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Years ago, Brian Scotto wouldn’t have considered a muscle-car project like the Napalm Nova. An Audi 80 rally car? Maybe. A Hayabusa-powered Smart ForTwo? Definitely. Rescuing an old, unsophisticated shambles from the crusher? Not bloody likely.

All the same, Scotto’s blacked-out 1972 Nova with the massive cowl hood has recently entered the pantheon of other famously sinister Novas — like the “Murder Nova” seen on the Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws, and Stuntman Mike’s car from Quentin Tarantino’s half of the movie Death Proof. Obviously, something happened along the way to change Scotto’s point of view from favoring German and Japanese metal to “building a muscle car that wasn’t welcome inside the car show,” he said.

But what?

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