I’ve been making a pretty big deal of getting out and driving your car lately, so I decided to put my money where my mouth is. Two months ago, I gave PHR photog Robert McGaffin a call and said, “Why don’t we meet in Phoenix and shoot a bunch of cars?” Robert lives in Wisconsin, it’s mid winter, so I knew he’d bite. All I had to do for my end of the bargain was load up the Nova and drive out to Phoenix to meet him. It’s all under the guise of doing work, so neither of us had qualms marking those days off on the calendar.
Leading up to today’s trip, I drove the Nova a bunch of times to work, which is no mean feat. It’s a three-and-a-half-hour round trip in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Over the winter, we’ve worked out the bugs in Project Nova (thanks Outlaw Motorsports!), and the little Chevy has proven very reliable—at least when it’s close to home. The real question is, would the joy last once we got out of Triple A’s towing range? Today, I found out the answer is a resounding “yes!”
The Dart SHP 400 small-block behaved perfectly, producing great power, an awesome sound, excellent throttle response, and unbelievably good fuel economy on the highway. I got over 18 mpg on one tank; the best I ever got before was 14 mpg. Tomorrow, however, it’s back to work, as McGaffin and I dig in to shoot a beautiful ’70 Camaro built by Heath Elmer of Heath Elmer Restorations. We’ll be using the Nova as a work truck, hauling photo gear out into the dusty hinterlands of the Sonoran desert. Sound like fun? I’ll let you know tomorrow, so stay tuned!