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Renaissance man builds WMD in home garage

What’s a Renaissance man? What can you say about someone who is knowledgeable, creative, dexterous, tenacious, and multi-talented? Examine his handicraft. Question his motives. Feel awed by what he has done and continues to do. Steve Agnello is that man. He runs one restaurant that also features brick oven pizza. He built his Nova in house and, save for the machine work, the narrowed axle housing, and the shortened axle shafts, Steve carried this thing on his back--joined by friend Pete McGregor when it came to the hanging the Painless 18-circuit spaghetti and some of the other assistance everyone needs on a big project. Steve adhered to several different disciplines within the whole.

Steve lives in upstate New York, not too far from West Point, but he found his soul mate a couple of hours south in Jersey. “It looked solid,” he groaned. “But when I started taking it apart, I knew it was going to require a lot more metal replacement, fabrication, and hard work than I originally estimated.” He lit the fuse, starting off with the motor work. Mike Holcombe at CV Machine in Central Valley, New York, did the blueprint on the Dart Big M block and assembly, infusing the titan with 4.5-inch bores holding JE pistons (dished, 0.300-inch intake valve pocket) on forged Eagle rods and 4.25-inch stroke crankshaft. Holcombe built the long-block with a hydraulic roller, a blower grind specified by Lunati, following it with a complete Comp valve train arrangement, Cloyes double-roller timing gear and a Cloyes aluminum front cover. He cinched up the bottom end with a Stef’s aluminum 7-quart oil pan and pick-up cooperating with a Mellings high-volume oil pump.

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