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 

More Muscle Car stories on Speedhunters

More Drag Racing stories on Speedhunters



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Thats just nucking futs..........


brilliant car and idea. Bet he's left quite a few supra and gtr owners shocked.


Nice, this reminds me of the Monte Carlo from the start of Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift. :D


WOOO Hoooo!!!!!!!!


its the steering wheel that kills me, awesome sleeper. and the octane on demand system means the guy plans on driving it, a lot.

wife: Where you headed hon?

hubby: goin for a drive, back in a few.

Wife: stop scaring hitchhikers!


wow! it looks like some redneck or white trash's P.O.S. car from the outside but it's a real fire breather on the inside!


that car is awesome!! but this months theme is WEAK! there are tons of sleeper in alot of different cars that are less then standard that could be featured.




That looks truly insane. where is the new school of american hotrodding?


One Word. AWESOME!


THIS is a true sleeper. So far most have been not quite so!


Wheel to Wheel is long defunct


Seen it before but this car kinda never gets old! Probably one of the best written articles on here too I'd say.


Next time i will see a Prius sleeper xD


This HAS GOT TO be the ultimate sleeper. Ever.


If you like this car you guys should do a spotlight on the twin turbo lsx lincoln zephyr on ls1tech, it was rescently feature in the book "street sleepers: art of the deceptive car". heres the build thread link:

very basic setup, stealthy and has ran mid 8's at over 160!!! looking at it youd never guess!!!


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

That is awesome!


I vote this for teeh ultimate SLEEPER! NICE WORK!


Not much of drag type guy but this is one amazing built id love to see this car run in person and ride shot gun while i freak out!!


Science, style and insanity. Righteous!


WOOO Hoooo!!!!!!!!


This is a dictionary deffinition of the word: sleeper! Absolutely EPIC!


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

That is awesome!


Do you plan on making it even faster? If so where are you going to hide the parachute? lawlz


muscle cars with efi and boost are absolutely wicked.

You've got a powerplant that's a cross between a Group C engine and an LMP diesel.....all hiding out inside of an old muscle car body that you don't care if anyone dings up or gets chips or dirt or anything!

I still think the best sleeper would have this engine behind the front seats somewhere, and have some crappy bolt on street motor up front, so you could pop the hood all day, but then you line up and unleash the beast in the back :)


this is why i love sleepers


Not much of drag type guy but this is one amazing built id love to see this car run in person and ride shot gun while i freak out!!


Not much of drag type guy but this is one amazing built id love to see this car run in person and ride shot gun while i freak out!!


Hoooooooly Crap!!! That is the ULTIMATE sleeper! Thumbs wayyyy up!


These are the cars I love. So amazing, great work with hiding the roll cage and harness!


Am I wrong or is 10.19 slow for a 1160 hp car?


Way to ruin a perfectly good car with a shit fuel injected engine.


Baddest car ever to appear on Speedhunters!!! Ultimate sleeper!!! Looks like a POS, goes like a cut snake!!


This car is funny but in a good way. I can see him now cleaning up at the street races against lambo's and other supercars. Great build




wow id give up sex for a month to drive that.


Haha! I love it! Usually sleeper cars are still quite obvious to car enthusiasts but this is really stealthy! From the first shot it really does just look like an old rusty banger, but the later shots of the build look like a totally different car! That's really amazing! I'm seriously impressed. I would love to have that car myself.


Thats probably THE ultimate sleeper !

dented, ugly faded paint, crappy original seat all that with a 1160 hp !

it really couldn't get much better


Ultimate sleeper!!! Loved hard


amazing sleeper ! It even has dents on the doors !


this kinds of reminds me of the first car that got totaled in the first race of Tokya Drift... rugged like it.


Now thats a sleeper!


Thanks for the post about this car!

I think Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting" described this model of the Nova (or was it a Ventura in the movie?) as, the ugliest car I have ever seen.


Bejebus Christine! That is an outstanding piece of work. I bet many a faster looking car has rolled away with its tail tucked and egg on its face. Well done sir.



Holy crap...


this is great.. love the stealth-ing ideas of the build like the rool cage & harness. i bet this can wipe smile off most of your everyday GT-R, Porsche & Scooby drivers faces - Thanks for the 'run-down'.. and where is the actual horn by the way?? LOL


lol... everything ive built / dreamed of building / drive at this moment is now insignificant. Thanks Kurt :D


Saw this one a few years back in a Hot Rod mag, really cool idea.


this pisses on supra's and gt-rs aerodynamics with brute force.


Very nice, i know the month is slowly ending, but for a really cool sleeper, you should check the Reyland Mondeo, which has an full Cosworth 4x4 drivetrain swaped to it!


Saw this car at SEMA a few years ago. I thought nothing of it until I noticed the tires were bolted to the wheels. That and the cage are the ONLY external clues to what this car is capable of.


professional sleeper.


The first picture is so cool, a beaten-up old American car with some ordinary looking fellow standing non-chalantly to the side. What a sleeper.


Sleeper Beast trophy for sure...sick build!


@1990's JDM - from Hot Rod: With Kurt behind the wheel, the Super Sleeper ran as quick as 9.68 at 146 mph at the Pump Gas Drags(tm). That's without the Octane on Demand setup installed and with almost no testing on the car. He is confident it'll run 8s.

Read more:


What Carnage said!!


My opinion on what contributes to this car's sleep-factor is not the fact that all the mechanical bits are hidden from view, but that the wheels were widened on the inside!


Sick car!!! but this post is like 2 years old. Saw it on here like 2 yeaers ago ??


That is hilarious. They literally built a true sleeper. Thing looks like garbage from outside, but underneath its a full out racer. Awesome find.


The coolest sleeper i have ever seen. The Hot Rod article said that his boss offered to paint his car for free but he turned it down :)


Got a bigger sleeper then that :P

700hp+ (on low boost) turbo converted Nissan Micra -99.

Spins on every gear. Ppl are afraid to drive it. Swedish build :)


Best car all month, Maybe even the best American car ever on Speedhunters. I want this. all the little tricks like horn button shifter, bench seat with harnesses, original wheels, etc. Well done sir!


One word...



that is sick, the interior is awesome, especially the bench seat, I bet that car surprises a lot of people.


its the dudes car from the big lebowski


Wow first good article on this site in months. Finally a ragged car that has the power to back itself.


Kurt is alive and still building behemoths.Check out his sight at I seen this true sleeper run and it was(and is) BAD fast.


Ha ha, NEVER underestimate ANY car EVER. Especially a classic muscle car. I would LOVE to have that Nova, I'd get rid of the dents and re-paint it and then keep that thing 'til the day die.


Yes, now this is what I call a "sleeper" (unlike that V10 M3 posted earlier). I mean, I'd notice the roll cage and think "it looks like a junker physically but the roll cage shows that its hiding something" because roll cages usually mean that the owner's looking to push the vehicle to its limit..

Sweet build. I have alot of respect for it.


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.


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 . . . .


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.


Are the front wheels 17" to fit bigger brakes or still 15" if so what brake size did you use. Want to create a sleeper nova after seeing this beast. Cheers Phil