A successful drag racer, Fred Gibb owned and operated a Chevrolet dealership in LaHarpe, Ilinois. Chevrolet wanted a car to compete against the Ford and Chryslers in the National Hot Rod Association Super Stock Automatic classes and they chose Fred Gibb as the distribution point.
They chose the Chevy II Nova with that had recently been introduced with the 396cid/375hp L-78 engine. A TH400 transmission was completely re-designed for competition purposes. This marked the very first factory Chevrolet car that linked a mechanical-lifter big-block V-8 to an automatic transmission. NHRA required homologation of fifty cars and Fred ordered them for his dealership in LaHarpe. The special COPO number given these cars was 9738. The cars were all the same but for interior/ecxtrior color. There were 4 exterior colors; Tripoli Turquoise, Matador Red, Grecian Green, and Fathom Blue. They had custom interiors with bucket seats, a center console and floor shift, in either black or blue.
"Mr. Chevrolet" Dick Harrell was a top Chevrolet national championship drag racer originally from New Mexico. He opened his 1st high-performance facility in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1967, then moved west to Kansas City in early 1968. In 1968, his business was a legal arm and representative of Fred Gibb Chevrolet. Harrell also worked with the Nickey and Yenko Chevrolet dealer organizations on various 427 cubic inch Chevrolets.
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