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The world of street racing is fueled by passion and a burning desire to push the limits. Among the iconic names in the racing scene, Gucci Nova stands tall as a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence. Owned by Chris Michael, this stunning 1969 Chevrolet Nova has taken the racing world by storm, captivating both fans and fellow racers alike.
The Early Years: Chris Michael’s Racing Journey
Born and raised in California’s Orange County, Chris Michael’s journey in the world of racing began at a young age. With the unwavering support of his parents, he explored various sports, from karate to football, basketball to bowling. But it was the allure of racing that truly captured his heart.
Accompanied by his father, Ralph Michael, Chris frequented the Lions Drag Strip near Los Angeles, where he developed a deep love for cars and the thrill they provided. Starting with his first car, a ’67 Volkswagen Bug that he transformed into a racecar, Chris soon found himself immersed in the world of street and track racing.
However, as life took its course, Chris temporarily shifted his focus to establishing a successful career in real estate and small business investing. Racing took a back seat, but the fire within him never truly faded.
A Life-Changing Accident: Triumph Over Adversity
Life has a way of testing one’s resilience, and Chris Michael faced his own moment of reckoning. Around six years ago, during a trip to Pismo Beach, he experienced a life-altering accident. Underestimating a hill, his vehicle rolled over, leaving him with nine broken ribs, a crushed scapula, and a punctured lung. The prognosis was grim, with doctors fearing he may lose the use of his left arm.
But Chris refused to let adversity define him. With unwavering determination and the support of his wife, Srey, he embarked on a journey of recovery and rehabilitation. Slowly but surely, he defied the odds and regained full use of his arm.
Throughout this challenging period, Chris’s passion for racing burned brighter than ever. With his wife by his side, he gradually returned to building cars and pursued his dreams with renewed vigor.
The Birth of Bad Intentions Racing: A Dream Realized
Driven by his unwavering passion for racing, Chris established Bad Intentions Racing, a team dedicated to pushing the boundaries of performance and aesthetics. The team became a platform for Chris to dive back into the world of racing and fulfill his long-held dreams.
In his quest for a formidable racing machine, Chris set his sights on a 1969 Chevrolet Nova. However, the initial builder he chose failed to meet his standards, leading to setbacks and disappointment. It was a turning point when Chris crossed paths with Patrick Barnhill of PTP Racing, who introduced him to Larry Jeffers of Larry Jeffers Race Cars (LJRC).
In 2020, Chris made the decision to entrust LJRC with the complete overhaul of the Nova, starting from the ground up. The collaboration between Chris, Larry Jeffers, and Patrick Barnhill resulted in the birth of a jaw-dropping masterpiece – the Gucci Nova.
Unleashing the Power: Designing Gucci Nova
The Gucci Nova is a testament to Chris Michael’s meticulous attention to detail and his unwavering commitment to perfection. Working closely with Larry Jeffers, Chris’s vision for the Nova came to life, combining stunning aesthetics with high-performance capabilities.
The chassis work was meticulously crafted by Larry Jeffers Race Cars, laying the foundation for the Gucci Nova’s exceptional performance. To power this beast, Chris opted for a 4.9-inch bore space billet Hemi engine from Noonan Race Engineering, a choice that set him apart from other racers in the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings series.
In a departure from the norm, Chris opted for twin turbochargers as his power adders, adding a touch of uniqueness to the Gucci Nova’s setup. With blingy polished compressor covers and coated turbine housings, the twin turbos exude an air of luxury, perfectly complementing the car’s overall aesthetic.
To ensure optimal power transfer, Chris selected a Rossler three-speed Turbo 400 transmission and M&M shifter. The rear end was equipped with a billet full floater from Mark Williams, known for their exceptional products and customer service. The suspension components were carefully chosen, with custom Lamb Components struts adorning the front end and air-assisted JRi shocks enhancing the rear.
Every inch of the Gucci Nova was meticulously crafted, from the custom Lamb Brakes and RC Components wheels to the double Stroud Safety parachutes and carbon fiber Voss Wheelie Bars. The car’s exterior was adorned with a flawless candy burgundy and black paint job, accentuated by the iconic “Gucci” name displayed proudly on the rear quarters and license plate.
The Gucci Nova Takes the Stage: Debuting in Style
The Gucci Nova made its grand entrance at the 2021 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis, capturing the attention of fans and racers alike. Its striking appearance and impeccable craftsmanship drew a crowd, solidifying the Gucci Nova’s reputation as a showstopper.
With the completion of the Gucci Nova, Chris Michael’s dreams were finally realized. However, he made the decision to entrust the driving duties for its inaugural season to a close friend and fellow racer, Jay Boddie. Jay, known as the West Coast king of grudge racing, would pilot the Gucci Nova in the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings series for 2022.
Giuseppe Gentile: The Man Behind the Wheel
While Jay Boddie showcased the Gucci Nova’s capabilities on the track, Giuseppe Gentile, a veteran street-turned-track racer and a key member of Bad Intentions Racing, worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Giuseppe’s extensive experience in racing, combined with his role as a set builder for Disney Studios, made him an invaluable asset to the team.
Giuseppe’s journey in racing began in 2019 when he joined the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings circuit. In early 2022, he debuted an all-new S550 Ford Mustang, marking a new chapter in his racing career. However, fate had other plans, and Giuseppe found himself partnering with Chris Michael to bring the Gucci Nova back to the track after Jay Boddie’s departure.
A Season of Triumph: Gucci Nova’s Dominance
The Gucci Nova, with Giuseppe Gentile at the helm, proved to be a force to be reckoned with on the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings circuit. Despite joining the season late, the team showcased their resilience and determination, fighting their way to the top.
Through continuous testing and adjustments, Giuseppe and the Bad Intentions Racing team worked tirelessly to unlock the full potential of the Gucci Nova. With each race, they gained valuable insights and fine-tuned the car’s performance, steadily climbing up the ranks.
The Gucci Nova’s twin Precision 88mm turbos, combined with the Noonan 4.9 Hemi engine, delivered immense power on the track. Giuseppe’s expertise in tuning the chassis, coupled with Kenny Lutz’s mastery of horsepower, created a winning formula that propelled the Gucci Nova to new heights.
The Next Chapter: Gucci Nova’s Evolution
As the 2022 season came to a close, the Bad Intentions Racing team wasted no time in preparing for the challenges that lie ahead. The Gucci Nova was entrusted to Larry Jeffers Race Cars once again, undergoing a series of updates and improvements.
The team’s meticulous attention to detail was evident as they integrated a FuelTech ECU, a new ProCharger F-4X-44, and a lighter carbon-fiber nose into the Gucci Nova. Fresh paint, new doors, and a new M&M torque converter tuned to the ProCharger further enhanced the car’s performance. Additionally, a spare Noonan Hemi engine was being prepared, ensuring that the team would be well-equipped for the upcoming season.
Gucci Nova: The Front Runner of 2024
As the 2023 season came to a close, anticipation grew for the Gucci Nova’s performance in the following year. With its stunning looks and exceptional performance, the Gucci Nova was poised to be a front runner in the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings series for 2024.
With Chris Michael’s unwavering dedication, Giuseppe Gentile’s expertise, and the entire Bad Intentions Racing team’s relentless pursuit of excellence, the Gucci Nova has solidified its position as an icon in the racing world. The passion, determination, and unyielding spirit that drive the team will undoubtedly propel the Gucci Nova to new heights of success.
Join the Bad Intentions Racing Community
The Bad Intentions Racing community is a vibrant and passionate group of racing enthusiasts from around the world. Their shared love for racing and dedication to pushing the boundaries of performance create a sense of camaraderie and excitement within the community.
Follow Bad Intentions Racing on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest news, behind-the-scenes insights, and thrilling race day experiences. Join the conversation, connect with fellow racing enthusiasts, and be a part of the Bad Intentions Racing community as they continue to make waves in the racing world.
Conclusion: A Legacy of Excellence
The Gucci Nova represents the culmination of Chris Michael’s lifelong passion for racing. From his early days of street racing to his triumphant return to the track, Chris’s unwavering dedication and pursuit of excellence have been the driving force behind the Gucci Nova’s success.
With Giuseppe Gentile’s expertise and the support of the entire Bad Intentions Racing team, the Gucci Nova has become a force to be reckoned with on the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings circuit. Its stunning appearance, combined with its exceptional performance, has captivated fans and racers alike, solidifying its status as a true racing phenomenon.
As the Gucci Nova continues to evolve and push the boundaries of racing, one thing is certain – the legacy of excellence that Chris Michael and the Bad Intentions Racing team have built will continue to inspire and captivate racing enthusiasts for years to come.