Dayne Osterberg - 1973 Chevrolet Nova
My 1973 Chevy Nova was originally purchased by my dad who planned to restore it as a gift for my mum. Instead, at age 16, the Nova officially became mine after my dad realised how interested in cars I had become.
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My name is Dayne Osterberg. I currently live in the PNW and work as a Project Manager for a local restaurant design company.
I attribute my love of cars to my dad who owns a 1967 Chevy Nova SS. My 1973 Chevy Nova was originally purchased by my dad who planned to restore it as a gift for my mom. Instead, at age 16, the Nova officially became mine after my dad realized how interested in cars I had become. The car originally was an automatic, bench seat, low-compression cruiser with a nice paint job. Over the last 16 years the car has evolved into what it is now.
The first thing the car needed was more power as the original 350 was about 8.5:1 with smog cylinder heads and a tiny camshaft. My dad and I built a mild sbc (also a 350) with around 275-300 horsepower and after getting my hands on a Muncie 4 speed and a book on how to rebuild it, out went the slush box TH350 and in went 3 pedals. This was probably the best upgrade I could have done for the car as it upped the fun factor immensely.
I slowly upgraded the Nova over the next few years, taking the winter months to do big projects. One year I did the interior and swapped out the bench seat for some buckets, added new carpet and gauges and dyed all the interior panels black. Another year I completely redid the suspension with tubular control arms, coil overs and poly bushings. I eventually blew up the 350 my dad and I had built and decided to build one on my own with better parts. This time I went with, the good stuff, a big cam, aluminum heads and intake and MSD ignition. I got the opportunity to run the car on a dyno at a local car show to see what she was putting out and it laid down 323rwhp and 372rwtq. Not bad too bad for just 350 cubes and good street manners.
The last few years I’ve focused more on handling modifications as I discovered I really enjoyed throwing this old girl around the autocross. Better brakes, sticky tires and a quick ratio steering box helped immensely. It’s obviously not the fastest thing around the course, but It surprises some of the newer cars for sure. It’s a street car first and I drive it a lot in the summer months, even taking it to work a couple of days a week.
I’d say the most notable things about the car would be the paint and the stance. It’s running 18” wheels and they just don’t look good on old cars unless they’re absolutely slammed which is hard to do without major modifications. The wheel wells are rolled and trimmed and the inner fenders are also cut back for clearance. It’s running dropped tall spindles, coil overs up front and del-a-lum bushing in the rear leaf springs. It’s finally at a point where I’m pretty happy with it, but it’s true what they say, they’re never done. I want more power and a 6 speed for the highway and am currently trying to decide if I should build a rowdy stroker gen 1 small block or go LS and make more power with it being more streetable but losing some of the old school style.
It’s forever a work in progress, but I absolutely love driving it, modifying it, breaking it and fixing it again. I cherish the bond that it’s created between me and my dad and wouldn’t trade that for anything.
- 4 Bolt 350 Block
- 10.4:1 Compression
- Cast Steel Crank
- Patriot 195cc Aluminum Heads
- Lunati Hyd Flat Cam
- Duration: 233 Int. 241 Exh.
- Lift @ .050: .537 Int. .525 Exh.
- Edelbrock RPM Air Gap Intake
- Comp Cams Ultra Pro Roller Rockers
- Quick Fuel 650 Mechanical Secondary Carb
- Hedman 1 ⅞ Long Tube Headers
- Canton Road Race Oil Pan
- MSD Pro Billet w/6AL Ignition Box
- Muncie M20 4 Speed
- McCleod Clutch
- McCleod Light Flywheel
- Hurst Shifter w/Heim Joint Rods
- GM 8.5” 10 Bolt
- Yukon DuraGrip Limited Slip w/3.73 Ring Gear
- Tubular Upper and Lower Control Arms
- Heidts Dropped/Tall Spindles
- QA1 Coilovers
- 1 ⅛” Front Sway Bar
- Subframe Connectors
- Global West Del-a-Lum Leaf Spring Bushings
- Lowered Leaf Springs
- Polyurethane Body Bushings
- Quick Ratio 12.7:1 Steering Box
- New Factory Linkage with Billet Adjustment Sleeves
- CPP 4 Wheel Manual Disc Brakes with Hawk Pads
- Paint Color: 2000 Chevy Silverado “Meadow Green Metallic”
- Earlier ‘68-’72 Nova front end swap
- ‘69 Mustang Front Spoiler
- H4 Retrofit Headlights
- Custom Rear Bumper
- Corbeau GTS II Buckets - Black Leather w/Suede Inserts
- AutoMeter Gauges
- Scott Drake Corso Feroce Steering Wheel
- TMI Center Console
- American Racing Torque Thrust II’s w/ Gray Spokes and Flat Center Caps
- Front: 18x7 w/ 235/40 Rear: 18x8 w/ 255/40
Thank you for reading my story.
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