There is something about a race wagon that is just ever so slightly cooler than a conventional race car. Maybe it's because wagons are seen more as grocery getters and family haulers, than as drag racers. No matter the exact reason, they definitely stand out!
I had the chance to attend Roadkill Nights this year, and of all the amazing cars that showed up for the event, my favorite belongs to Danny Allen. The dedicated Roadkill fan drove his 1965 Chevy Nova wagon all the way from Zanesville, Ohio to race down Woodward Avenue. From appearance alone, you'd never guess this old wagon had more horsepower than a 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
The ratty Nova wagon is powered by a twin turbo LS2, making 875 horsepower to the rear wheels! Allen installed a homemade turbo kit on the "junkyard LS2" and used a set of LS9 head gaskets for the boosted application. It has a 4L80E transmission for cruising in overdrive, and a Currie Ford 9" rear end with a Wavetrack Posi-Trac differential that has been coupled together using a carbon fibre driveshaft. Allen goes on to explain, "It also has a Holley mid-rise intake and a set of Injector Dynamics 1650cc injectors to feed the E85 to the engine."
When asked why he decided to go with a wagon, he agreed that it was a slightly more unique choice, as well as, he always liked having the 4 doors. "It makes it easier to pile everyone in and go out for a cruise," Allen says.
The Nova has been driven to some of the best racing events of the year (no bias here). Allen attended Roadkill Nights for the first time back in August. The event on Woodward Avenue was also his first attempt at street racing. "The highlight for me was waiting on the starting line, only 15 feet away from Leah Pritchett, when she did her 1/8 mile burnout!" he says.
Just a few weeks later, Allen drove the Nova wagon to Illinois for Hot Rod Drag Week! The trailer-less wagon powered through each event during the week with minimal issues, and ran in the 10s. That's considered a win, right?
"To sum it up," Allen starts, "it is just an amazing event filled with the coolest people ever! One conversation that stands out, was getting to sit and talk to Top Fuel driver, Richie Crampton, about his awesome Chevy Nomad wagon build."
Aside from racing, he says that getting to drive around with all the other drag week participants was his favorite part. He also plans on retunring to both Roadkill Nights and Hot Rod Drag Week again next year!
"The current plan is to just keep cruising it," Allen says.