1 of 667: 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS 396 L78

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With the redesign of 1968, Chevrolet transformed the Nova Super Sport into a performance machine. Most Nova SS models were ordered with a 300 hp 350 cubic V8, with a smaller number equipped with one of two versions of a 396. The seller’s vehicle is said to be the latter, though it’s not numbers-matching. However, the Chevy has been meticulously restored and is ready to rock ‘n roll. A tip from Tony Primo, this Nova is in Eagle River, Indiana, and is available here on craigslist for $55,900.

The new shape of the Nova (still technically a Chevy II) resonated well with buyers. Overall sales increased by 72% with 4,670 customers also lining up for the SS 350.  Plus 901 shoppers sprung for the 396, split 234 for the L34 (350 hp) and 667 for the L78 (375 hp). Though the engine in the seller’s car is period correct, it’s not the factory 396. The ’68 Super Sports are the rarest of the 1968-72 generation.

We’re told this Chevy received a very detailed restoration. We assume that was not yesterday as the odometer reads 20,000 miles (since the redo or 120,000?). This was the baddest the Nova SS got in 1968 and has a Muncie 4-speed and a 12-bolt rear end with 3.73 gears and posi-traction. Power steering and disc brakes (front?) are along for the ride plus tinted glass and a radio that tunes into FM stations.

Whatever the case, this Super Sport is said to be a solid runner and the photos show an automobile that should need nothing more than a new owner. The only thing I would change is the wheel covers (plastic?). I’m a Nova fan but have never driven one with anything bigger than a 350 V8. Given the light weight of this car, I assume the L78 is a rocket ship.

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  1. Rw

    Good looking ride,I’m sure people will holler”it’s way over priced” try to build one cheaper now days

    Like 18
    • Henry DavisMember

      Amen Rw, I’m building one that started out as a 74SS, and it looks like I’ll have $60+ in it just for parts when I’m done. There’s a lot more to it than just bolting a big block in it.

      Like 7
  2. Jack M.

    Those wheel covers are factory. A complete set sells for about $200 today. I believe they are some sort of tin. Definitely not plastic.

    Like 14
    • jeffschevelle

      Those are factory RPO N96 “simulated magnesium” wheel covers.

      The outer ring and back pan (behind the spokes) is stainless steel. The center part with the spokes and center hub/emblem is chrome plated die-cast pot metal, with silver paint in the spoke recesses (black in 69).

      A show quality set of 67-68 N96 caps is well over $2000 now. Up to $3000 for mint NOS!

      A show quality set of N96 65-66 caps is well over $3500 now. Up to $5000 for mint NOS!

      Like 13
      • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

        And they are heavvvvy !

        Like 0
  3. Rbig18

    I really like the outside of these cars. Just great looking. However what’s keeps me from grabbing one is that interior and dash are just ugly in my opinion. Still I wouldn’t say no if you gave it to me.

    Like 3
    • Shawn

      The 68 is different from the 69-72. Are you not a fan of either of them? I own a 72 and love it, but I love the quirkiness of the 68 dash.

      Like 1
  4. Connecticut mark

    Those are worth more than 200.00 hubcaps, they are on hot wheels too.

    Like 8
  5. Rbig18

    So what is the N number for 67 Nova SS caps? I have a set my father gave me.

    Like 1
  6. bobhess bobhessMember

    Guess I’ll step in it and say l never liked the wheel covers and they sure don’t fit this car at all. Nice car here.

    Like 4
  7. Nelson C

    Hubba hubba. It’s interesting that Chevy seldom listed the top engine in any of the brochures, Nova or Chevelle. Back in the eighties there was a ’70 in my neighborhood. Butternut yellow with black gut. The 396 was pulled for a 427. Ran consistent 10s. The guy had a lot of big block parts including a cross ram intake. This is a sweet ride.

    Like 5
  8. BigBlocksRock

    This is a nice example. All it needs is rally wheels IMO. Love 3rd gen Novas!
    Had a 68 Chevy II that had a factory L-79 327, 4-sp. Paid $1800 for it in the late 70’s.
    It was a blast. Always regret selling it. I’ve owned a 69 with an L-78, automatic that I converted to fuel injection, for 30 years & it is never going away as long as I’m alive. It’s a beast!

    Like 4
  9. Richard

    Hot Rod magazine called this one a 13 second grocery getter. A friend in my high school had one, he said his mom bought it for him. She drove a ’69 Mercury Cyclone with a 4 speed. I have fond memories from riding in it to just listening to the exhaust when he would let it warm up. Those were great days; 1970.

    Like 7
  10. John S. Irvine

    But Eagle River is in Wisconsin, too pretty for IN!

    Like 3
  11. dogwater


    Like 1
  12. Paul R.

    I had a ‘71 Nova , 307V8 , 3 speed Muncie floor shift , positraction.
    Loved that car but a compromise with parents, no speed demon.
    Probably why I’m still here.
    But , the neighbourhood had a similar car badged as a 454. Went like the wind.
    I still have brochures from that era and although the 1970 Nova lists the top engine as the 300 hp. 350 V8 Z26, ( this is GM of Canada) , the same year Malibu brochure offers up a Turbo-Jet 454 V8 @360 hp. Z25/LS 5.
    I have a hunch that if you were persistent you could have that option stuffed into a Nova.
    Zoom, Zoom , Zoom.
    Take that Mazda.

    Like 3
  13. Greg G

    I think the ask is not bad for this period correct Nova. I’m not a big Nova fan but I would love to own this super super super Chevy.Red suite’s me just fine.

    Like 1
  14. Shawn

    As ugly as they are, if those hubcaps are real, they’re worth more than the engine in the car!

    Like 2
  15. Big RedMember

    I bought used a 72′ Nova in about 1976
    307/auto/air.Kind of a bronze/brown repaint with a cream colored vinyl roof.

    Like 1

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