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Karen and I were about 2 miles from the Newburgh bridge when we made a call to the Island Dragway track line, to see whether or not there was going to be a race that day. The weather in upstate New York was great; blue skies and white puffy clouds were everywhere. Unfortunately, the weather in northern New Jersey was not so nice………….the race was cancelled. What a disappointment!! This was the third consecutive year that our May race was called due to rain. I sincerely hope that the rest of our racing schedule will not be plagued by any rainy days. Since I was planning on giving everyone the results of the race at Island; I really didn’t have any material ready to showcase one of our member’s cars; but at the last minute, I got Kevin Lynch to give me all the information I needed for an article on his ’65 Nova gasser that goes by the appropriate name of “PRIME SUSPECT”. The name on Kevin’s car relates to the fact that he is a retired police sergeant from a small town out on Long Island’s northern leg; and, the car is in primer. So, let’s take a closer look at Kevin’s gasser.

Somewhere around 2007, Kevin was listening to a local radio program called “Swap & Shop”; when he heard someone call in with a 1965 Nova SS roller for sale. Well, it didn’t take long for Kevin to purchase the car and start his journey of making a gasser.

When Kevin first got his Nova, it had more of a pro-touring look than a nose high gasser; as it had a Heidt’s Mustang II front end assembly installed on the front clip. Kevin mounted the Nova tub on a rotisserie; and he and his best friend Bill Johnson began to replace the floor and trunk pans with new sheet metal; and instead of tubbing the rear wheel wells, they did a nice radius job on the rear wheel well openings. Kevin finished the car with a couple of coats of grey epoxy primer. The Mustang II front end was removed and a WAC custom straight axle, with early Chevy spindles, new leaf springs, 90/10 Competition Engineering shocks and a Flaming River Vega steering box was installed on the front sub-frame. Out back, a Ford 9” rear was mounted to the leaf springs; along with a pair of Competition Engineering racing shocks and wheelie bars. Kevin and his friend Bill fabbed up a set of homemade 5’ ladder bars to help with traction issues. The rear end uses a Richmond case that houses a Detroit locker and 4:11 gear set. Moser supplied the 31 spline hardened axles. A 15 gallon fuel cell rests in the trunk floor and the Sunoco 112 fuel is pushed and regulated via a Magna Fuel electric pump and regulator. The “Moon” tank is for looks only!!

Stopping power, comes from a set of GM disc brakes up front and the 11” Ford drum brakes out back. The front 7.50 x 15.0 tires are mounted on 5 x 15 U.S. Mag slotted wheels; while in the rear, the 10 x 15 U.S. Mags hold a set of 29.5 x 10.5 x 15 slicks. Inside the car, an 8 point roll cage was built; along with the installation of a couple of Jaz racing seats and belt assemblies. Engine performance is measured by a set of Autometer Pro Comp gauges and tach. I guess the only thing that is left to talk about is the drivetrain that Kevin has uses for motivation in his gasser.

The original power train consisted of a Chevy 454 engine; complete with a tunnel ram and 2-4 barrel carbs; along with a Muncie M-22 4 speed. Currently, the 454 has been replaced by a GM Performance ZZ502 Chevy that has been bored an extra .040”. Eagle supplied the 4340 crank and H beam rods; and a stud girdle has been added for extra lower end protection. Holding the oil and covering up the bottom end and high volume oil pump is a Moroso 8 quart oil pan. At heart of this engine is a Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft that uses Liberty roller lifters to activate the complete Comp Cams valve train. Connecting the cam to the crank is a heavy duty double roller timing chain. Sitting atop the short block are a set of ported and milled ZZ 502 aluminum cylinder heads; that combine with the Diamond aluminum pistons to produce a 12.5:1 compression ratio. Intake valves measure 2.25” and the exhaust values are 1.88” in diameter. An Edelbrock Victor “O” intake manifold distributes the fuel from a Holley 950 CFM carb. Between the carb and the intake, rests a “Super Sucker” spacer plate to help increase fuel flow. Spark comes from a MSD 6AL ignition system; and cooling is handled by a stock water pump and a “Be Cool” aluminum radiator. A set of “old school” Mickey Thompson valve covers and spacers protect the upper valve train components. The engine exhaust gases pass through a very nice set of Hooker Super Comp fenderwell headers. This big block Chevy was built by Heintz Brothers Performance in Statesville, NC. and during the latest dyno run, it registered a healthy 722 HP at the flywheel.

Moving all that horsepower to the rear end belongs to a tried and true T-400 automatic trans with a reverse valve body. The crankshaft is coupled to the trans via an ATI flywheel and a TCI torque converter with a 4500 rpm stall speed. Kevin controls the trans with a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter and the output of the trans makes its way to the rear end via a custom made 3” drive shaft by Carolina Powertrain. To date, Kevin has pushed his 3100 lb. Nova to a best of 10.12 seconds @ 129 mph. With the improvements that Kevin has made over the winter, he may be knocking on the 9 second door if the track conditions are just right. As always, I recommend that if you attend one of our events, take a minute and stop by and talk to Kevin and his wife Cheryl. They’re a great couple and Kevin would love to talk to you about his car. By the way, the “B & K Speed” logo on the door was a dream that Kevin and his friend Bill had when they were young; but life has a funny way of changing the direction that we travel; but the dream still lives on!!

Thanks to Bob Wenzelburger, Jeff Unfried, Mike Mihalko, Diane Deming & Miss Karen for the great pictures.




























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