1-Of-6: 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS L79 With 325 Horsepower!

OK, let the debate begin! But first, let’s set the background. For your review, is a 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS, equipped with a rare L79, 327 CI engine. How rare? It’s universally agreed that there were only six produced out of a total of 106K 1967 Novas, but exactly when and why is at the center of the debate. This spectacular Nova is one for close study. It is located in Portland, Oregon and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $225,000 (double gulp!). There is a make an offer option too. Thanks to Larry D for this rare find!

OK, so here’s what I have learned over the years. Chevrolet introduced their L79 engine in 1965, it was a 350 gross HP, 327 CI V8 and available in the Corvette and Chevelle. In 1966, it moved from the Chevelle to the newly restyled Nova and it was a huge hit! Lots of high-winding horsepower in a very lightweight package. For ’67, Chevrolet introduced an alternate version of the L79, rated at 325 gross HP for use in both the Nova and the Chevelle. Supposedly, the six L79 Novas were built very early in the model year, likely in September of ’66, before Chevrolet’s Marketing Dept. got nervous and jerky over the thought that the L79 Nova would rob sales from the brand new Camaro. That being the case, they stopped the availability of the engine in the Nova but allowed it to continue on in the Chevelle while the regular 350 HP version remained a Corvette option. I have seen numerous ’67 Chevelles with this desirable engine as well as 1968 Novas and Chevelles where it remained an option.

Here’s where the debate starts, this Nova is claimed to have a June build date though there is no image of the trim tag. The engine’s casting date is May 19th at the Flint foundry so it does line up with a June build date and its sequence number matches that of the car. As to what’s responsible for the difference between the Corvette’s 350 HP rating and the Nova/Chevelle’s 325 rating it appears to be how it’s measured. The compression ratio, valve size, carburetor, cam specs, and ignition total advance are the same for both versions but the Corvette’s engine is rated at 5800 RPM, while the Nova/Chevelle’s variant is recorded at 5600 RPM. No word as to how this four-speed manual-equipped $225K car motivates, perhaps at that price point it can’t actually be driven.

So, what can you say about the exterior? Nothing really as it’s perfect. The seller claims 4,860 hours were invested in this Nova’s restoration. This Chevy is resplendent in its code K finish, Emerald Turquoise Metallic paint. And once again, we find a set of authentic Chevrolet mag-style wheel covers. The seller adds, “Concours rotisserie restoration by Jack Duer with amazing results including the highest scoring restored Nova in the history of “National Nostalgic Nova. Gold Certificate winner and featured in multiple magazines“. And found here on Steve’s Nova Site is a thread about this Nova, written by Jack Duer in 2010.

Inside is like outside, what’s not to like? Novas of this era are plainly attired with simple, functional interiors. The “skunk stripe” upholstery, labeled as “cheerful” in the Nova sales brochure, is a Nova trait and is, as expected, in perfect condition. While bucket seats and a center console were an option in the Chevelle SS by ’67, they were standard fare in the Nova SS.

So, digging around further, I discovered this L79 Registry site and there is one 1967 L79 Nova listed and it is claimed to have a fourth week of September (09D) build date, more in line with the original research that I uncovered years ago. But wait, there’s more! If this Nova is too pricey for you, the seller, known as the Northwest House of Hardtops, has two more, a total of three! The other two are available for $135K and $195K, such a deal! There are additional images of our subject car on the website including the previously mentioned missing trim tag which confirms the June build date. Actually, all three have June ’67 build dates. Time to blow the dustballs off of the checkbook and go for it?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Steve R

    Why would a restorer paint a factory aluminum intake manifold orange?

    Steve R

    Like 24
    • Bill U

      I believe I am correct that in ’67 the L-79 had a cast iron intake and a Quadrajet instead of a Holley when installed in a Nova or Chevelle.

      Like 9
      • Spanky

        Typo Tourquoise

      • Camaro guy

        That’s correct Bill that was supposedly the 25 hp difference between the 66 and 67 L79 Nova’s aluminum hi rise and holley carb 66 Q jet and cast iron intake 67

    • Tom

      The ‘67 L-79 Novas used a cast iron intake, Quadrajet carb and open element air cleaner, as opposed to the chrome dual snorkel breather found on the ‘66 L-79. Those changes resulted in a rating of 325hp. The one featured here is the only one I’ve ever seen. I own a ‘67 SS, 275/327, 4 Speed, 3.55 12 bolt posi and disc brakes. Upgraded to a 350hp cam, intake and carb, but still running 1.94 heads. It’s a quick little car!

      Like 17
    • Steve Weiman

      To the best of my knowledge 1967 and 1968 L79s dropped the Holley and aluminum intake for an iron unit and a Quadra jet. Hence the drop in HP to 325.

      Like 7
      • Tom

        Correct Steve W. I should have also qualified my comment by saying “to the best of my knowledge” as well. For a long time I wondered if they ever really built 6 L-79’s in ‘67, then I said an article about this car and it seems legit

        Like 4
    • Terry nathan

      In 1966 the L79 engine came with a aluminum intake in the Nova but in1967 the L79 intake was cast iron

      Like 5
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Lol! A quarter million dollar Chevy Nova, SMH! Is it just me or has the car world gone absolutely nuts? To put that number in perspective, I recently purchased an investment property that produces over 3K per month for about the same price as the ask for this car. Crazy!

    Like 36
    • NovaTom

      Yeah but ya can’t rev an investment property to 6 grand. LOL

      Like 41
    • Big_Fun Member

      Hmmm. 4,860 hours spent on this restoration per auction ad. Even at a very reasonable, say, $65.00/hour, simple math says $315,900 spent in labor alone.
      Air cleaner is correct, shared with the Chevelle L79.in 1967. The late delivery date coincides with the very late release of the L79 in the Nova

      Like 8
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        If you are correct, then it would be a “labor of love” and something that you wish to keep for a lifetime. I have seen that in the past with restorations that have a sentimental connection, but not a flip. In the automotive world, it is, and always has been, very rare to recoup your investment in a full restoration. I applaud the guy for an A+ restoration, but I am going to stick to my original statement and say that there is no way a Chevy Nova, regardless of it’s rarity, is worth a quarter of a million dollars, IMO.

        Like 19
    • Jost

      Very few cars go for this type of money. You can buy really nice 66, 67 nova for reasonable money, this is a holy grail car.

      Like 3
  3. nestor

    Nova loosely translated in Spanish is “not going”

    Like 15
    • Joel Soto

      Lol. No va

      Like 6
      • William Melzer Member

        Took me a minute to get it. Thanks

        Like 4
    • Jay McCarthy

      It took GM almost 8 years before they figured out why it didn’t sell better south of the border 😆

  4. Joe

    No Comment…

    Like 5
  5. Skorzeny

    I would never spend anywhere near that kind of money for a Chevy with wheel covers. Put some wheels on it…

    Like 7
    • Terrry

      For factory wheel covers, they are pretty homely, especially on this car.

      Like 5
  6. Charles Atlas

    You would think that from the description of this car, it is more important than life itself…everyone worship this car !

    Like 6
  7. Rbig18

    So where is the proof it actually is an L79? I know in 66 it should have a very different air cleaner than this one. And as mentioned before the intake was never painted orange.

    Like 6
  8. Troy s

    Neat car, the price is what it is,, and people have been building stronger running Novas since its introduction. Too expensive to drive at that price.

    Like 6
  9. TimM

    $225,000 for a nova is absolutely insane to me!! If someone is willing to pay that kind of money for this car all I can say is an old statement my grandmother use to say!! A fool and his money are soon parted!!

    Like 12
  10. Todd

    And with all your talking about the SPECIAL ENGINE in this (and the other two Nova’s), I didn’t read one word about the three Nova’s being Number Matching Cars !!!

    And for the money being asked for, for the theee car’s, that should be the FIRST LINE in the description !!!

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The seller doesn’t state it specifically but I did say the engine’s sequence number matched and the casting date was logical for a June build.

      Is it all legit? Who knows.

      JO

      Like 7
    • Steve R

      Just because the VIN is stamped on the engine doesn’t mean it was done at the factory. For the asking price, a serious buyer should have an expert verify every aspect of the car.

      Steve R

      Like 10
    • Rick Franklin

      Todd, in the ad for the first car the first line is “numbers matching”

      Like 1
      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        Good catch Rick, I didn’t even notice that, I was too focused on deciphering the engine code and sequence number.

        JO

  11. Pat

    It’s all relative. Some people make $225,000 a month. Say you make $96,000 a year. Would you buy it for $8,000? Someone will buy it. That’s one beautiful car.

    Like 8
    • Superdessucke

      This. The top 10% of America is doing very well. $225,000 is not a lot of money to a not insignificant number of people. And there are a lot of them trying to park money. So I think it’ll sell pretty quickly.

      I would personally buy a safer investment but that’s because $225,000 is a fortune to me. But again someone with that burn will say what the heck, why not?

      Like 7
  12. bruce

    I have a clone 67 l79 nova
    …whats it worth???100K ? Its as nice…just a tribute. !

    Like 5
  13. Riley

    Help me out here. Since I’m from Kansas and we only have a rear vehicle tag, it caught my eye that the Arizona tag on the front is 67 L79 and the rear is 67 L79 2. To me that is two different tags or does Arizona do it different.

    Like 2
    • Gord

      As far as I know Arizona only issues a rear plate. I don’t live there but do spend a few months there every year. Maybe someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

  14. Edward Berwind

    I owned a 67 L79 Bolaro Red and Tuxedo Black SS back in 1969. The Air cleaner is wrong, the Winter’s intake was not painted. The Valve covers are wrong, and the fuel pump appears not to be of original design. For $225K this car has to be spot on.

    Like 6
    • JEFFREY HELMS

      67 Chevy II/Nova L79 had chrome “script” valve covers, chrome open element air cleaner, and a CAST IRON intake. They did not use the parts that were present on the much more commonly seen 66 Nova L79’s. Everything present on this particular car is the factory correct appearance for a 67 Chevy II/Nova L79 engine (although I have no idea if they are original parts to this particular car or not.

      67 Chevelle L79 had the same chrome script valve covers and chrome open element air cleaner, but had an ALUMINUM intake.

      Don’t ask me why the difference, but they were different.

      Like 7
      • Roy Blankenship

        I am with Jeffrey Helms on this one. I had a friend with a ’67 Chevelle L79 and his car had an aluminum intake as did his brother’s ’67 L79 Corvette.

        Like 2
      • Tom

        As far as I know, all of the things Jeff mentioned are correct

  15. KC John

    Barrett Jackson fever? For $225k I’d think they could make the paint match on every panel. Just saying.

    Like 5
    • TA

      I call it BJDS or Barrett Jackson Derangement Syndrome. The guy selling this could sit at the MOPAR table during the next auction.

      Like 1
  16. Mark

    To each his own.
    Outside of all other life’s necessities, if I had a max of $225k to spend on just one muscle car, an Apollo white Stage1 70 GSX 455 4 speed would be in my garage.

    Like 16
  17. T

    I knew a guy who had one that was rust colored in Hampton, Iowa. One night he was out and about town with some friends. He came up to a stop sign and proceeded taking a right turn. He was rear ended by 2 guys that were trying to outrun a cop with their lights off. His legs were jellied – the 2 guys that rear ended him went through their windshield and were beheaded. He never fully recovered…..several years later he deliberately drove a Datsun 240Z into a
    telephone pole.

  18. Lowell Hyatt

    It’s only worth what someone will give ya.

    Like 4
  19. Qld win the Shield Final

    Still better value than some of the rust bucket Porsches that crop up.

    Like 4
  20. john hugh

    225 K ..gotta be a typo

    Like 2
  21. John S

    The ebay ad has more info, including copies of MSO, early title work, and photos of Warranty booklet and engine stamp pad. The warranty book looks original to me. The engine stamping is an area I’m not familiar with on Novas.

    Like 1
  22. David King

    My Grandma had a 66 Chevy II SS . I remember that it had bias ply tires and the only time I drove it I shifted on the railroad track and it spun around 2 times and scared me to death.

    Like 3
    • Dennis6605

      @Dave In 1969 I totaled a 79 day old Vette with Polyglas tires that broke traction and did donuts into a building. Those tire were terrible when it was wet.

  23. Vince H

    Didn’t VIN on the block start in 68?

  24. Francisco

    According to the dates the writer gives that Chevy built these rare 6 cars & the dates this particular one was made seems very suspect, throw in the fact that the seller has two more, makes you say hmm?

    Like 3
  25. Paul

    Tell me another story.

    Like 1
  26. Comet

    This Nova is restored to a level that doesn’t make sense to lots of folks. However, I “get it”. While engine paint overspray, crooked ink stamps, and less than perfect color matches from panel to panel seem out of place, it’s authentic to the way these cars were built and delivered when new. Restoring a car with original production and assembly flaws result in benchmark accuracy for concourse judging. I don’t know what it’s worth, but if you’re in the market for the best of the best, stop shopping. This car appears to be the pinnacle of accuracy. My hat’s off to the restorer, this car is stunning.

    Like 9
    • Russ Ashley

      My son owns a body shop and once while I was there he was painting a restored early Camaro. He had instructions that showed where overspray should be and what angle to hold the paint gun to achieve the proper factory appearance. I never even thought about overspray on a restored car as I thought there shouldn’t be any on a perfectly restored car.

  27. BigBlocksRock

    Owned a 68 Chevy II with the L-79 & 4-sp. in 1979. Paid $1800 for it. If I remember there was only 1300 or so built. Few cared about Novas back then. It fell quite a bit short of 6 figures when I sold it. LMAO & SMH

    Like 1
  28. Joe Sewell

    Must be a typo….too many zeros…

    Like 1
  29. bikefixr

    I have an extremely clean Bolero Red over black ’67 SS327 275hp. It would likely grab $40-45k at a good auction. That extra 50hp or so costs about $3,600 per hp. Crazy. I’ve stopped looking for logic in this hobby. This car is gorgeous and correct.

    Like 2
  30. John

    4,860 hours. I think Michelangelo spent less time on the Sistines chapel.

    Like 5
  31. john douglas muldoon

    Question- As I remember, this motor was discontinued because the Nova’s were beating the Corvette’s with it. Any truth to the rumor?

    • jerry z

      ’67 Nova was lighter than the Corvette.

  32. Dan

    Nice car, but I agree with the reality comment of over 200 k for an old car. Being an age of having first hand experience of driving these and many cars of equal or greater horsepower, it is absolutely foolish to tie up a quarter million in a car that drives worst than a newer pickup.
    Reality check please.

    Like 1
  33. Reid Hall

    Hmmmm, l didn’t realize these,were ultra rare, so most likely they are little rare, although you guys, should look, more closely 😉, at the intake manifold, it 😉has the oil,filler/tube,in the front 😉, so,either the intake manifold, is new,new old stock, and or early, possibly original,and if,were painted over aluminum in,chevy orange 😉, l think you might be able to see that.White stripes in seats 😉don’t look original to me, although value covers should be,chrome, these are newer, originals say 327 in the center of what looks like an old Exxon medallion, and hubcaps are 66-67 Chevelle SS, Nova SS had different hubcaps, although these upgrades are a nice touch, the money is outrageous 😉.

    Like 1
  34. Buddy

    I recall seeing an article in Hemmings Muscle Machine several years ago about a young fellow who bought one of these and took it straight from the dealership to the drag strip, with the window sticker still in it. He then proceeded to roll it at the track and was killed. Anyone else ever heard that tale?

  35. Ron Jordan

    I am sure this is way better than new. I bought a 66 new and the build quality was terrible. Nothing fit, the paint had many flaws but damn it was fast. Also dangerous. As I recall it came with 670×14 tires, drum brakes that were completely inadequate. If you could hold it in a straight line it was all good. Just don’t try to turn it or stop it. Also, I had the gas filler filled in and moved to the inner fender well in the trunk. Bad idea.

  36. Paul Murphy

    Perhaps it’s the angle at which the photo was taken, but the gaps at the trunk lid are not equal……for a 1/4 mil mmmm.

    Like 1
  37. Dave Kreitzer

    Am I out if touch or do you think 225.000 is a lot of money for this car? Asking for a Friend

    Like 1
  38. Ozy John

    WOW! A ‘67 Nova is my absolute (American muscle) dream car. But at that price? I’m pretty sure I could get something more to my liking, and my wallet elsewhere, even if I had it built.
    Thanks, but no thanks. ✌🏻

  39. V12MECH

    The real deal, the guy that did the work bought the car 20 yrs. ago as a basket,took 10yrs. to do. He owns a nova parts operation in kentucky, I have had nothing but a great experience dealing with them. Must have sold it to the guy in Oregon

    Like 1

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