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My latest Chevy Project

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My latest GM project isnt a truck but still one I think GM lovers will appreciate.
I recently swapped a Toyota "S" Runner pick-up I was in the middle of building for a running but well worn 1 family owned 1970 Chevy Nova II SS.
This ones not particularly a rare car as it had no options and only the 327/4spd manual, original color was white, black top, gloss black SS striping, and black interior.

A neighbor of mine had the car, his 93yr old grandmother gave it to him as a graduation present last year since she hadnt been able to drive it for the last few years. He's going to college this fall and decided it wouldnt be a good car to have since something breaks on it every other week and he wont have his dad at college to help fix it or pay a mechanic.

The Nova will be my wife's for when she gets tired of driving her HHR.
As stated its a 1970 Chevy Nova II SS, it's originally a bare bones car with the only option the "SS" package which added ralley wheels, stripes, blacked out grille, gauges, bucket seats, center console, floor shifter, power steering, power brakes, and "SS" badging.
For some reason the car had the bucket seats and center console deleted and was delivered with a bench seat but the "SS" floor shifter and a short console with a tach, oil pressure, water temp, and amp gauge are there.
Other than that its manual windows and no A/C.

The exterior isnt terrible, no body damage or rust, a few trim items missing and it's got a bad Maico repaint.

Engine/transmission run ok, 327 with Muncie M22 4 speed, no mods, still wearing factory paint, they have 127,xxx miles on them, the clutch was replaced 5K miles ago and a tune-up was done by a local shop recently.

The suspension, front and rear, along with the brakes were rebuilt last summer so all they need is to be cleaned and painted.

The interior was the best part of the car, the PO's father owns a local interior buisness and recently redid the interior, seats, door panels, and console in leather, OEM headliner, and OEM carpet kit. They put buckets in while redoing the interior but as part of the deal they recovered the factory bench and I'm gona put it back in.

The wire harness is in great shape with none of the normal cracked and bare wire issues.

Our plans are to repaint it, right now it's white with a black vinal top, we'll replace the top and paint the car Charcoal metal flake grey with matt black SS stripes.

This winter we plan on pulling the engine/trans and doing a rebuild. We'll rebuild it stock, the 327 was never a particularly powerfull engine and our plans are to cruise the car so we dont need big HP.

Already ordered a "Vintage Air" Factory AirConditioning kit to install, a power window/power lock kit, and a Vintage tunes radio to replace the aftermarket radio swapped in.

Our goal is to do a Custom restoration, it wont be fully restored and correct but it'll look like it is with new electronics and comforts.


  1. tbplus10's Avatar
    An update to the progress.
    A good friend of is a leading authority on all things Chevy Nova, he owns over 60 different Nova's and 5 of those are on the Nova National registry as rare and suspected one of a kind cars: 1969 4 Door Nova SS big block 396/4spd 1 of 10 built, 1969 Nova SS 396/4spd right hand drive with reverse pattern M22 transmission built in the UK 1 of 1 known to exist, 1973 Nova 2dr Police Package with 454/TH400 1 of 40 built, 1974 Nova 4 door Police package with 454/TH400 # built unkown, and 1970 Yenko Nova with Small Block 350.
    So I brought the Nova by his shop to get a good estimate on what I have. As I suspected the 1970 2 dr SS Nova with front bench seat and 4 spd isnt rare, probably over a 1000 of them outfitted this way that year.
  2. tbplus10's Avatar
    After a discussion with my friend about plans for the Nova he made me an offer on a bunch of parts.
    All the parts are low mileage off of a wrecked 71 Nova or new, he guarrantees all of them to be like new.
    I got the following:
    Modine 4 core radiator, with dual electric cooling fans attached
    Serpentine belt drive system with underdrive pulleys
    Modine water pump
    Mallory electronic replacement ignition system with Accel distributor, coil, yellow top dist. cap, wires, and spark plugs
    Fuely .194 heads with stainless steel valves, roller rockers, and Manly replacement spring set
    Comp cams small block Chevy RV cam for roller valve systems
    Holley 750 carb, dual plane manifold, and K&N filter
    Holley electric fuel pump
    Pete Jackson Tephlon coated Timing gear drive set
    Chevrolet Ram Horn early 60's Corvette factory exhaust manifolds with Gibson stainless steel dual exhaust, crossover, mufflers, and pipes to the rear bumper
    150 Amp alternator
    New engine and transmission mounts
    Front spindle conversion kit for 4 piston disk brakes (drums up front now)
    Master Cylinder and Vacume booster for the conversion kit
    Replacement r/r axle with larger truck brake drum conversion kit and 3.73 pinion & gears
    5 brand new Polyglass 60 series 15" "Red Stripe" OEM tires with matching factory ralley rims
    Tilt steering column with SS steering wheel (though my cars an SS it has the standard steering wheel)
    2/3" Helliwig spring lowering kit with Helliwig traction/sway bars
    New Billstein shocks for all 4 corners
    New Energy suspension tephlon bushing kit for body mounts and suspension
    I paid $1500 for all the parts and he's going to have his mechanic that works on his cars put all the parts on for me in the next couple weeks. The mechanic is going to do a light rebuild on the engine since it's running good but he has to pull it to do all the other engine work too. I still have to buy a gasket kit.
    When the work is complete all we'll have left to do is repaint, after looking at the top I realized it was recently replaced and just needed a good cleaning and coating with protectant.
    The engine mods should bring the horsepower to an honest 300, I'm not looking for performance since this is the wifes cruiser and will probably never be asked to bark the tires or see the high side of 65mph, but I am hoping it'll improve the gas mileage, right now it's getting mid teens, I'm looking for 20 mpg at least.
    As plans and work progress the wife is getting more excited so I wont be surprised if this becomes her main mode of transportation and the HHR ends up sitting most of the time.
  3. Grizzly Guy's Avatar
    that car sounds like a very nice find indeed,with those improvements,that'll make a great daily driver
  4. tbplus10's Avatar
    Thats what I'm hoping. It'll never be a powerhouse hotrod or classic show car but I'm counting on a reliable cruiser. My wife cruise with a club called Classic Gas once in a while and this car fits right in wiht them.
    My 8 yr old grandaughter has already gotten attached to it, we originally promised her we'd keep our Jeep maintained and let her have that when she turns 16/gets her drivers license but she's already trying to convince us to give this car instead.
  5. tbplus10's Avatar
    Went to visit the Nova at the shop this morning, was kind of hoping it was still driveable so I could take it out this weekend, but no such luck, it's on jackstands with the rear end out and the engine in pieces, no projected time frame on when it'll be back on the road. Unfortunately this was part of the deal, I gave them a six month time frame so it could be worked on in their spare time, this gave me a better labour rate but means I have to wait for the end product. Oh well at least it took a project off of my back so I have time to work on something else.
  6. tbplus10's Avatar
    Realized I havent updated a few changes we made in our build.
    In late July we were offered a great deal for a swap on the M22 transmission we had in the car, our M22 for a freshly rebuilt 700R4, new Hurst shifter, and $350. We took the deal with the idea that since the cars not going to be original anyways were not hurting the value or the build alot more than we already have, and the 700R4 has a little better gear ratio that'll help this car cruise and save some fuel.
    Early August we were offered another deal for $1300 a low mileage 4L80E 6 spd auto with wire harness, stand alone computer, and manual/auto shifting micro switch's. Since we'd already decided to swap the trans the only real question was did we want to spend the money for the 6 speed auto. After some discussion it was decided to go with the 4L80E since the final gear is a little better than the 700R4 and it has a little better reputation for durability.
    The car is back together now and a few small bugs are being worked out so that it can be sent to the paint shop.
    A test drive earlier this week impressed me and it feels like a completely different vehicle than the one I brought to the shop in July.