Shawn Ellington’s 1969 Nova is one of the most well-known cars in the country. His fame is brought about by the hit Discovery Channel TV show: Street Outlaws. Ellington (aka Murder Nova) is one of the biggest personalities on the show along with his friend Justin Shearer (aka Big Chief). The two opened up a speed shop called Midwest Street Cars several years back and devoted their lives to speed. Ellington recently upgraded this beast from a carbureted and supercharged Chevy big-block, to one with electronic fuel injection and a pair of 88mm Pro Mod turbochargers. The engine is a 572 built with a Lunati crank, Oliver connecting rods, Diamond pistons, Dart Pro 2 cylinder heads, and Comp roller cam, lifters and pushrods.
CHEVY BIG BLOCK ENGINE:
The Murder Nova touts a mighty big block Chevy Engine. Big blocks have larger intake and exhaust valves than small blocks. This leads to better performance as it allows for a more efficient fuel-to-air ratio during the combustion process. Better ratios allow the car to take in air and spit it out much faster. Also, big block engines are about 30% heavier than small blocks, which usually handle high rpms much better than it’s smaller aluminum block counterparts.
The Murder Nova has an F3 Pro Charger which provides a boost up to 50psi and kicks out somewhere around 2,000 horsepower. The F3 Pro Charger is built to push air into the engine at a faster rate leading to superior performance.
The Nova has a 210 Turbo 400 transmission. Launched in 1964, the GM Turbo 400 series has been used in many classics including Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles and Chevys. It’s rugged, highly durable and can take a serious beating.
The Nova has a fuel injected carburetor allowing Shawn to put the pedal to the metal without flooding the motor. With the fuel-injected system, the motor should now stay dry and run at peak performance.
ICE COLD COOLING SYSTEM:
Racing engines can put off a crazy amount of heat. It’s extremely important to keep engine temps in check or you run the risk of engine failures. Using the water-to-air system, Shawn and team packs it full of ice before every race to that the car can maintain desired temps (50-60 degrees).
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The end result of this incredible build is 3,400 horsepower. All that muscle gets pumped through a TH400 transmission built by Rossler with a 2.10:1 first gear, and results in a car that will run eighth of a mile in under 5 seconds! The below video demonstrates firsthand what all that power can do. It takes place at the OKC NO Prep Event at the Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Lexington, OK. And features Ellington’s Murder Nova vs. Richard Clark’s The Goat.
While it is commonplace at the drag strip to see cars popping wheelies in first gear, and sometimes even second gear, it takes a real special machine to pop 3 wheelies. Ellington’s car did just that, lifting the car into the air on the first 3 shifts. That much time with the front wheel in the air can prove dangerous, however, as Ellington narrowly avoided hitting Clark, as Clark darted in front of him at the end of the track.
Car Owner: Shawn Ellington
Make/Model: 1969 Flatback Chevy Nova
Engine Type: Twin Turbo Big Block Chevy
Transmission: GM 210 Turbo 400 Transmission
Quarter-Mile: 4.42 1/8th @ 177mph
Estimated Cost: Unknown