Many of you have likely heard of the legendary Chevrolet COPOs, where a couple of horsepower-loving dealers around the country joined forces with some ne'er-do-well GM executives to dupe the system and unleash a select few, unbridled horsepower muscle car monsters as high-performance 'promotional cars' for their showrooms. Names like Don Yenko and Fred Gibb still ring in our heads when we think of these 'Central Office Purchase Order' supercars from the late-'60s and early-'70s, but not many .....
know the engineer/drag racer that actually took these wild ideas and made them work in real life. That man's name was Dick Harrell, aka 'Mr. Chevrolet, Mr. Excitement', and he was rewarded through Fred Gibb's Chevrolet dealership in LaHarpe, Illinois with an order of fifty COPO 1968 Chevy Nova L78 Big Block cars with special competition 3-speed automatic transmissions. Dick then converted twenty of these COPO cars from the 396 engine to a 427 and they were sold through a network of Chevy dealers. Those cars are pretty much the Holy Grail of the muscle car world today and are worth millions, but their more attainable spirit lives on in this drop-dead gorgeous 1968 Chevrolet Nova Dick Harrell Tribute. With a professionally built 427 L72 V8 under the hood and show-quality restoration, this faithfully executed tribute captures the essence of those legendary Hi-Po cars, and better yet, you can actually drive this one!
Cranberry Red was on the list of authentic COPO colors (specifically for '69 and '70 Yenko Novas), so seeing this very similar shade of Matador Red on this gorgeous '68 Chevy II really stirs up the high-horsepower memories in us all. It's a beacon of a color that serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it might be a good idea to tangle with it on the street, and a huge upgrade over this Nova's original Island Teal. For a brute-force machine, this one is also quite pretty, with great sheetmetal prep and borderline show-quality paint that shines like it's never heard of a drag strip. Really, we're only calling it borderline show-quality because of a few water spots and because technically nothing is 'perfect', but this beauty sure is close with a deep luster accentuated by the gallons of clearcoat that sealed the color in place. It hasn't been abused, either, because the doors fit well, the quarters are straight, and everything lines up too nicely to have been truly used in anger. All the Dick Harrell COPOs were original SS cars, so this one correctly wears the blacked-out front grille, tailpanel, and subsequent 'SS' badging, and that aggressive (and correct) Stinger hood and hoodpins up front preview the monster that lives underneath. Like must COPOs from the factory, you can forget stripes or even any significant badging, allowing the '427' emblems on the fenders, bright chrome bumpers, and unobstructed slick-red finish doing all the talking.
Black buckets are an upgrade over the basic benches found in most of the non-Camaro COPOs and you'll appreciate them when you're out stomping around on the street. Everything is new to the build, from the seat covers to the carpets, and again it sticks to the simple recipe that anything that doesn't add performance got left off the build sheet " including a radio and A/C delete set-up that sheds weight. A vintage SunTach on the steering column is an important COPO option and there's a trio of auxiliary gauges below the dash, and with this huge engine those are pretty much a must-have, while the rather non-descript chrome T-handle shifter that splits the seats is correct as well, as these Harrel Nova's all came with 3-speed automatics. It looks quite authentic all around and everything is in great shape, creates a cabin that you'll be looking forward to driving in every chance you get. The trunk is neatly finished with spatter paint and carries an original redline spare and jack set, just in case.
So, all that's just fine, but the real reason this car wants to party can be found under the hood. That's a genuine 427 cubic inch L72 that came with a 425HP rating from the factory, which has ballooned with the addition of a lopey Comp camshaft and mechanical roller lifters added during the build that was finished a mere 1,537 miles ago. Detailed the way it was when it was new, complete with Turbo-Jet 425 Horsepower decals, it looks every bit the part of Chevy's ultimate muscle car. Chrome valve covers, Chevy Orange paint, and factory-style details like hoses and tower hose clamps all give it a fresh-from-the-skunkwerks vibe. The automatic transmission follows the spirit of the Dick Harrel COPO Novas, however this one was tastefully upgraded to a modern 4L80E 4-speed overdrive unit that can easily manage all that power and the modern road. It channels power to the battle-tested 12-bolt rear end filled with 4.10 gears, all hanging on a newer heavy-duty suspension that features sub-frame connectors, trailing arms, and fresh components throughout. Hooker headers feed into a Flowmaster dual exhaust system that sounds downright erotic, and power steering and power front disc brakes vastly improve the driving experience of this bruiser. Cragar S/S wheels are performance classics, especially when wrapped in period-perfect F70-15 Firestone redlines that fill the fenders.
Hard to resist the appeal of the magic '427' number, isn't it? Enjoy all the fun and iconic status for a fraction of the price with this well-built tribute. Call today!
**Please note this car comes with a clean Texas title with the remarks ""Rebuilt/Salvage"" issued by KY.