With 21 years of racing under his belt, Craig Watson and his small tire 1973 Chevrolet Nova have many tales and memories together. The duo began evolving from the time Watson hit the ripe age of 17, and the team spun many a story together in the years that followed. The Chevy, which has been nicknamed The Death Nova by some of Watson’s closest friends, hasn’t always slain the competition.
The sleek black bowtie has progressed over the past two decades from a “grandma’s car”, to an Outlaw 8.5 Champion. “It has taken 25 years to get the car where it is now. From November of 1990 to this very moment has been filled with changes, upgrades, ideas, testing, races, bloody knuckles, mistakes, back tracking, and most of all a lot of lessons learned,” exclaimed Watson. “The car started as a 31,000- mile, original green, grandma’s car, and for $2500 it was ours. My dad thought it was too much, but it was too solid and nice to pass up. It was a bone-stock 307 car with green shag carpet on the dash and rear package tray. It was a cream puff that wouldn’t turn a tire without a neutral drop,” recalled Watson.
Once the Chevy was in the possession of the teenager, the changes started and the Nova began to take shape into the small tire, nitrous powered machine that it is today. Watson had a 350 from a 1974 Nova that he had owned prior to the ’73, but convincing his dad to allow him to do a motor swap was not yet in the cards. “Many think this is the same car I had when I was 15. But that was a ’74 Nova that I wrecked when I was 16. That about killed me since I had already promised myself I would never have one of those ‘car that got away’ stories.”… Read more of this article. Just click on the digital feature below this introduction.
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