Grocery Getter Made Cool by Time
I was walking to the fabled G train the other day when I happened upon this fine little cruiser:
Here we have a 1964 Chevy II. It was introduced as a basic, no frills subcompact (for the day) automobile for budget-minded folks in the era when most cars were enormous.
The way to identify a '64 from a '62 or '63 is the grill, which has 5 horizontal and 9 vertical bars in 1964.
This is also the original incarnation of the Nova name which first debuted in 1961 as an option on the Chevy II. It basically meant that it was the top of the line 400 series in trim level as opposed to the more basic 100 Series. The easiest way to distinguish a Nova 400 from a 100 in 1964 is the presence of the chrome molding running along the entire side of the car which the 100 lacked.
*A 300 Series was offered for the first 2 years of Chevy II production, as well as a 200 Series but the latter was almost immediately dropped from production making it the rarest of the group.
I love the smart proportions of the Nova as a 4-door. In fact, even after the name became synonymous with 1970s muscle car the Nova managed to look really good as a family sedan. This one has it's original hubcaps as well.
The sun was thankfully as bright as can be the day I snapped these pics, but you can still make out the cool emblem on the lower fender which means that this Nova was built with the straight-6. The base engine for this was a 4 cylinder which would get great gas mileage but not exactly get up and go.
The cool taillight/reverse light combination looks as smart as the rest of the car to me. I also especially like the thin chrome surround outlining the back panel, as well as the wraparound back window.
The fact that the small front vent windows are mimicked on the back adds to the overall balance of the design.
I couldn't resist documenting the use of an antler as the gearshift lever! With the red interior this car is pretty great, regardless of whether it was originally black on the outside or not, which I couldn't discern.