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  #31  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:48 PM
Keith Seymore Keith Seymore is offline
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Originally Posted by 9C1Beater View Post
Keith...wow, what a car and what history! I am reading between the lines here, so I assume your dad was a GM employee...possibly at the Tech Center in Warren? And then did you go to work for GM?...that's how I figure you got to go for a ride-along with Jim Ingle (even though you were driving). Glad to see you were smart enough to hang on to such a rare and cool car with family history. If your dad was connected high up at GM, then he could pretty much get whatever he wanted.
Thank you; we tend to hang on to stuff in my family -

Dad worked for GM for just over 30 years, as a die maker for Chevrolet Pressed Metal division (in Flint) and then as an Advanced Manufacturing Engineer for CPC (Chevrolet-Pontiac-GM of Canada, in Pontiac). He is the GM patentholder for some cool inventions like hydroforming, laminated steels and adhesive bonding of aluminum space frames.

He also raced for Pontiac Motor Division through the Royal Pontiac dealership. You can read about that here if you are interested:
Short version: http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/cgi-b...=9990396621018
Muscle Car Review: https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/clas...NnY?li=BBnb4R5
Looooooooooong-est possible version: http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=560524

The GTO is presently anchoring a special muscle car display in the Gilmore Museum (Hickory Corners MI) through this April.

I'm just shy of 40 years with GM in vehicle assembly and product design/development. I started at the Chevrolet assembly plant building trucks in 1979, worked at the Milford Proving Ground from 1986 through 1990 and the Desert Proving Ground from 1990 to 1994, which is where I was when I met Jim. I've been in product design, engineering program management and, most recently on an off property special project, since that time.

K
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Last edited by Keith Seymore; 01-02-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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  #32  
Old 01-06-2019, 06:56 AM
9C1Beater 9C1Beater is offline
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Wow Keith...I'm honored to have you comment on my Nova. Thanks for sharing your family's GM history...impressive! If you have been with GM for 40 years, then I'm guessing retirement isn't too far away. I hope your dad is still around and in good health.

If it's possible, I would really like to get in touch with Jim Ingle and let him know that the 2nd Nova cop car ever built still exists, and I'd even be willing to drive the 3 hrs from Columbus to Detroit to let him drive it. I would like to get his signature on the trunk lid next to harry Hammond's! I would also like to let the GM Heritage Center know about the car, and I'd be willing to let them display it sometime. It has a ton of documentation and photos which explain its complete history. If you could point me in the right direction to talk to someone there, I'd really appreciate it.

Also, I talked to Roger Burd, and I think he knows you. He mentioned it would be great for the 3 of us (and a few other GM car nuts) to get together at Dugan's (sp?) on Woodward Ave for an evening of beer and wings. I have his number if you need it. He's a real hoot to talk to.
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  #33  
Old 01-07-2019, 01:12 PM
Keith Seymore Keith Seymore is offline
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PM sent -

K
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'74 Chevelle - original owner, 9.85 @ 136 mph best
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  #34  
Old 01-08-2019, 04:27 AM
Kurt S Kurt S is offline
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Originally Posted by 9C1Beater View Post
Jim suggested that the 14x7 wheels used on the '69 COPO Camaro in conjunction with wider bias-ply tires might achieve the desired results and stop the tipping, and he was right.
14x7 wheels were just standard 69 SS wheels and used on 100's of thousands of newer cars in the 70's. What size came stock on 74 Novas?

Get the car to someone who knows paint and they can save it.

What's the dates on the heads? What's stamped on the engine pad?
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  #35  
Old 01-09-2019, 06:45 AM
9C1Beater 9C1Beater is offline
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Kurt, thanks for the reply. I know you're big in the Camaro world. I was on CRG for awhile with a rusty red '69 Camaro Coupe which had its original 250 6-banger and a 3-on-the-tree shifter...sold it due to the insane amount of rust on the body. My plan was to restore it the way it was built...dog-dish hubcaps and radio delete.

About those 14x7 inch wheels...they were not available on '74 non-SS Novas, period. Attached is a letter Harry Hammond gave me dated Mar. 21, 1973 where he is explaining to "W. B. Mahoney" (Rick Mahoney...the GM exec at the LA Zone Office who ordered the gold Nova that I now own) that Jim Ingle suggests that Rick install E70-14 bias-ply tires on 14x6 Chevelle station wagon wheels to get the 4-door Nova he was working on to handle better. You will note that the letter's subject is "Nova Police Demonstrator", and it is dated a full year before Harry and Jim built the "officially" sanctioned GM Nova police car prototype. Harry told me that Rick Mahoney was trying to build a Nova police demonstrator using a Nova 4-door ordered with as many high performance options as he could...350 4-barrel, TH350, power front disk brakes, F41 suspension, posi rear axle, and HD cooling. Harry and Jim were providing tips to Rick on what parts to change in order to achieve the best outcome, and they even flew to LA to attend the tests in the spring of '73. Unfortunately, Harry said the car was not up to the handling and braking criteria set forth by LASD officials, and they declined to purchase any. But Harry said that everyone involved could see the plucky Nova's potential, and Rick spoke to John Christy about pushing Chevy to build a real contender. I don't know if it was John Christy who was the brainchild for the Nova police car, or Rick Mahoney...I think both of them deserve credit.

Also attached is John Christy's letter to Jim Williams, a Chevrolet executive who unfortunately passed away this past March from cancer. Harry said that I was the first person he had given this letter to. Previously, it was known that John Christy, an editor and writer for Motor Trend magazine had written to Chevrolet, but the contents of the letter were unknown. The letter is dated Jan. 16, 1974 and is asking Chevrolet to provide a smaller-sized police car prototype for testing in the upcoming 1974 LASD Police Car Tests. It gives very specific criteria regarding the vehicle's size...only the Nova fit those size restrictions. It also says that the prototype should be completed by Feb. 28th...about 5 1/2 weeks for Harry and Jim to build a useable prototype...not much time! They had the basic car ready for testing about 2 weeks after the letter was received, and they then spent the next 2 months fine-tuning it on the skidpad at Black Lake (Milford) to dial it in. I took my Nova on a twisty country road SE of Columbus in the scenic Hocking Hills (where Car and Driver liked to test their cars many years ago), and it handles like a sports car!

You will note that one of the guys who received a copy of the first letter was "D. R. McClellan", who took over the Corvette program after Zora Arkus Duntov retired in 1975. Dave McClellan ran the Corvette program until 1997, and he was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame in 1999.

It's funny, but all of these big gearhead engineers at the GM Tech Center were trying to get the Nova to handle well, and yet none of them thought to upgrade to 14x7 inch wheels! Harry said that at that time, the largest wheel that could be ordered on a 4-door Nova was a 14x6 (14x7s were available only on the SS), and they didn't really think about what other wheels were available in the GM parts bin. The biggest problem with the Nova 4-door was its high center of gravity, and it took quite a bit of experimentation with springs, bushings, shocks, amd wheels to get it to handle like a Z28. You will also note that the letter says that the rear spring eye bushing for a Z28 should be used to help control axle wheel hop, and to use Chevelle rear brake drums. Eventually, the brake drums from a full-size Chevy were used (my car has them) in order to achieve the best results. Harry said their benchmark for testing was the Plymouth Satellite police car, which was essentially a 4-door Road Runner. Harry said that Vince Piggins had some input on the Nova police car prototype (he thinks it was Vince's suggestion to use the Camaro's 14x7 wheels...this was at a time when not many GM cars used those wheels), but he couldn't find any documents which were addressed to him (Harry was only able to keep a small amount of papers when he left GM at retirement, and must of the documents were tossed out because "we couldn't save everything!").

I have been active in the Nova 9C1 police car community for 5 years (I started the Registry for them), and this is the only currently known 3rd Gen Nova police car in existence of the 17 ordered (plus the prototype...whereabouts unknown). It was the 2nd Nova police car ever built, and it was ordered by a GM executive, built at the Van Nuys plant, and delivered to him in only 2 weeks. It is the only COPO 3rd Gen Nova 4-door I am aware of (it says "COPO" on its build sheet). It is the only F41-equipped 4-door '74 Nova I am aware of. It is the only 1974 Nova I know of which has a dual snorkel Z28 air cleaner. It is the only '74 Nova 4-door I am aware of which came with raised white-letter tires (on its build sheet), and came with 14x7 plain steel wheels (coded "EM" on its build sheet). It is the only posi-rear equipped 4-door '74 Nova I am aware of (G80 coded on its build sheet). It is the only Chevy of any kind I am aware of which has a document from Chevrolet Motor Division which states that it is a "Brass Hat" car (which I believe indicates it's something special...see document I posted at the beginning of this thread). It has deep documentation and has been verified by the father of the Nova police car program, Harry Hammond (he signed its trunk lid). Found in the car during cleaning was a money clip from the Los Angeles Zone Office with the intitials "RM" engraved upon it...Rick Mahoney's money clip. Following its 5 1/2 months as a police car demonstrator at the Los Angeles Zone Office, it was purchased by LA County and used as an undercover car for 8 1/2 years at the West Hollywood station (verified by a sticker in its glovebox and stampings on its keys), and it still has a shotgun rack riveted to its trunk floor. It was purchased for $875 by a Hollywood film editor named Woodward Smith at an LA Co. vehicle auction in April 1982 (I have the auction paperwork), driven by him for only 3 years, then stored in the garage under his home in the Hollywood Hills for the next 31 years until I purchased it. It has deep Chevrolet and law enforcement history, and I hope it becomes recognized for it.

I hope to display the car at the 2019 MCACN. Best regards, Alex Manz
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Last edited by 9C1Beater; 01-09-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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  #36  
Old 01-09-2019, 08:35 AM
9C1Beater 9C1Beater is offline
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I also wanted to post a few photos of the cylinder head I removed from the driver's side of the Nova's engine. It has the part number "330545" and is dated "A293', which I believe means it was made on Jan 29, 1973. The engine's pad bears the letters "CKD", and I couldn't get enough oil of the rest of the pad to make out the rest of the characters (my can of brake cleaner ran out...I'll get back to you with the rest of the info when I can). The build sheet says it was ordered with an L48 350 4-BBL, and is also coded "KD" in the box for engine code. The prototype '74 Nova cop car was built with a 350 4-barrel, and so was this one (they are identical cars except for the color). But somewhere along the line the car picked up some engine mods, and I believe they were installed by Rick Mahoney. He was the fleet sales manager for the LA Zone Office, and it was he who would be taking police car buying officials on high speed joy rides to persuade them to buy Nova cop cars instead of Mopars or AMCs. I am in the process of puling the engine and will photo document every item I find. I think Rick built a "ringer", just like Smokey Yunick or Mark Donohue would have (the excellent book "The Unfair Advantage" gives examples of them "bending the rules"!). Note that the head has 2.02/1.60 valves, and pushrod guides...Z28 stuff, not L48 350 stuff.

While I'm on here, I also want to recognize my good friend Bruce Hamilton from Abbottsford, BC. If it weren't for him I would probably have missed the chance to buy the Nova. Bruce steered Nancy Smith, the owner's daughter to me. Thanks Bruce!!!
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Last edited by 9C1Beater; 01-09-2019 at 04:15 PM.
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  #37  
Old 01-09-2019, 05:52 PM
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excellent stuff Alex.

Paul Martin
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  #38  
Old 01-12-2019, 08:12 AM
Kurt S Kurt S is offline
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Great history.

>Jim suggested that the 14x7 wheels used on the '69 COPO Camaro
Well, they actually used the 14x7 wheel from the 74 Nova SS. Easy to do.

btw, I know lots of 4-doors with posi. Back home, everyone ordered a posi so you didn't get stuck in the winter.
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