Chevrolet Nova: Memories

ER Classics Desktop 2022

It was 1990, and an acquaintance of a friend of a colleague was building a 650 hp Chevy Malibu. The costs of that project got out of hand. That's why his Nova had to go. Shortly afterwards, the Malibu project also had to go. Because the brave Willie Wortel who worked in the field, put so much working time into his project that his employer gave him much more time for it. He became unemployed.

A beautiful Nova

My Nova was a nice, good car that only missed a station in the pre-painting process. Under the paint you could still see some sanding marks here and there. All in all, it was neat enough to be used as a wedding car a few times. The only problem I ever had with that Nova was when a front wheel bearing ran out near Antwerp. The hub was sprayed with wax oil in the pouring rain and the journey continued towards the Netherlands, where the Wegenwacht will come.

The case started at walking pace on the hard shoulder, until I realized that a 5 liter V8 also had to be able to get around a broken bearing. A long story short: at home the right front was red-hot and various parts were melted together. GM's building set principles are blessed. At Autopart in Den Dolder there were matching donor parts that had once lived under a Camaro. They looked different, but the dimensions were identical.

The repair was carried out in the pouring rain on the parking lot at home. Oh yes: And my Nova exhaled through two Cherry Bombs, according to experts 'the exhausts for people without money'.

A nicer Nova

Those were all memories that came up when seeing the 1977'er Nova at Stuurman Classic Cars from Herkenbosch. That is also such a wonderful example of a user-American and proof that a neat classic can still be nicely priced. It is still a heart-winning original where many Novas have been pimped. And he has the same 'flaw' that mine had: The holes in the rims can contain those cool chrome trim rings. And I remember it was quite difficult to find it here in 1990. But then of course we didn't have Internet yet. For the rest, a Nova is a hefty, but certainly not bulky car. In the States he was a neat, not too expensive middle class.

Fairly rare

Here in the Netherlands you don't see them very often, but because it is a GM product, it is never a problem to get parts. And with the five-liter V8, if you stick to the current rules, you can still drive almost one in ten. One in seven is not a problem either. Neither is one in six… And to drive it is just a bit more dynamic than a full sized yank-tank.

The 1977 Chevrolet Nova was available as a coupé, sedan, or hatchback and powered by a six-cylinder 250 CID engine. A 305- and 350-CID V8 was optional. Up-market there was the Nova Concours with slightly different styling and luxury options than the base model Nova.

The Nova Concours distinguished itself from the base model by a new fine-mesh grille consisting of vertical bars, together with a standing bonnet emblem, redesigned wheel covers and wider wheel opening moldings. 'C' script badges could be found on the front, side and rear of the carriage. Inside, the Nova Concours had American chic woodgrain appliqués on the door panels, instrument panel, and steering wheel.

Also read:
- Oldsmobile Toronado: American innovative
- Chevrolet Chevelle SS396. Better than new after restoration
- 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. What a great find. Part 1
- 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. What a great find. Part 2
- 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. What a great find. Part 3

Standard with a six-cylinder

The Concours version was luxurious and had a V8


Parts are never a problem with GM cars


Give a reaction
  1. The technically best Chevrolet Nova is the one from 1985,… .. Not surprising when you know that it was a rebadged Toyota Corolla.

  2. Similar were the Oldsmobile Omega, Buick Skylark, Pontiac Phoenix.
    Of these 3, the Pontiac was the least seen in the Netherlands.

  3. Not knowing that this was going to be the “Cadillac Seville”. It was all roughly put together, but
    easy to repair. That generation of RWD cars rarely broke, and when it broke, it often turned out that the cars were almost never maintained as prescribed.
    As Dolf would say, they were used like Greek donkeys. Magnificent .
    And yet, you don't even have to go far from here, there are still quite a few left that are used as daily transport. Although our Auto landscape has been ruined for good by quite a few “fat” ugly SUVs. Greetings and hopefully a better year ahead.

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