17k Genuine Miles: 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS 396

I’m sure that I’m not alone in wishing that it were possible to travel back in time. That would give us the chance to witness firsthand some of the most important events in World history. It would also allow us to walk into our local Chevrolet dealership in 1969 and drive away in a shiny and fresh Nova SS 396. Sadly, we can’t do that, although this particular Nova offers potential buyers the next best thing. This is an unmolested classic that has accumulated a mere 17,460 miles on its odometer throughout the past 52-years. The owner has decided to part with it, so he has listed it for auction here at Barrett-Jackson. It is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is set to go under the hammer between June 17th to 19th. It will undoubtedly attract its share of interest because not only is this a potent and desirable classic, but it is being offered for sale with No Reserve. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring the stunning survivor to us.

The story behind this Dover White Nova is an interesting one. The owner has just treated it to a rotisserie restoration, although he chose not to touch the original Black vinyl top. That seems like a strange decision, but given its overall condition, I suspect that he was subscribing to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. The result of all of this hard work is plain to see. The paint shines beautifully, while the panels look faultless. The exterior trim is spotless, as is the glass. The car is fitted with a set of Rally wheels, and these appear to be as immaculate as the rest of the exterior. Overall, it all looks very positive. Dover White was not the most striking color offered by Chevrolet in 1969, but you can be sure that this classic would turn heads without the benefit of a more vibrant shade gracing its panels.

The seller states that the interior of this classic is all original, and if this is true, then its condition is nothing short of astounding. The Black vinyl upholstery is spotless, as is the carpet. There is no evidence of stretching, wear, or any other defects. The dash and pad are just as impressive, while there are no visible flaws with the console. Not only does the console house a set of original factory gauges that look clear and crisp, but the dash is home to an original tach to the left of the speedometer. All of the plastic is in perfect order, the plated and painted surfaces are flawless, and there have been no aftermarket additions. There will be nothing for the next owner to do but slide behind the wheel to bask in the classic motoring experience.

The Nova is a numbers-matching classic that features a 396ci V8, a 4-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. With 350hp available under the right foot, the 3,370lb Nova offered entertaining motoring when the pedal was pressed to the metal. The journey down the ¼ mile would take 14.4 seconds, while the car would eventually run out of breath at 127mph. With the rest of this classic receiving so much attention, it’s no surprise to learn that the owner chose to refresh the drivetrain. The original big block has been rebuilt, and the owner decided to have it balanced for good measure. The transmission received similar attention, and the Nova now runs and drives like a new car. It only had an original 17,400 miles on the clock when the work was completed, so it was a long way from being worn out. It appears that the owner holds evidence to confirm the odometer reading, but he also retains the original Owner’s Manual, a copy of the Protect-O-Plate, and a copy of the GM transfer to the second owner.

There’s no doubt that with a No Reserve auction on offer, this 1969 Nova SS 396 is sure to attract plenty of attention. I would expect the bidding to be quite spirited because it represents an opportunity to own a desirable classic with an exceptionally low odometer reading. That begs the question of where the bidding is likely to go. Given all of the factors that we’ve discussed, I would expect it to head beyond $70,000 pretty rapidly. If the right two (or more) buyers are serious about their desire to own it, I wouldn’t rule out $80,000. Either way, this is an auction that would be well worth watching.

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Comments

  1. nycbjr Member

    That’s a lot of bread! But beautiful car :-)

    Like 8
  2. Dan August

    Dont understand why owner “refreshed” drivetrain with only 17K miles….

    Like 17
    • Jack M.

      Valve springs get tried being compressed for 50 years. Never hurts to freshen things up after half a century.

      Like 39
      • Dave

        Seals dry out and leak oil too.

        Like 21
    • RayZ

      17K 1/4 mile at a time

      Like 11
    • Terry J

      An engine at rest will always have a number of intake and exhaust valves open. Even in the best environment, air with it’s inevitable moisture content will find it’s way into the engine’s internal passages. Not really an issue unless you are talking about 50 years. Then it can be. Also a high quality engine builder will “balance & blueprint” an engine beyond the capacity or intent of a GM assembly line. As mentioned by Dave, rubber and cork seals and gaskets deteriorate faster sitting than they do in use creating oil,fuel and coolant leaks both visible and hidden. One of the worst experiences I ever had was buying a low mileage “little old Grandpas” pickup that spent years in a garage. That thing leaked from every joint, seal and seam. I never did get them all stopped up. :-) Terry J

      Like 19
  3. Steve Clinton

    In my younger, foolish (ignorant) days, I had no interest in a car if it wasn’t a hardtop.

    Like 2
  4. RKS

    An unmolested survivor that’s undergone a rotisserie restoration. Okay then.

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      17,000 is a lot of miles. Look at the Heavy Chevy featured on this site yesterday, it only has 35,000 miles.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    That’s a gorgeous looking car and it rings the bell for a lot of folks, IIRC it was a similar Nicky Chevy modified one similar to this except it had a 427 in it I saw. It was having a roll cage and connectors added and some body work done on the roof. Seems the roof cracked after repeated launches at the drag strip that the unibody was unable to handle. That one was and this one I assume is a beast on the strip, unfortunately so many strips have closed that many would use it on the street which IMO is dangerous.

    Like 1
  6. Dusty Rider

    Damn right I would use it on the street!

    Like 10
  7. Hans L

    Very nice Nova. But clearly a fully restored car. No way to judge if the 17,400 miles are legit. So it would be difficult to value the car based on survivor, rather it will valued as a restored car, albeit a very nice one. I doubt it would go for more than $50K as its not an L78.

    Like 8
  8. Joe Haska

    Your idea of going back in time is an interesting concept but wouldn’t work for me and many of my contemporaries, in mid 69 ,I was just returning from my tour in Vietnam Nam. I have always been a complete gear head and devoted Car Guy, but at that particular time ,I really didn’t have a clue. Communication was much different then, no cell phones, no internet and for us guys over Seas, we only knew what the military wanted us to know. I remember going in a Chrysler Dealership ,when I got home and the salesman wanted me to buy a Hemi Cuda, I didn’t,t even know what he was talking about. It was crazy ,I felt like I was on the wrong planet and I certainly didn’t understand the language. Thankfully , I got up to speed quickly and became in trenched in all Automotive as fast as possible, but even now, when the “Guys” talk of that era of cars , I still feel a little lost, like I know I missed some cool stuff.

    Like 1
  9. jerry z

    This car is going to be bid up to some stupid money. B-J, alcohol + bidding = way over priced. There will be no common sense .

    Like 15
    • Steve Clinton

      Barrett-Jackson prices are always unrealistic.

      Like 7
  10. Karl

    Good grief this is a beautiful car and virtually every box checked that matters, this one has me drooling a bit! I have a 50 Power Wagon to finish and sell then I will seriously be in the market for something like this beauty!

    Like 3
  11. ADM

    I hope the motor mounts were replaced. Even when new, they were known to break, and yank the throttle wide open.

    Like 1
    • Glenn Reyn@gmail.com

      It even happened on my 68 Nova small V8 and 3 on the tree

      • ADM

        They must’ve made ’em out of PlayDoh.

  12. Karl

    Interesting comment on the motor mounts I had a 72 GMC pickup in high school and broke a motor mound and GM had a repair kit for this known weakness, it was a short piece of chain with 2 bolts and instructions on how to bolt the chain to the engine and the frame to hold it in place!

    Like 16
  13. Edsel Al

    remember the cable/bolt fix well…never could get it taut thus it would launch up apon accelleration until the cable was tight…then when car slowed down you’d hear the “clunk” when it settled back into the mount….That would never fly today….Pre-Gov’t motors at it’s finest!!

    Like 10
    • Chuck Dickinson

      The motor mount was broken, all you needed to do was replace it. The cable arrangement simply kept it from rising enough to jamb the throttle. Had that happen on a 59 Pontiac when I went to leave a gas station. Scary for a moment!

      Like 2
  14. Stoney End

    A nice car…

    Like 1
  15. Keith

    Just like was mentioned will not ever get above 50k without that L78 under the hood. Nice car

    Like 1
  16. charlie Member

    I had the same fix on a ’60’s GM, don’t remember which one, the ’67 Pontiac, the ’68 Chevelle or the ’69 Camaro, torque on the Pontiac broke the cross bar that held up the rear of the engine/transmission, but only on one side, so the drive shaft held and I drove slowly to a “speed shop” which took pity and welded it back together, with the admonition not to drag race from the traffic lights until I had it replaced. The fix was probably on the Camaro since I spent more time fooling around with that engine than the other two, and I can picture it.

    Like 2
  17. Troy s

    She’s an understated blonde, doesnt jump out at you right away like some of these do, but the beauty is there. I doubt if this Nova SS saw much strip duty…if it did there would modifications no doubt, not just the engine but the whole set up really. 65 thousand, thats my guess.

    Like 1
  18. James Wildasin

    no qualifications as a “Barn Find”

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