(Photos from the Steve Magnante archive) – Our recent feature of Kelvin Cannon’s home-built replica of an ultra rare Bill Thomas “fastback” Nova had lots of people talking and reading. One of those guys was Steve “Magneto” Magnante. You know of his famous exploits as a staffer at Hot Rod Magazine, from his work on television at the Barrett Jackson auctions on Speed, and as the guy who is obsessed with altered wheelbase cars enough that he’s built three of his own. Well as it turns out Steve is a BangShifter! After bantering back and forth recently and kicking some ideas around, Steve’s going to be contributing content to the blog when his schedule and time allows it. Steve’s also fired up his own site, SteveMags.com and you should CLICK HERE to check it out!
Steve mentioned that he had some amazing old photos of the oft talked about and seldom seen Novas at the shop of Bill Thomas during their construction. Remember, the original intention of these things was to go FIA road racing. They came to Thomas with Corvette independent rear suspension, specific front valance panels, and absolutely no plans to go drag racing. When GM pulled the plug on racing in 1963, Thomas kept the cars and converted them for drag racing and off they went. There has long been a rumor that one car escaped the racing fate and was made into a street going Nova (with the cool roof) and these photos show a car with a California dealer plate on it. Perhaps it went back to a lot or to the dealer’s shop where the owner had it finished off and made ready for the street? These photos are boss and Steve got them from Bob Schneider who is one of the talented dudes at the shop of Bob Mosher where they build the perfect replicas of 1960s Chrysler super stocks. Bob has had these photos for some time and they were taken by a buddy of his way back in late 1962/early 1963. You can see up to three of the cars in some of these photos and we’re trying to decide if this is when they were first going together or when Thomas and his guys were ripping them apart to convert ‘em for drag duty. What do you think? We’re on the side of the argument that says this is when they were being torn down.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS (INCLUDING ONE BONUS NOVA FUNNY CAR PHOTO FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE!