The car itself, which McKee found in Amarillo, Texas, when it was just a body, has been on roads and at shows stretching from Florida to Mississippi to Nevada and more.
“It’s a blast, I’m not afraid to get in and go anywhere,” McKee told us during the Power Tour stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
McKee is from Tuttle, Oklahoma, where he owns McKee Auto and works with his two sons. A big part of their business is LS swaps. One of his sons owns a ’69 Camaro, which now is powered by the LSX454 that used to be in his father’s Nova. McKee is a long-time drag racer, but he recently sold his ’67 Nova drag car and is more focused on simply driving and enjoying the LT4 version.
“I just wanted to build something that we could get out and drive,” McKee said. ”I’ve had several street cars and we never really got them out and enjoyed them.”
That’s not to say he still doesn’t get after it on the track though. The car’s best time is a 10.59-second pass at 132 mph on the quarter-mile using 91-octane gas with a driving tune. He revels in beating modern muscle cars during Power Tour stops at drag strips. Their drivers are unaware of what’s under his hood.
The supercharged LT4 is capable of 650 horsepower and makes 650 lb.-ft of torque. It came from Scoggin-Dickey and is backed by an 8L90-E automatic transmission.
For McKee, the Chevrolet Performance crate engine was a no-brainer.
“I just figured if GM’s going to release something like that with that kind of power, and then offer a warranty* with it, there wasn’t a need to go with anybody else,” he said. “I want to go with something that’s proven with reliability.”
The car sits on aftermarket front and rear suspension with a torque-arm in the rear for improved handling. It has a nine-inch rear-end with 3.00 gears to perform on the road, 295/50-15 drag radial tires in back and billet wheels all around with double beadlock on the rear two.
“I want to go with something that’s proven with reliability.”
The exterior is a custom red color McKee liked on a friend’s car which he had matched at a paint shop, while the interior features customized heated leather seats made to look like the original interior of the Nova SS.
“We look forward to it, it’s just a lot of fun,” he said. “This is our week together with no other family and it’s our anniversary. We just kind of do our own thing.”
When a couple loves driving, Power Tour seems like the perfect getaway.
*Chevrolet Performance Crate Engines include a 24-month or 50,000-mile/80,000-kilometer limited warranty.