Popular cars are popular for a reason, and cars like this 1973 Chevrolet Nova remains a perennial best-seller here at Streetside Classics. Why? How about a combination of butch good looks, rumbling V8s under the hood, and a spacious, useful interior that still looks great today? This one, with its eye-popping paint and impressive performance will answer any other questions you may have.
The square-jawed Nova sure looked good, even after performance started to wane (not that it's a problem here, but we'll have more on that in a moment). With chiseled contours that make it look like it was carved from a block of granite, this bright Hugger Orange Nova obviously doesn't put up with pretenders on the street. Its extroverted paint job acts like a beacon, daring others to give it a run, but the smart ones know that light weight and a V8 mean that it'll be a handful no matter what they're driving. Although it was finished a few years ago, this two-door sedan still looks great which is a tribute to the workmanship and care it has received since it was finished. Straight sheetmetal and decent gaps mean that they took their time, and the bright, shiny paint has been properly maintained to retain its gloss, especially important on cars with stripe. They left enough chrome in place to make it sparkle, adding a cowl-induction hood and a blacked-out SS grille for a bit of attitude. This Nova's like a road map of how to do it right.
Black is the color of choice for the interior, and at first glance it looks pretty stock. A bench seat was standard equipment on the Nova and it works well here, adding to the no-frills performance vibe. However, there are plenty of upgrades, including that lovely wood-rimmed steering wheel and a slick B&M shifter managing a 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission. The original instrument panel has been filled with white-faced gauges from Equus and the fit is tidy. An AM/FM stereo in the center of the dash neatly replaces the original and with speakers in the kick panels and on the rear package shelf, it makes this car easy to drive around town or cross-country. Despite its compact size, the Nova also offers a spacious trunk with no signs of the dreaded tin worm underneath.
V8 power in a lightweight package makes for impressive performance, and the 350 cubic inch Chevy Vortec crate motor delivers. With a big Holley carb and Weiand Stealth intake manifold, plenty of chrome, and a great soundtrack, this Nova certainly walks and talks like a true muscle car. Thanks to careful tuning and an MSD ignition system, it has all the virtues you'd expect of Chevy's famous small block and none of the vices. Long-tube headers and fresh Flowmaster mufflers give it a great bark to match its bite, and with 3.73 gears in the 10-bolt Posi rear end, it's punchy around town but cruises easily thanks to the overdrive transmission. The chassis is impressively solid and clean, more proof of an easy life down south, and great-looking Weld aluminum wheels with staggered 175/65/15 front and 255/60/15 rear performance radials offer the perfect stance.
Fast, inexpensive fun was always the Nova's promise, and this one still delivers more than 40 years later. Wondering why these are so popular? Come on down and we'll show you. Call now!