Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet sleeper of a grocery getter. Nova!

I was biking through Clinton Hill one warm day when I passed this smart little number:
Clean as a whistle!
This is a 1977 Chevrolet Nova 4 door in Firethorn Poly. I love this era Nova and feel that it gets unfairly ignored in favor of the earlier models.
From a decade of garish excess this ride sports refreshingly clean looks. The grill is neat and straightforward with small Chevy bow tie logos embossed into the turn signals. The round peg in a square hole headlights are angled gently back from the grill.
*If this were the higher trim level Concours edition there would be a chrome band on the hood above the grill making it a bit glitzier.
This is a straight-up 4 door grocery getter for 1977. It was listed as the compact offering from Chevy as there was the subcompact Monza below it in scale and the Chevelle/Impala line being larger. This is a very usable car on modern streets and remains parkable when contrasted against the personal luxury land yachts of the day.
Much has been made of the hidden joke in this name. "Nova" in Spanish translates to "Not Going" in English; just the sort of thing you want to name a car! The Nova was originally known simply as the Chevy II until the late '60s when Nova was added as almost a dual name. Finally in 1969 the handoff was complete with the II moniker dropping and Nova remaining.
Believe it or not these dog dish poverty caps are original to Chevy from this era. I love the plain style of poverty caps and these are some of the plainest ever made.
The rear is very straightforward in its design. If this were the lofty Concours edition there would be a third taillight square on each side between these lights and the license plate opening. According to the sticker collection on the bumper there are several aftermarket performance parts on this beast. I do see dual exhaust poking out in a subtle hint of what may lie underneath.
Hi. That's my hand.
I'm assuming this little vent is the outlet for the cabin air circulation system but I can't find a single word on it.
The literature of the day boasts that the '77 Nova is only 1" larger than the 4 door from 1962. Their tagline was that they've been "selling the car of tomorrow for 15 years" and that they've had all this time to really perfect it. They are pretty basic and reliable rides for sure.
Whoa buddy! Looks like the cheese delivery came to the interior of this sedate-on-the-outside ride. Replacement 2 tone buckets and door panels accentuate how huge the transmission/driveshaft hump on the floor is. TAPOUT floor mats let you know this guy (I'm gender assuming here) drives and fights! We can see the am/fm 8 track stereo which is amazing when someone spends so much of decoration. The blue tree hanging from the mirror is the New Car Scent. Nice try!
As bad as this pic is it contains the clue that pinpoints the year. '76 and '77 Novas were identical except for the dashboard. The round gauges in this image confirm it as a '77.
Well that's where we'll leave this cool cruiser. I dig the sleeper vibe of this ride with its lack of engine badges and cheapo hubcaps. This is the sort of car you can pick up for peanuts and build how ever you want. 4 door examples are probably roosting in garages all over the country having made their last trip to church for the deceased original owner. Parts are so widely available that it's laughable. If you want to get some cheap classic wheels for Summer a Nova is a solid choice.

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