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Chevy II Nova Gasser: Week to Wicked Build Team


Speedway Motors is sending a team from Lincoln, NE all the way out to MotorTrend Group’s tech center in Santa Ana for another round of Week to Wicked.

In one week, Jeff, Joe, and Zach, along with MotorTrend Group, will take an old 1967 Chevy Nova II back in time to the days when Gassers ruled the strip. No dress up here—it will actually be able to race.

It won’t be perfect, but it will get close. And that’s the point—we want to show how a close-to-correct Gasser that can actually race is achievable. With a little DIY, you can build the core of a Gasser, add your own style, and then go racing.

On to the team!

Of the team of three, one builds cars and writes the technical stuff, one makes sure our customers have an amazing experience when they call in, and the last one sources and invents street products.

Follow along and learn the Way of the Gasser while they turn this old Nova into something meaner.

Speedway Motors’ Week to Wicked Team:

Joe McCollough - Technical Writer and Builder

Joe’s got some versatility to him. He drafted the Nova Gasser.

He knows how to take apart just about everything. Even better, knows how to put it back together, too.

Thanks to years in his dad’s garage and a degree in Automotive Restoration, he can pretty much build it all. He’s got a few projects going, among them a Model A hot rod and a 1986 Buick Regal, which was also his first car. Joe wields his deep knowledge and love of history to make sure we get all the technical stuff right and avoid upsetting all the grouchy curmudgeons.

He also loves teaching—if he could, he’d spread passion for old cars and technical know-how worldwide.

Zach Raddatz - Customer Experience Lead

After a few summers hanging around his uncles’ repair shop, Zach caught the car bug. Bad. After high school, he chased any opportunity to work with cars—first at a local shop repairing engines and then building muscle cars. He got a degree in Automotive Technology, then worked dealerships, independent shops, and a restoration shop, making everything look awesome. Zach added his expertise to Speedway Motors in 2010.

Zach’s also a rare breed of car guy in that he’s great at interacting with customers, which is why he gets sent to car shows all over the US. It’s also why he coordinates all the important work across departments that directly impact our amazing customers.

He’s got a knack for putting himself in the customer’s shoes and making sure whatever decisions happen are good for the guy in the garage.

Jeff Karls - Product Manager

Jeff Karls, ingenious rodder extraordinaire, started at Speedway Motors creating art signs, shirts and other Speedway Branded products. “Speedy” Bill spotted something awesome in him, and now he brings in wildly successful parts from great manufacturers (he’s also known to invent something amazing every once and awhile). He still pencils in a design here and there, but most of his time goes to building out our street category so all the rodders among us have amazing parts to play with.

We sent Jeff because he’s so great at explaining both the ins and the outs, especially when there’s a newbie in the garage.

Check out his Looney Tunes hot rod for a great story. Short version: Jeff’s parents owned it, loved it, sold it, then his brother drove right past it years later. Eventually, they sold it back to Jeff!

There’s the team! Follow along while we turn this Nova into a bonafide drag strip car. We’ll get pretty close to how you’d have seen them back in the day.

It’s not perfect, but that’s the point.

We want to show that this thing is achievable for anyone. You simply don’t need tens and tens of thousands to build something very close and incredibly fun.

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