This 1966 Chevy II is an 8-Second Super Nova

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Beautiful paint work and a big carbon fiber hood give clues as to what this ’66 Chevy II is packing.

Built as a street machine, Wayne Darby’s 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II has seen a substantial change to make it the low eight-second dragster it is now. We caught it at LS Fest West before it went back home, all the way in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
“This car was built in the early 1980s as an awesome street machine,” says Wayne as he recalls the car’s history before he purchased it in 2007. Since his purchase, a lot has changed in the car to bring it up to date. This would be a big, and expensive, task as the car was stored away for about 10 years before he got it from Phil Declerk.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
The original engine under the hood was a 496 Big Block Chevy putting out 780-horsepower. With the combination of an ATI Turbo 400 and 4.88:1 rear gears, its best was 9.30 1/4-mile ET at 135-MPH. On the change, Wayne says, “I started paying attention to the LS motors. There was a racer in Edmonton named Neil Richards, owner of Horsepower Solutions, running a ’78 Ford Fairmont with a twin-turbo LS motor.” He questioned the idea of that swap right up until he saw it run eight-seconds at over 160-MPH. After talking to Holley Performance the following year, it would be Neil that would help him create the machine you now see before you.


The rebirth started in 2014 and out went the 496 and in went a World Products aluminum LS block poked out to 430-cubic-inches. Spinning on the Callies Dragon Slayer four-inch crankshaft are a set of Oliver Billet rods and all of them rotate on Clevite bearings. That creates a 9.8:1 compression ratio with the JE Pistons custom and hard anodized slugs. The Comp Cams custom solid roller camshaft is still turned by a chain drive from the crank, but the cam pulley is a Cloyes model and a Melling High Volume oil pump keeps the engine alive and spinning freely.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
The Mast Motorsports LXR aluminum heads, with a CNC Port, and are hand finished for maximum flow. The Xceldyne titanium intake and Manley Super Alloy exhaust valves have a set of Comp Sportsman solid rollers bumping Smith Brothers pushrods, which open Jesel 1.7 ratio rockers. Making sure the valves don’t float during high RPM are PSI valve springs with Xceldyne titanium retainers. However, making sure that head doesn’t just pop off when it feels like it are a set of ARP head studs.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
A Holley High Ram intake manifold is split by a 417 Motorsports Intercooler, which is needed to cool that charge air from the pair of Borg Warner S475 turbochargers. 1.75-inch headers send exhaust gasses to those turbos which dump into four-inch open downpipes. Of course, forcing air into a tiny throttle body is worthless and is why a Holley 105mm version is used instead. The VP Racing C16 is sent to the Holley 120-lb/hr injectors via an Aeromotive Pro Series fuel pump, but a set of 225-lb/hr injectors are going in next.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
The GM Truck Coils and custom-made MSD wires send enough spark power for the NGK Medium-Cold plugs to turn that C16 into fumes. Spark and fuel are controlled by a Holley EFI system tuned by Horsepower Solutions. What kind of work does that engine put out? 1350-horsepower at 7350-RPM and 890-lbs/ft at 6800-RPM.

Wayne Darby 1966 Chevy II A Super Nova LS1tech.com
Behind that custom block is a built Rossler TH400 with a PTC 9.5-inch torque converter with a 4500 stall. A manual valve body allows Wayne to shift with the B&M Pistol Grip when he needs it while a Rossler trans brake on the steering wheel allows him to hold at the line as the Borg Warner turbos build up boost. When he let’s that button go, all that power and torque is sent down a custom Driveline Specialties driveshaft to a Dana 60 with a 12-bolt Spool.

Continue reading about this ’66 Chevy on the next page.

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