It has been said that once a car has been cut up and relegated to full-on race duty, the odds of it ever returning to the street are next to zero. After all, any racer knows that the best ways to increase speed and decrease elapsed times are more horsepower and less weight. Building horsepower gets expensive, but ditching unnecessary factory parts, cutting wiring, removing lighting, and swapping steel and glass for lightweight alternatives can be particularly cost effective.
When cabinet maker Charles Leake came across this now-sinister, low-slung street bruiser on eBay back in 2004, it was a pretty typical consistent strip performer that had been fully converted to drag duty. Minimalist interior, next to no factory lighting, and an open header exhaust were but a few of the obstacles preventing most from even considering returning the car to the street.
However, Leake saw potential. He soon worked a deal, headed to its location in Long Island, New York, and towed it home. It would be one of the last times the nasty Deuce would ride on a trailer.
“I wanted a wild street car, and the Nova had all the basics already,” he said. High-dollar and high-effort items like a full 2×3-inch square tube chassis with an 8.50 cert and a 1000+-horsepower big block were already in place.
All Leake had to do was bring the car back to street legal status while retaining the wild race features and he would have the best of both worlds. Add in show-stopping good looks and he’d have the total package. And that, friends, is what Pro Street 2.0 is really all about.
The car’s previous owner/ builder provided scant details on much of the build before Leake took possession; however, what is known about the car is visible on inspection. The svelte 2500-pound ride rolls on a custom-fabricated chassis with a 12-point cage with full funny car-style fortification. A Bickel 4-link with anti-sway bar and adjustable coilovers handle the suspension duties out back, while an A-arm front suspension and matching coilovers manage the bumps up front. Custom aluminum tubs and floorpans are complimented by a carbon fiber two-piece removable trans tunnel.
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