Street Outlaws star Shawn Ellington garnered headlines at last December’s Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis when he revealed the much-talked-about new Murder Nova, a 1969 Chevrolet Nova that, from its exterior, is difficult to distinguish from its predecessor that made Ellington a household name on the Discovery Channel. But under its steel-bodied cloak lies a machine purpose-built for performance, with lightweight carbon fiber used liberally throughout its construction and a host of modern construction cues that have resulted in a safer, lighter (to the tune of about 600 pounds), and ultimately faster Murder Nova.
At left, you can see the sleek electronics panel in the door jam, along with the transmission cooler connections conventionally mounted just inside the door for quick and easy connection.
Since the big unveil in Precision Turbo & Engine’s trade show booth, Ellington and the Midwest Street Cars crew have been putting the final touches on the Don dial Race Cars-built machine, and when you see the photos, you’ll understand why it’s taken four additional months to get it race-ready.
Fabricator Travis Quillen at Quillen Motorsports Engineering in Alabama has been working meticulously to complete the wiring and plumbing work, and the details he’s included are pretty slick, to say the least. In addition to the super-clean routing of the wiring and plumbing throughout the car’s engine bay and interior, you’ll notice the addition of a writing panel on the passenger side door jam to connect a computer or handheld tuner via serial port or USB to access the ECU (Shawn is running FuelTech’s brand new FT600 in the car), along with the mounting of Jiffy-tite quick-connect fittings just inside the passenger door for convenient connection to a transmission cooler in the pit area. As Ellington pointed out, Quillen has also installed and neatly wired small LED lights in the trunk, the interior, and the engine bay to provide a light source for working on the car on those late nights of filming.
Today, the car was fired for the very first time at Quillen’s shop, putting Ellington one step closer to turning the tires. No word yet on a planned date for testing or a race debut, and per Ellington, it will likely be at least one more season, if not two, before the car makes its appearance on Street Outlaws, given the timetable between filming and airing.
(Left) the FuelTech FT600 dash/ECU illuminated for the first time. (Center and Right) The array of LED lights positioned in the trunk and around the engine compartment.