This ’69 Pro Street Nova Packs Some Heat With A New LS1

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Last weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the 25th Annual Veterans Memorial Car Show in Loma Linda, California. Many of the show’s sponsors, as well as US military veterans, were there to show their support as well.

With over 1,000 classic and late model cars registered at this years car show, we had a huge audience to select from to feature. There were many cars ranging from classic 60s Mustangs and Camaros, to late model trucks and everything in between. However, one car really shined among the rest.

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That car was Paul Summer’s 1969 LS1 swapped Pro Street Nova. We had the pleasure of speaking with Paul after scoping out his third generation Nova for quite some time. He was happy to share the details of his Pro Street Nova with us.

A California native, Summer comes to us from Claremont, California. Though he did spend some time in the state of Washington, where he originally purchased the Nova and had the work performed by Gage Brothers Motorsports in Granite Falls.

Summer's plan for the Nova originally started with an LS1 engine, but he later decided to have the block bored and sleeved to the LS7's specifications, which is 427 cubic-inches.

Like most of our readers probably are, we too were curious why Summer chose a carburetor in lieu of one of the many modern EFI setups available on the market. Summer commented, “I’m an old school guy. When we were tuning the car at Gage Motorsports, we looked at both options. In our experience, we found the ease and the power of a carbureted setup more appealing. You don’t see a lot of modern LS engines running our setup, and we wanted to do something a little different.”

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While Summer’s Nova is built to compete in the True Street series drag racing event, the car is driven on the street on 275-series radial tires. Even with a full cage, a Hughes Performance built TH400 automatic transmission, and a Ford 9-inch rear-axle with 4.11 gears, the car is very streetable. Though Summer comments that his Nova is more of a “smiles per gallon” type of street car, we get the feeling he wouldn’t want it any other way.

With the car able to put down a best quarter-mile pass of 10.20 seconds at 135 mph, Summer says he definitely wants to go faster. Realistically, he doesn’t see the car running a forced induction setup for reliability reasons. Though he did comment that he plans to run a front and rear tube framed chassis setup, and upgrae to a larger tire.

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We had a great time getting to know Paul Summer and his LS swapped ’69 Nova. While he plans to drag race the car even more, Summer mostly just enjoys bringing the car out to car shows and cruising it on the weekends. It was evident that Summer loves his car, and it was a pleasure to see it in person.

With a bright future ahead for Summer’s Nova, we’re excited to see how it runs in the future True Street events, as he comments “I’d love to see this car run 9s in the future!”

About the author

Harrison Noble

Living in San Diego for most of his life, Harrison was exposed to a variety of cars at an early age. His passion for anything that is fast, or has a V8, brought him to Power Automedia.
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