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From Scott Windle's site (http://www.novaresource.org/):

Dick Harrell
While Yenko machines are arguably the most popular of the Nova supercar clan, the rarest Nova muscle cars are probably those prepped by drag racer Dick Harrell. It is believed that only 15-25 SS 427-powered 1968 Novas were sold by Harrell through a network of Chevrolet dealerships, each of which included a full limited warranty. Harrell was friends with high-powered Chevrolet dealer Fred Gibb and used COPO cars ordered by Gibb as the basis for the Novas he created at his high-performance center. Once completed, they were delivered to a dealer for the customer to pick up. Like the Yenko's, Harrell's Deuce received a complete makeover, which included a 450-horse 427 big-block, fiberglass hood, rally wheels, Positraction rear end, underdash gauges and a competition-built automatic transmission. The cars also came with Jardine headers, 6.5 inch wide M&H slicks and traction bars. For $4,412, you could buy a car that stopped the timers in 12.05 seconds at more than 115 mph in the quarter.

Fred Gibb was heavily involved in drag racing when the L78 Nova was introduced in April of 1968. The L78 was doing well in the NHRA manual stock classes, but Gibb convinced Chevrolet performance engineer Vince Piggins to install the TH400 automatic transmission in L78 Novas so they could compete in the NHRA automatic classes also. NHRA required at least 50 cars be built and available to the general public before they would recognize them as stock for the automatic class. The 50 L78's with the TH400 (COPO 9738) were built during the first two weeks of July 1968 and delivered to Gibb's Chevrolet dealership in LaHarpe, IL, on or before July 15, 1968.

More info here:
http://www.dickharrell.com/index.htm (check out the forum)


Dan (like Dick, a New Mexico boy) :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The car that I saw was not a '68. It has the ignition key on the steering column, not the dash. It also has a 4 speed transmission. There is a Dick Harrell badge on each fender, but no other badges on the car. It could be a fake, but it looks real. I don't know what engine is in it because the hood was down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stopped in and looked at this Nova again today and I talked to the owner. It is a '70 with a 350, 4 speed and 12 bolt. The engine is not original, but it is an original 350 car. The owner didn't seem to know much about the car, or Dick Harrell. I'm guessing that it should have been an LT1 car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are Dick Harrell badges available as reproductions? It has a badge on each fender and one on the trunk lid. It also has a Dick Harrell licens plate on the front. The car is very plain except for the performance parts. It has a bench seat and no gauges. It has a sway bar on the 12 bolt rear, which I have not seen before on a Nova. I might stop in again and get the VIN. I thought some of the Dick Harrell Novas might have been COPO cars with the LT1 like the Yenko Deuce. Are you sure that they were all 427s?
 

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SS 396 said:
I thought some Dicky Harrell Nova's were 396 Cars?Are you Sure they were All 427 Cars?

Joe
Actually, I'm just talking about his own COPO Novas. He worked with Fred Gibb, who did a bunch of 396's. He also did some customer requests like a 400 cube small block into a Vega, and all kinds of things into Camaros. I'm certainly no expert, just things I've read about him since he's from my part of the country and I followed him in the mags back then. Who knows what the total picture is. :D It's just that the one that b.g.h. described sounds suspect to me.;)

Dan (but maybe not)
 

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Found you info interesting on Harrell badges as I have an original one. Brother worked for guy named Russ Norzinski who build Harrell's engine back in the day.... meet him and he gave me the badge.
 

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SS 396 said:
I thought some Dicky Harrell Nova's were 396 Cars?Are you Sure they were All 427 Cars?

Joe
For the most part, the Dick Harrell prepared Novas were all built from the lot of 50 Novas that Fred Gibb Chevrolet received as the (COPO 9738) Central Office Production Order. These cars were all built with the same specifications, which included the 396-375 (L-78) engine option. What was different about these Novas, was the fact that they were special built with a competition automatic transmission that had not been ever before introduced by GM with a high horsepower, solid lifter engine. This is what the Dick Harrell Novas were built from and this is it according to those who worked at Dick Harrell Performance Center located in K.C. MO. They could be bought with either the original 396 or an optional 427 conversion with most anything the customer wanted, including wheels, hoods, gauges, tachometers, headers, and even slicks. These cars were sold through a network of authorized Chevrolet dealers and still retained the original factory warranty and could be financed by GMAC, even with modifications. 1 exception is a 1970 Nova that had a 454 LS-6 option. Ray
 

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The 350 engine would not be correct for a Dick Harrell Nova, however like I mentioned there was 1 70 Nova that Dick Harrell did do as well as a 70 Monte Carlo and 70 El Camino. It is not known what happened to the 70 Nova, the 70 El Camino was destroyed, and the Monte Carlo is alive and well. All the original cars mentioned were modified LS-6 454's. Without a lot of documentation, It would be hard to identify it as such because all these badges and other things are readily for sale, even on the Dick Harrill site? Ray
 
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