The little Nova that could.
In a thrilling matchup on the latest episode of "This vs That," a drag-optimized 1966 Chevy Nova squared off against Formula D champion Matt Field's drift Corvette, resulting in an unexpected victory. Despite the Corvette's impressive LS engine, boasting an RHS block, Texas Speed head, and new titanium Borla headers, yielding 950 horsepower at the wheels, it was outclassed by the Nova's 632 cubic inch big block, which produced around 920 horsepower at the crank.
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The Corvette's lighter weight and considerable power seemed to give it an edge. Weighing in at 3,050 pounds with a driver, it was significantly lighter than the 3,650-pound Nova. However, the drag racing setup of the Nova, including slicks and skinnies with robust 415/50 rear tires, proved to be the game-changer, providing unmatched grip on the track. The Corvette's carbon-kevlar body and Falken drift tires couldn't compensate for the drag-focused enhancements of the Nova.
In the first quarter-mile round, the Nova dominated, winning by a staggering three car lengths. The Corvette put up a better fight in the second round, narrowing the gap to 1-1/2 car lengths, but it wasn't enough to secure a win. Remarkably, the Nova also clinched the bonus round, chasing down the Corvette and winning by almost a car length, despite the Corvette's early start in each round.
What made this victory even more special was the street-legal status of the Nova, allowing its owner to drive the Corvette-conquering machine home in triumph. This showdown not only highlighted the prowess of a purpose-built drag car but also showcased the unexpected outcomes that can occur when different automotive disciplines clash on the track.