Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 6, Page
Words and photos by Ian Tocher

ometimes you really can be in the right place at the right time, just ask Bob LaBrecque, an exterminator company owner based in Dallas, GA, just a few miles west of Atlanta. He recalls a day late in 1999 when he was on the job, doing a termite inspection for a clearance letter on a vacant house when he noticed an old car in the driveway covered by a tarp. He really didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but curiosity eventually got the better of him, so he took a peek.

“It was the Nova,” LaBrecque says of the car he’s been racing now for nearly six years. “So I contacted the homeowner and found out they were closing the next day. I was telling him about how I used to race Novas when I was younger and that it’d be kind of cool to have the car if he wanted to sell it. He said if I could just get it out of there I could have it because he was down in Florida, the house was closing the next day in Atlanta and he just couldn’t deal with it.

“Well, I told him I could give him some money for it and he said, ‘Okay, a dollar,’ and that was that. Within three hours I was up there getting the car on a trailer. I got that thing out of there as quick as I could.”

Now, the bright, red Nova races in the Outlaw Racing Street Car Association’s (ORSCA’s) EZ Street class, weighing in at 3,330 pounds and running a best of 5.59 at 127 mph over Huntsville (AL) Dragway’s eighth mile last year. LaBrecque finished third in the points with ORSCA in 2004 and last season raced to a fifth-place finish.

The car was in “poor to fair” condition when he found it, LaBrecque says, with a somewhat ratty interior, a few spots of rust, and the original two-barrel 350 residing under the hood. The odometer showed 120,000 miles and though not a basket case, he admits his wife, Jennifer, can be forgiven for having initial doubts when he showed up with the car in tow that fateful day. “But then she thought it was pretty cool because she knew how much I like Novas.”