Clyde Carlson’s ‘Sleeper’ 9-Second LSX Pump Gas Nova


The weapon of choice for drag racing, in terms of the vehicle, the engine, the power adder, the tires, and everything that comprises the entire combination, varies on how fast you want to go and how many greenbacks you want to spend doing it. Clyde Carlson took a classic Nova, mixed in a modern power plant, and spiced it up with a set of twin turbos for good measure, creating his own unique, head-turning combination.

IMG_1271Every great project needs a solid foundation, and Clyde started with a 1969 Nova rolling chassis he purchased in 1997. Over the next 10 years of street and track duty the Nova underwent some body work and was sprayed with the sharp shade of Viper Yellow you see now. After all the body work was done it was time to work on what laster power the Nova. The car was rocking a 406 small block Chevy at the time that was huffing nitrous to get down the 1320. 

Clyde sold off his old SBC parts and jumped into the realm of all things boosted LSX. The motor is based on an LQ4 that has been punched out and stroked to 408 cubic inches. Filling the bores are Wiesco pistons, Callies rods, and holding it all together from below is a Callies crankshaft. Moving the air through the motor is a set of AFR 225 heads, and an Eldebrock Victor Jr intake topped off with an Accufab 4150 throttle body. Providing the boost is a pair of Turbonetics GTK-650 turbos. Putting all the power down is a TH-400 transmission, with a PTC converter and GM 12-bolt rear end. In full race trim the Nova weighs just a little over 3,700 pounds with Clyde strapped in.

With only a six-point roll bar in the car, Clyde was limited to running no quicker than 10.00 at the 2013 Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green. On his first pass with a meager 12 pounds of boost the car ripped off a 9.71 at 143 mph with a rather soft launch. The car has been a stout 5.87 at 118 in the 1/8-mile on pump gas on 275-60-15 M/T Radials. It goes without saying there is a lot left in this combo for Clyde, as impressive as it already is!

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
Read My Articles

Drag Racing in your Inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Dragzine, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes