Junkyard Gem: 1979 Chevrolet Nova Coupe
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From model years 1962 to 1979, Chevrolet sold millions of small rear-wheel drive cars known as the Chevy II and / or Nova. These cars were all over North (and South) American roads for decades, and Pars Khodro in Iran built Novas until 1981. Since we don't consider the Corolla twin cars to be true Novas in the mid-1980s, the very last of the year, The one where you could buy a new Nova in the US was in 1979. Here's one such car that once shone in its custom racing stripes but is now smashed and faded in a boneyard in the Denver area.
The Nova name began as the top trim level on the Chevy II, pushing the Chevy II name aside for the 1968 model year. A similar process occurred when the Malibu trim level devoured and digested its former Chevelle host. A persistent myth has it that car buyers in Spanish-speaking countries refused to buy the Nova because no Va means "can't", but Novas has actually sold very well in Mexico and Argentina.
The 1979 Nova received a one-year-old snout with square headlights and a unique grille. Perhaps this should prepare people for the similar-looking front of replacing the Nova: the 1980 quote.
1979 Nova buyers could choose one of three engines: the 250-cubic-inch straight-six (115 hp), a 305-cubic-inch V8 (130 hp), or a 350-cubic-inch V8 (165 hp). This car has the six.
Believe it or not, the three-on-the-tree shifter was the base transmission on the 1979 six-cylinder Nova (the very last year for a new three-on-the-tree car in the US). Although trucks equipped in this way could be bought until 1987), hardly any car buyers - even Nova buyers - turned out to be willing to drive with a circuit that had its heyday in the 1940s. This car has the optional three-speed automatic which costs a whopping $ 335 (about $ 1,275 in 2020). Note the 80-mile speedometer, which is a maximum of 5 mph below the legal speedometer required by the federal government from 1979 to 1981.
This car was likely able to go over 80 mph on flat terrain, but not by much. Even so, early in their career on the street someone painted it with these quick looking stripes.
The cloth bucket seats suggest that this car may be a Nova Custom, the higher of the 1979 trim levels. I've driven a six-cylinder / automatic Nova coupe of this generation on a daily basis and the driving experience has been quite comfortable considering the lack of engine power.
The 1967-1981 Camaro / Firebird lived on a not much modified version of the Nova chassis, as did the original rear-wheel drive Cadillac Seville. GM began selling a Pontiac-ized Nova (Ventura) in 1971, followed by the Oldsmobile Omega and Buick Apollo in 1973. The General definitely got his money's worth with this design!
Seated six, provided you had the front bench and all six people really liked each other. The Citation had a smaller footprint than the Nova, but had a lot more interior space. However, the simplicity of the Nova made it more stable.
The Chevy Nova (which became the Geo and then the Chevy Prizm) built by NUMMI from 1985 to 1988 was an AE82 Toyota Corolla (the version sold as a Sprinter in Japan). A nice car, the NUMMI Nova, very well built and reliable (as long as you lived where rust wasn't a problem), but the use of the Nova name seemed as blasphemous as the application of the famous LeMans name to Daewoo-built Pontiacs. Here's a TV commercial for the NUMMI Nova that explains the reason for using the name of a thoroughly rejected car.
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