There’s no mistaking that Street Outlaws mania has taken over the PRI Show the last two years, with the stars and the machines of the wildly popular Discovery Channel reality show dominating the headlines with their presence at the Indiana Convention Center. A year ago, Justin “Big Chief” Shearer stole the show with the unveiling of his much-anticipated Crowmod and, not ones to shy away from the limelight, the Midwest Street Cars gang aimed to deliver an encore in giving the world its first look at the all-new Murder Nova this time around.
Before a swarm of fans and supporters in the industry armed with their cell phone cameras tuned in to Facebook Live, Instagram, and Snapchat, Shawn Ellington pulled the wraps off his new baby at Precision Turbo & Engine’s booth, providing the first glimpse at what he’s been working on — and hinting at — for more than a year.
Don Dial Race Cars in Seminole, Oklahoma constructed the new Murder Nova, building a state-of-the-art, lightweight, thoroughbred racecar within the confines of a blacked-out, Chevrolet Nova cloak that appears virtually identical to the original Murder Nova that Ellington has beaten on on the streets of the 405 for years. Ellington, citing both the increased level of competition on the streets and the fact that the now-famous original is less safe than he’d prefer, heavy, and just simply worn out, felt it was the right time to go a new direction.
“We’ve wanted to build a new one for a long time now, and it’s just finally coming together. We started building this one about a year and a half ago, and it’s basically we wanted it to be a clone to the first one, except safer, lighter, faster, and I think we nailed it on all that stuff,” Ellington says.
“The other car is very unsafe, and it’s very heavy, and it’s just spent — we’ve beat the brakes off of that car, racing it on the street, and the streets are real rough on cars,” Ellington continues.
Ellington has assembled a potent combination for the street and 275 radial track duty, with a 482 cubic inch, 4.5-inch borespace small-block from ProLine Racing, with twin Precision 88 mm turbos, backed up by a Rossler Turbo 400 transmission. Staying true to his “real car” roots, Ellington has utilized the basis of an original Chevrolet Nova body — even still featuring the factory front framerails — but has paired it with a copious amount of carbon fiber and titanium both inside and out to create a lightweight racecar ready to take anything he can throw at it.
“It’s still got the front framerails, it’s still an A-arm car, it’s still a steel-body car. It just has a lot of carbon fiber, it has a whole lot of titanium, which makes it way lighter. The other car was all mild steel, this one is chromoly, which is way lighter, and stronger. This one is safer. Everywhere we could, we’ve lost weight on this car.”
“It’s been a long time coming. Anyone that watches the show knows the struggle that I’ve had with the old car, and tire shake, and even though we’ve had the struggles with the old car, we’ve still managed to kick everybody’s ass,” Ellington says with his trademark confidence. “So something like this right here comes out, it’s a total game-changer.”
As you can imagine, Ellington has every intent of driving the new Murder Nova right to the top of the list, and if the number of people that flocked to the car at PRI were any indiction, there’s a lot of people out there hoping to see that happen, as well.