Those of you foolish enough to follow the Autoblog Podcast know I have a soft spot for sleepers. There's just something amazing about a beaten old car secreting flawless mechanicals down below. The guys at Big Muscle have managed to track down what may very well be the queen of all sleeperdom in Dru Diesner's 1972 Chevrolet Nova The machine wears its original faded green paint, plenty of dents and dings and a very dated interior, but there's something special under the aged skin. Built with a twin-supercharged LS2, the Bowtie dumps 1,160 horsepower on its ultra-wide rear tires.

That's my kind of magical. Mike Musto takes the machine out for a quick sprint around the back streets of Chicago and eventually talks Diesner into using the car to do what it does best: vaporizing its rear tires. Scroll below to check out the clip for yourself. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Chevrolet Novas to salivate over.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      Words cannot describe the awesome that is this Nova.
      ndcart
      • 2 Years Ago
      That was a great video! Very entertaining, and a best of a sleeper. Thanks!
      Leonard R Garcia
      • 2 Years Ago
      my dad had one of these wish i still had it
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really need to start watching Drive's videos more often...
        WillieD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Drive and Motortrend both have awesome videos on Youtube, and how great is it that it's free to watch? It's a pretty good time for car tv.
      Billy Williams
      • 2 Years Ago
      I loved this story, I have a '72 Nova. It a SS but other than that is somewhat of a sleeper. I have owned this car for nearly 40 years and remember when they were as common as 50cent gas. Mine doesnt have 1200 horse but it will scoot on down the road. They came as econoboxes on up to real screemers. Toyota and Hondas they are not thank God....
      dairgs
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sleepers Rule! Mustang GT's really don't like my '50 Ford Pickup beating them off the line, but it does put a smile on my face to do it.
      philc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Urban Dictionary: The exact opposite of a ricer. A Sleeper looks stock but is heavily modified to preform better. Sleepers are often, like ricers, economy cars. Unlike ricers, sleepers can also be regualr sedans or any other vehicle that was not meant to be a preformance vehicle. Sleeper cars are ussually modified with boost (super or turbochargers), transmisions, and sometimes full engine swaps. Many people who drive sleepers use them to hustle at the strip or avoid attention from the cops. Many auto makers offer factory sleepers that are a sport version of the origional economy sedan with very few external changes. Some of the best sleepers of all time came from the muscle car era. The 1972 Chevy Nova is considered one of the best sleepers. The Nova is one of the most popular models to get turned into a sleeper. Most sleepers aren't true sleepers because they will have aftermarker gauges visible (real sleepers hide them in the glove box), racing slicks and loud pipes. A true sleeper will not be exposed until they reach the end of the track.
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @philc
        Whoever wrote this is a drooling idiot. If you are looking at a 1997 Civic with a Super Dragon Fire Combat body kit and an automatic transmission, you are looking at a true ricer. I would also wager that 95% are lost to the boneyard by now. I would have a sneaking suspicion that whoever was kind of enough to post this at Urban Dictionary wouldn't know or understand an Intregra Type-R if he was staring at it. Or why an unassuming Mitsubishi Galant is being chased off the track by the marshals for running deep in the 10s with no roll cage (happened at Gateway-2004). I think the part that bugs me the most is the gauges 'hidden' in the glovebox. What which point north of 120 miles per hour and I supposed to lean over (I am only wearing a lap belt, this is a true sleeper after all) and peer into the glove box to read some important engine data? Actually, the question is, why are the gauges aimed at where a passenger is supposed to be sitting? Co-driver? Is this your WRC Nova? Either way, most of the imports back in the 1990s were slow cars wrapped in fiberglass. Guess what? Most of the Novas and Darts were 'highly modified' with chrome air cleaners covers and maybe plated valve covers. Or a shifter shaped like a gun stock! THAT my friends is performance. Yes, even American cars back in the 1970s could be ricers philc. Modern day ricer? Of course. This current crop of filth-spewing, noise-modified (because noise makes power after all!) jacked-up, pillar-gauge riddled Diesel pickups. Do I need to tow my 32 foot boat at 85 miles per hour in the left lane? Does everyone else need to turn up the radio at the stoplight because my truck is rattling so loud? Does everyone in the lane to the right of my enjoy breathing a jet of black unburned hydrocarbons as the light turns green? Rice, baby, Rice.
      Thunderbuck
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have no great love nor nostalgia for the Nova, but this is really, really awesome. Right down to the bone-stock steel wheels...
      Get Squirly
      • 2 Years Ago
      This thing is bitchin! I'm in the process of collecting the specs for my sleeper, should start buying all the goodies within a month. Not going to spoil the details... but AWD wagon... (Yes, like everyone on AB talks about doing!).
      kesando
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, even Dru Himself looks nervous driving that monster!
      IOMTT
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the trailer hitch!
      David Donovan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why would anybody be surprised to find out a Nova can be fast?
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