Many SEMA cars are virgins—both in age and experience. They roll off the assembly line, get a few miles under their belts and then undergo complete transformations. They’re the wide-eyed, wet-behind-the-ears freshmen of the SEMA world.
So when we bestow Steve Tornari’s 1967 Nova with the title of "The Bluto Blutarsky of SEMA 2014,” know that it’s pretty much our highest honor. If you recall, Bluto was Animal House’s grizzled veteran—he’d been around forever, gotten wrecked many times and, despite his geographic challenges, was a diamond in the rough.
The same goes for Steve’s Nova—he bought it for $500 in 1983, and spent the next 30 years building it for cruise and race duty. They’ve both loved and lost—Bluto with his bar, and Steve with a new NASCAR engine that was stolen right out of the engine bay during a shop break-in.
But instead of drowning his sorrows in a case of Jack Daniels, Tornari took his Nova to Florida builder Miranda Built to be reincarnated. And what started out as a basic street build turned into an all-encompassing, show-quality masterpiece.
The Nova’s entire body was smoothed prior to paint: the bumpers were modified and tucked, the wheel wells were opened up, the rockers were extended and all the glass was flush mounted. After final exterior items like the drip rails were smoothed off, Charley Hutton applied the unbelievably deep, liquid-smooth gray PPG paint.
Miranda Built installed a wild EFI SB2 mill from Rick Hendrick Motorsports and then hung twin 67 mm Precision turbos in the fenders for a really clean look. One tune later and 900 horses pass through a 4L80 trans and Fab9 rear end; then absolutely punish the tires.
A Ridetech ShockWave suspension gives the Nova mad stance and perfectly accentuates those Budnik Gasser wheels. And the one-off leather interior coddles Steve as he fiddles with the integrated iPad and surfs the web through built-in WiFi.
If you think this Nova is exceptional, you’re not alone: this car won the Goodguys 2014 Street Machine of the Year, as well as the Ridler award. And it’s completely stopping traffic right now at SEMA.