to do it myself.

“In hindsight, I’d accept adored a ton of money by accepting the best car for the activity out of the U.S. that I could find, but I’d accept absent out on all this fun accomplishing a amateur little jobs.”

Plus, there’s the pride Harder will feel back showcasing his accomplishment while the car is on affectation at the World of Wheels—and ultimately back he’s canoeing bottomward the road.

Greg Williams is a affiliate of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Accept a cavalcade tip? Contact him at 403-287-1067 or [email protected]


The 54th anniversary Auto Value Genitalia Stores World of Auto is at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park, from Feb. 21 to 23. Added than 250 cartage will be displayed and added actualization accommodate Zeeb’s Achievement Battle of the Techs Agent Architecture Competition, Pedal Car Challenge and Vintage Alley. Celebrity advertise aptitude includes NASCAR disciplinarian Tony Stewart on Saturday afternoon, while on Sunday amateur John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard acclaim as able-bodied as superhero actualization Black Panther accomplish an appearance. Actualization hours are Fri. 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $6 accouchement six to 12 and chargeless for accouchement beneath five. Auto Value Genitalia Store pre-sale tickets are $16 for adults and $5 for children. Check worldofwheels.com for added information.

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