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Pulling Power

Written By Steve Baur | Photography by the Author

Pulling Power

If the unique engine combination was a more conventional gas-powered, blower/turbo/nitrous setup, Ryan Milliken’s 1967 Nova would still be a badass ride as it’s delicious green hue combined with a great stance gets plenty of attention on its own. But when you add in the odd sound from the exhaust and the combination of white and black smoke you see during the burnouts, the car, as Howard Cosell used to say, is truly a site to behold.

If you haven’t heard about it, Milliken’s Nova packs a Cummins inline six-cylinder diesel engine, and the NMCA staff made a quick rules modification to allow the engine combination to compete in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw competition this year at the second stop of the series in Atlanta. Milliken then continued on to Bowling Green where this photo was taken during a night session on track.

On the starting line, Milliken builds up boost like any other turbo car on the property, but as the boost and engine RPM builds, the exhaust turns a sooty black. Sometimes you even get to see flames right before it’s time to get down to business and release the transbrake.

We’ve seen Ryan’s Nova go as quick as 4.88 to the eighth-mile in NMCA competition, but regardless of what the time clocks may display, it is always entertaining to watch.