Car Warriors Episode 11: Martinez Industries vs. Innovative Rods

If you haven’t seen the new season of Car Warriors on the Speed Channel yet set your DVR now!

Please read my post about episode 1 so you can clearly understand what goes into the build with these teams.

I think the producers need to find a new coin because this flip landed me on the blue side once again! This week we built 72′ Nova’s and the power plant of choice was one from the new Camaro’s…the LS3, but the two we got to choose from were far from stock with one making in the vicinity of 500hp and the other making over 600hp!….ummm hard choice there, not!

I do a fair amount of these conversions (modern drivetrain in a classic ride) and when Brad asked if I thought it was going to be a smooth build since everything was supplied I knew right from the start that we were going to be doing alot of fabricating to get those bad boys to fit because it was clear to me that the oil pan that was supplied was not even close. Nova’s have the steering linkage located behind the k-member which means the oil pan has to be a custom design and what they supplied was a stock looking rear sump. Most other GM’s in that era have the steering linkage in front of the k-member so the oil pan supplied would have worked. Brad and his team were wise to grab the big cowl hood for clearance because it proved to be an asset!

Both teams brought some real talent to the table on this build with different tastes in mind. Innovative Rods took a more subtle approach and tried to balance classy with some creativity and Martinez Industries just went all out and loud. Innovative Rods started off with winning the engine challenge and choosing the 600+hp powerplant which left the 500hp motor for Martinez Industries, which we all know 500hp in one of these uni-bodied cars is no joke. It was evident that both cars were going to feel crazy fast because with the small wheel well opening there was no way to get big meats in the back to help get that power to the ground.

Martinez Industries did luck out on the rearend because during the rear disc brake conversion they found out they had 3.90 gears (I believe) and a posi unit. This would be a definite advantage over the blue team with both tires now working to plant that power.

The next challenge Jimmy had for the guys was a unique one.. Paint and upholster a couple toilet seats…seriously??  The second challenge is always a tough one for these teams because they are always 2/3 of the way through the build and coming to the home stretch they are exhausted and not thinking about anything but finishing the build. Innovative Rods pulled out another win with their customized toilet seat combining paint, custom stitching and some pin-striping. This win was crucial to Innovative Rods because up to this point the whole drivetrain was installed but the motor would not fire. Turns out I was right in that the pickup tube for fuel in the gas tank was not long enough and with only 5 gallons in the tank the fuel level was too low. We added some more fuel and by the end of the hour we won, we were able to get her fired up.

You always have to think outside the box on these builds and realize that these cars are around 40 years old and have had many repairs throughout the years and most repairs are never done by the book or by qualified technicians. Both teams built some great Nova’s for a 48 hour build and my hats off to Innovative Rods for bringing home the win(s)!

Take a few minutes to checkout the links to these teams Facebook pages and give them a “Like”!

As always, thanks for reading and keep one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the nitrous button!

Innovative Rods: Facebook

Martinez Industries: Facebook



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