2,500-HP Twin-Turbo 427 cid LS Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

2,500-HP Twin-Turbo 427 cid LS Engine

Having done a lot of the paint and bodywork himself, Will Tetro's 1968 Nova stood out at the 2022 PRI show. His shop, Harbor Auto Restoration, helped build the car to handle 2,500 horsepower, and making that power is a twin-turbo 427 cubic inch LS engine built by Ochs Performance.

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While walking the floor at the 2022 PRI Show a couple months ago, it was hard to ignore the Frankenstein Engine Dynamics booth. Not only was the booth noticeably larger this past year than previous years, but beyond showcasing the company’s intakes and cylinder head offerings, Frankenstein filled the extra space with numerous vehicles and motorcycles, all featuring Frankenstein engine components.

One eye-catching vehicle in particular was Will Tetro’s 1968 Nova with a twin-turbo 427 cid LS engine in it. We had to circle the vehicle a few times to satisfy our craving for the car. As it turned out, Tetro was standing nearby while we were gawking at the car, and he was kind enough to tell us more about the Nova and its twin-turbo LS engine setup right before PRI closed on the last day of the show.

“It’s a 427 cubic inch LS with a Dart block, Frankenstein F710 heads, a Frankenstein intake, a Brian Tooley Racing hydraulic roller camshaft, a dry sump oiling system, twin Forced Inductions S488 turbos, and it runs on alcohol,” Tetro told us.

Ochs Performance out of Texas built the LS engine and used Ross pistons, a Callies crank and billet aluminum rods for the rotating assembly. “It’s a pretty mild build for what it is actually,” Tetro says. “Frankenstein built us the solid heads for the engine and we also have their Freakshow intake with their new dual 90 millimeter throttle body and their twin induction system. They helped a ton on this with a bunch of pieces.”

Up top, the LS engine features titanium intake valves and Inconel exhaust valves, PAC 1237X springs and Texas Speed’s adjustable rockers. The combination should provide Will with 2,000-2,500 horsepower.

“We’re going to run No Time stuff in the beginning and then we’ll progress from there,” he says about the Nova. “This is actually a motor we had out of another car that we radial raced. We built the chassis for the Nova as well as everything else for the LS combo, so we’re going to work out any chassis bugs and then we’ll upgrade the horsepower from there.”

The ’68 Nova got a lot of work done by Will himself and his shop, Harbor Auto Restoration, which has been in Will’s family for roughly 40 years. The Rockledge, FL-based restoration shop works on many hot rods and concourse-level cars, so tackling Will’s Nova was right up their alley. Harbor Auto Restoration does paint and bodywork in-house, as well as complete mechanical, electrical and chassis service.

Will and Aubrey Stewart took over ownership of the shop just recently from the older generation of Tetros, and will continue to run the family business. In fact, Will has been a mechanic with the company for the last 16 years, and his Nova is a perfect example of his and his shop’s capabilities.

“The Nova started out as a real SS and then they cut it up and made it into what it is,” Tetro says. “It has a titanium firewall, a Strange Engineering Pro Mod modular rear end, a Turbo 400 transmission, and we have a lockup set up we’re going to put in after we get the chassis figured out. Our shop did the paint work and this color comes from a base coat, clear coat, standard-style paint. It’s actually from a company called Custom Paints out of the UK.”

There’s no denying the beauty of this Nova, and the 2,500-horsepower, twin-turbo, 427 LS engine is the cherry on top.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]

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