Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chevy goes for the gold!

The cold weather has settled in and you might be asking yourself why the trees seems so lush in these pics? I think I shot the following beasts in late Spring/early Summer. Pickings are getting slim out there these days!
First off, look at this munchy beater:
What we have here is a 1976 Chevrolet Concours in the original color Buckskin. The Nova was produced every year of the 1970s, but in '76 they renamed their higher-end luxury trim version Concours. The year before this one it was called the Nova LN. Both were meant to compete directly with the Ford Grenada (which was Ford's meager attempt to rip off Mercedes Benz styling of the day).
It might have been a well-born hoity toity chap in its day but recently Concours has been running its mouth and somebody obviously took exception. It looks like not only did it smash into something head-on, but it then tried to immediately reverse only to have the corner of the front bumper stuck to the wreckage. At one point there was a period-correct and utterly ridiculous square hood ornament on the front of that prow. I do love the surprised look on its face like a drunk who just lost a fight that they started. Unfortunately the signature feature of the Concours is mostly missing; it once sported a fancier, more heavily-chromed grill than the regular Nova. That top piece is all that remains.
Shame about the accident because this is otherwise a remarkably rust-free and straight old Chevy. The engine options for this model were the standard 250 6 Cylinder, the 305 V8 with 2 barrel carb, and the 350 V8 with a 4 barrel. You could still order a floor mounted stick shift with any of the engines but it's doubtful that a Concours would be outfitted as such. This was more of an aspirational faux-luxury car for the bank manager as opposed to the bank president.
From the back this is just another Nova with nothing to discern it as a Concours. Something about the well balanced proportions of this design made it work equally well as a 4 door and 2 door coupe. Even those massive '70s bumpers look justified on this beast.
From the back you can confirm the vintage as a '76 because there are only 2 taillight housings on either side of the car (assuming that you knew it was a Concours and not an LN). From '77 on there were 3.
That fat body side molding is listed as an option but probably came as part of a decor package. The chrome trim under the windshield, surrounding the wheel well, and along the rocker panel are all part of the Concours glitz. That front hubcap comes from an early '70s Chevy as the originals were probably lost in the collision. The rear hubcaps are correct for this ride.
Now on to something similar but much cooler:
What we have here is a 1970 Chevy Nova in Gobi Beige (though it looks gold to me!). This is the generation before the '76 and is noticeably trimmer and more athletic looking. It wasn't just looks either as this was the height of the muscle car craze and you could order this ride with a pretty souped-up 350 in it that was unencumbered by any of the emissions equipment that would strangle later models of their performance. This example is lacking any engine size emblem above the front side marker light though, so I'm assuming it's got the base 250 Straight 6 cylinder.
I love the looks of this car and this might be my favorite year out of all the Novas. The lines in the front are clean as a whistle with that plain grill and forward-leaning stance. The hubcaps are one of the many styles available that year. I would normally scoff at mud flaps on a car but whatever the owner's doing to keep this thing rust free is working so I'll shut up.
This ride is in perfect shape throughout! I see this car drive by my shop all the time. The owner has two that are identical and they both see tons of daily use. The other one has some now vintage Obama/Biden '08 bumper stickers on it.
It is extremely difficult to discern a '70 from a '69 Nova, but the surefire clue is on display here. The reverse lights were moved to the center of the taillight lenses for this year only. Another clue is that the front turn signals are ever-so-slightly larger than previous years, with the ones on this ride being more square than the rectangles of earlier years.
I dig the green interior color you can just glimpse in a few of these pics. There were 3 different green interiors (viva la '70s!) available so I'm not sure which it is.
This is the improbable scenery in which this beauty is driven and parked every day of the year, proving that it can be done if you're a dedicated owner. This is a warehouse block near the headwaters of the mighty Gowanus Canal just a block or 2 away from the projects.
Last but not least I'll leave this 3rd gold GM product I tried to snap as it rounded a corner; a mid-'80s Chevy Monte Carlo with a landau roof.

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