Car Spotlight>> 1160hp Super Sleeper Nova

Hiya folks. I hope you are enjoying our focus on Street Cars and Sleepers this month. Is our search for wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing street machines working for you? Personally, I quite like the notion: a car with hidden purpose and stealth capabilities. Unlike visually modified street cars, sleepers will often look intentionally unstylish and unassuming; usually to avoid attracting attention from the police, but also to surprise unsuspecting victims.

I have no doubt, that this Nova, built by Kurt Urban and the team at Wheel to Wheel Powertrain in Detroit Michigan has surprised many an unsuspecting high performance car in its time.

Originally featured in a Hot Rod magazine article in 2009, this car, dubbed the Super Sleeper, mates a weathered and unrestored 1972 Chevy Nova chassis with a high tech drag racing power train.

Check out those twin Rotrex super chargers! They force feed an all-aluminum, boost-ready LS2 long-block. The result: 1,160 hp at 7,500 rpm and 825 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm.

It’s the “Octane On Demand” fuel system in the Super Sleeper that’s truly special. Basically the car has two fuel systems running in tandem: one for pump gas and another, which feeds high octane race fuel. Each is connected to a separate set of injectors: the primary system sprays the pump gas and the secondary, on demand system handles the race fuel.

So the car can happily burble around town on normal pump gas, but should Kurt ever happen to go to full throttle, the secondary system will kick in -spraying race fuel into the injectors: instant power!

Check the novel placement of the liquid-to-air intercoolers.

With the fender attached, they are virtually hidden from view.

The tired 40 year old sub-frame needed a bit of help to cope with the intended 1160 hp power plant. Chrome-moly tubing strengthen the set-up and allow for oil pan and crank pulley clearance and keeps the car from twisting out of shape on hard launches.

Looking at this build photo, you can see the front and rear subframes have been tied together. Additional channels were cut into the floor to raise the exhaust system closer to the underside of the car.

A lot of effort has gone into hiding the roll cage from view, making it hard to detect from the outside of the car.

Even the original back seat has been retained, albeit, slightly modified to hide the mini-tub installation underneath.

If this isn’t proper sleeper style I don’t know what is! You’ll notice a five point harness has been built into the original bench seat. Gauges sit inside the glove box with a few additional items mounted out of view on the roll cage.

Funny enough, the horn buttom controls the transmission shifting LOL.

Out back, you can see the mini-tub installation, set up to clear the 10.5 drag radials.

The rear steel rims have been widened on inside, keeping factory offset and even allowing the original hub caps to still fit.

I’ll leave the final word to the car’s owner: “In Gainesville [on Power Tour(tm)], they barely glanced at me or the car when I pulled up to the tech inspection,” Kurt says. “I hardly rolled to a stop, somebody wrote a number on the back window, and I was gone. On my first run, I did a 10.19 at 141 mph, and everybody started freaking out. They were shouting, ‘get that thing back in here.’ I even had to show them my NHRA competition license.”

‘Nuff said!

Please head over to the Hot Rod Magazine website to read their full article on the car, see the tech specs and check out more photos!

:Rod Chong

PS thanks to the Speedhunters reader, Tomok for reminding us about this car.

Photos from Hot Rod Magazine 

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safety mats
safety mats

From a looks perspective it's nothing special; in fact, most people wouldn't put up $500 for this thing. Look a little deeper, though and OH MOMMA! Under its faded green paint lurks a twin-supercharged LS2 that makes 1,160 hp... at the rear wheels.

Candys Man
Candys Man

I'v had a few hero's in my time Richard Petty Evel Knievel and my old man however I'v not had reason to add to my pantheon until I read about Mr Kurt Urban , this Nova is without question the very epitome of a boulevard Q-ship . . ..and I am saving up for a pair of those rotrex's for my '67 Toronado . . . .  


That is so awesome, Novas and related frames like that series GM without reinforcements always twist out of shape if you drive them enough, and that usually didnt take too long.