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NovaF4
15-08-2010, 11:38 PM
Hello to everyone at Euro Nova. I live in Guildford, Surrey, England and I have a Nova.

A few members on this forum already know me (Hello to Island Man, Lauren and DJ Harry) but Iíll introduce myself and my Nova to you all as a start to being a regular member and hopefully a good contributor of this forum.

Iíve had my Nova for 16 years. First seen at Stoneleigh Kit Car Show í94 and not long after purchased, it was very much a Mark II with some added frills. It drove, everything worked and the humble Beetle 1.6 pushed it along at humble speeds whilst making a noise not exactly befitting to its looks. I was 20 at the time and it was amazing.

Not long into ownership the engine decided to decorate the drive with lots of oil. I then met Lauren, (aka Spacenut), who amazingly lived only a few minutes walk around the corner, and from that moment on, the long road ahead had already been painted with new exciting mods, new Nova friends, kit car shows, Alfa Romeo engine conversions, trips to Le Mans, ups and downs, on the road, off the road, speeding fines, the physics of heater ducting, contributions to the Nova club monthly magazine, endless new front wheel bearings, weekly lessons by Lauren on suspensions, red spray paint everywhere, vandalism, promotional videos...

Being a designer with a keen eye for detail and a love of supercars from the seventies and eighties, I set about making the Nova into what I really wanted it to look like, handle like, go like and stop like. I wanted to make it into a serious car rather than just an exotic Ďbeetleí. My rather ambitious goal was to make the Nova feel more like a production car but with as much of the original looks as I could get away with. This was no easy task as Iím sure many of you have/are finding out.

Itís first grown up new life, from í96 Ė í02, which was spent very much more on the road than not and had a very daring 1.5 Alfa Romeo boxer engine conversion, which paid off big time. That alone was a huge leap forward into how I felt the car should go and sound. After the first few years it was then treated to a 1.7 boxer engine and saw many new items fitted such as a Mark 1 bonnet, a Mark 1 undertray, Lamborghini Countach rear lights & wing mirrors, Ferrari 250 GTO front indicators (all these parts haggled and bought at a local Italian track day), a heavily modified rear end and a 24 foot exhaust system (another story), to name but some.

Just after having some extensive rear end mechanical surgery in Ď02 which consisted of an IRS rear suspension, a modified Ďheavy dutyí gearbox with cogs/gear ratios to match the Alfa engine with a bit more Ďtunedí power (to come), a rear disc brake set up and a twin master cylinder with brake bias adjuster fitted, it was taken off the road when I bought my first property.

Although the work just described was another big leap forward towards my end goal, my overindulgence unfortunately got the better of me as I also decided to get new seats which were too wide (arenít they all), I removed all the tired looking interior panels, bought and fitted a new steering column, fabricated alfa steering arms, fitted a Vauxhall rack and pinion steering rack, made a bespoke heater/blower system, bought a new Mark 4 dashboard, fitted better seat belts and to really put a halt on things Ė carried out a complete re-wire. It was at this point when I appreciated the golden rule - "never ever take your car off the road to do more than one job at any one time".

So from the luxury of my parentís double garage, an amazingly willing and technically brilliant friend around the corner who helps me a great deal (Lauren), loads of other friends around a few more corners coming round to help out, and the use of a huge range of family tools, the Nova was trailered, in a rather sad state, into a single garage far away from all the help and motivation. And there it sat, engine detached and on the floor, paintwork scratched and flaking having seen the spoils of many years of work, interior in a state of 'starting again' and many new parts having never been used. My Nova was hidden from the world, without so much of a loose strand of fibreglass leaving a spinning drill bit and settling gently on its bodywork.

Eight years later, having only latterly seen the luxury of a new windscreen washer pump fitted and being sat sulking in the garage amongst all the broody spiders and mysterious boxes of bits, the garage door has been opened, the sun rays shone in (think movie scene), the electronic documents updated, the binders full of drawings and photos opened and their dust blown off, an enthusiastic friend on standby willing to help out, the mysterious boxes of bits turned out and sorted, the memory refreshed and...

...a new born feeling of once again getting stuck in!

Iíll leave you with an assortment of photos of the Nova from Le Mans í97 (just before its last lot of changes) and will start a thread soon for its second life (ďA New DawningĒ) which Iíll try to make as interesting and fun to follow each time I carry out an item of work from my extensive 'final' list of jobs.

See me around here again soon.

http://www.thegoodwebcompany.com/sfy36k/IMG0024.jpg

http://www.thegoodwebcompany.com/sfy36k/IMG0065.jpg

http://www.thegoodwebcompany.com/sfy36k/IMG0075.jpg

http://www.thegoodwebcompany.com/sfy36k/IMG0023.jpg

http://www.thegoodwebcompany.com/sfy36k/IMG0090.jpg

CyCo
16-08-2010, 01:04 AM
Nice looking ride! I'm sure it will be great on it's return to the blacktop. I'm curious as to why you called it a F4, being in Oz, and owning a Purvis Eureka F4. :wink:

Oh, and welcome. :D

islandman
16-08-2010, 01:57 AM
Giles,

Good to know you are alive and kicking and still have the Nova. Itís been a long time since we last caught up, glad to see you have rekindled your enthusiasm. Another infrequent forum attendee you may remember is Monkey boy (a.k.a Colin Huntingford), he also has his Nova (or two) but hasnít managed to get moving on it yet.

Iím still living in Singapore and only get back once or twice a year so as you can imagine its slow progress. You can check out some of the work I have done to the car here

http://www.the-island-man.com/Nova%20Kit%20Car.htm

Hope we can catch up next time Iím in the UK. :cheers:

jimcub
16-08-2010, 04:33 PM
Nicly turned out

Spacenut
16-08-2010, 06:10 PM
Hi Giles - great introductory post, but lay off the compliments will you, my head's big enough already :blushing:

You took that car and made it your own; I don't recall anyone calling it Mark Smith or Lamborghini Pete's old car! So most of the credit goes to you - and Bracket Man, of course :D

Incidentally, I seem to recall Lamborghini Pete popped up on the old Nova International forum, looking to see if anyone was about. He posted the picture of your car taken on top of Portsdown hill (I think its somewhere in the Euro Nova photo archive on the main site).

Anyway, welcome aboard!

Lauren

Nic
16-08-2010, 07:55 PM
Hi Giles,

Welcome and thanks for the great intro story. It's left me looking forward to your updates.

Alzax3
16-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Hi Giles, and welcome to the forum. Should just mention in case you didn't know: DJ Harry can only know you in spirit now.... :cry:

Vasco Da Gamer
17-08-2010, 11:35 AM
That is one good looking car, the wheels and ride height combination are just right and the rear end treatment is beautifully done.

It does make me think of an F4 because of the Lambo-esque shoulder intakes.

Good luck with it, given that you are "improving" what you already had it should look amazing when finished.

Oh, and welcome.

Steve

NovaF4
17-08-2010, 08:35 PM
Thanks very much to those who have spent the time sending messages back. I always get an exciting feeling of anticipation when clicking to see what replies have come through. It doesn't take much!

Cyco, I've called it an F4 for a while now because I think 'Nova' never sounded 'complete' enough and it always gets confused replies with questions about the mainstream 'Nova' that has been sold here for many years under the Vauxhall brand. If there's one thing I've always wished could be different about the Nova it's the name. F4 stands for Flat 4 which the Alfa Romeo engine is. BUT, of course so is the VW Beetle engine. I'd really like to come up with a better name which somehow depicts the Alfa engine side of it and making it a unique name; keeping 'Nova' in the name too of course. Any ideas? I've always been quite bemused by the name 'Purvis Eureka' but I'm sure that's just because I'm English and not Australian. Do you like the name? Do the individual words mean anything else to you?

Islandman - great to hear from you. Please give me a shout next time you are in the UK. We'll try to meet up for a beer and talk Nova. I hope life is great for you in Singapore. I'd love to travel there one day.

Lauren - OK, sorry. I guess you didn't do much to help really :wink:

Alzax3 - thanks for the heads up about Harry. I had no idea. I travelled to France with him and a load of other Nova owners for the '95 Le Mans race. It was a good crack and we've always got on. Harry always had a lot of time for me. Harry - Rest in Peace.

Vasco - thanks for your kind words. Very encouraging indeed.

Laters.

bushboy
17-08-2010, 11:54 PM
Giles,
Welcome to Euro-Nova land. If your wheels ever go misssing first look under my reek (Eureka) as I realy love them. Back in Oz the F4 stands for Ford 4 cylinder. THe Eureka came out in 3 models, the PL30, then the Sports & then the F4. I stand to be correct by Cyco of course.

I don't know how much of the forum you have had time to read but I'm the fulla that brought his Eureka to the UK with him. It's been on the road for two years now but is in need of a paint job & some (lots) of interior work.

THe Purvis bit belongs to Alan Purvis who first brought the Nova to Australia. The Eureka bit is in relation to the Eureka Stockade incident in early white Australian history where the miners took arms against the government over mining licences. Alan had so much red tape to get throught that he called the car Eureka. Enough of the history lesson.

Your rear valance looks like a hybrid of the never popular Mk what ever bolt on tail light thingy. Any how welcome again and hope to see you round the traps.

bushboy

CyCo
18-08-2010, 01:30 AM
Cyco, I've called it an F4 for a while now because I think 'Nova' never sounded 'complete' enough and it always gets confused replies with questions about the mainstream 'Nova' that has been sold here for many years under the Vauxhall brand. If there's one thing I've always wished could be different about the Nova it's the name. F4 stands for Flat 4 which the Alfa Romeo engine is. BUT, of course so is the VW Beetle engine. I'd really like to come up with a better name which somehow depicts the Alfa engine side of it and making it a unique name; keeping 'Nova' in the name too of course. Any ideas? I've always been quite bemused by the name 'Purvis Eureka' but I'm sure that's just because I'm English and not Australian. Do you like the name? Do the individual words mean anything else to you?



Bushboy has already covered the Purvis Eureka question. I like how you justify calling it an F4 because it has a flat 4. Here the F4 was called that because it was designed with a Ford 4 cylinder in mind. Mine has a 1.8t Subaru Vortex (XT), and I tend to think of it as a S4. But it's still a F4 as the Scooby is a flat 4. lol

As an aside, one of the last owners of the Purvis Eureka company was advertising it with a tubular chassis, disc brakes all round, powered by a Subaru engine, and was calling it an S4, a fact I didn't know until after I started thinking of calling mine an S4.

You could call it a Nova F4 as you already do, or maybe Nova A4 (A for Alfa). Or Nova AM4 (Alfa Motivated). Put a turbo on it and call it Nova AM4 Turbo.

Spacenut
18-08-2010, 07:47 PM
I think the open-endedness in the Nova name is due it being both make and model. Further compounded by a certain lack of inspiration regarding company names - ADD perhaps being one of the better efforts, but Nova Cars, Nova Sports Cars, etc. doesn't look very catchy in chrome script on the rear panel.

As I've often said, I think naming a sports car after an exploding star is pretty cool. The original GM Nova was pretty cool too, and its GM's ownership of the title that meant the English Nova could not keep its name in the USA, hence Sterling (as in ££££'s, geddit?). What I cannot forgive GM for is attaching the moniker to a poxy 3-door hatch in this country :puking:

I call the Green Machine a Nova T33, which was Alfas designation for their famous sports racing car, but also the Alfa 33 was the boxer-engined replacement for the Alfasud, and Alfa also used the "T" designator for tubolare or tubular steel chassis. I thought Nova T-Sud sounded silly, but there again... :confused1:

Hi Martin - you're right about Giles' rear bumper being a Mk2, but I'll leave the man himself to tell you the provenance of the rear valence panel :thumbup:

Lauren

NovaF4
19-08-2010, 01:21 PM
Hi Martin - you're right about Giles' rear bumper being a Mk2, but I'll leave the man himself to tell you the provenance of the rear valence panel

Sorry, but I'm afraid that is classified :wink:

(Sshh, Lauren - it's changed enough now to be considered 'bespoke'!)

MicksRedNova
19-08-2010, 03:15 PM
Giles

Welcome (or welcome back it seems). We all look forward to seeing your Nova returned to its former glory. Hope you can join us on the Club Nova stand at one of next years shows.

Mick

NovaF4
20-08-2010, 08:55 AM
Welcome (or welcome back it seems). We all look forward to seeing your Nova returned to its former glory. Hope you can join us on the Club Nova stand at one of next years shows.

That would be VERY optimistic! My goal is Le Mans in June but that's pushing it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Dirk
20-08-2010, 10:27 PM
Hi Giles,

Welcome and nice looking car, how about some up to date photos, I'm interested in the changes and a close up of the side vents.

Dirk

Monkeyboy
21-08-2010, 02:21 PM
Hi Giles,

Good to hear you are ok and still enthusiastic about Nova's. Islandman is right I still have 2 Nova's, well 1 shell and 1 on a chassis. Didnt I buy one of them from you many years ago????

You're not far from me and it would be good to catch up at some point, you could show me the progress you're making on the Nova.

Enjoy the forum, it's a great site and full of interesting stuff :clapping:

NovaF4
24-08-2010, 11:11 PM
Welcome and nice looking car, how about some up to date photos, I'm interested in the changes and a close up of the side vents.

Hi Dirk

I'll be starting the re-build thread for SFY36K very soon. I'm just sorting out all my photos and grouping them into stages. I'm sure at some point I will include the side vents. You will have to wait, so keep a look out.

Giles.

NovaF4
24-08-2010, 11:13 PM
Good to hear you are ok and still enthusiastic about Nova's. Islandman is right I still have 2 Nova's, well 1 shell and 1 on a chassis. Didnt I buy one of them from you many years ago????

You're not far from me and it would be good to catch up at some point, you could show me the progress you're making on the Nova.


Hi MonkeyBoy. It sounds like you know me but I can't think who you are. Can you give me any clues? Did we meet at Stoneleigh in the 90's?

Giles.