19,000 Miles! 1973 Chevrolet Nova

Most of us dream about finding an old vehicle that’s as close to showroom perfect original condition as it can be. This 1973 Chevrolet Nova is one of those cars. This time machine is listed on eBay with a current bid of, are you sitting down? $15,000!! This surgically clean Nova is located in beautiful Stevensville, Maryland.

This green-gold metallic Nova looks like it’s had a $30,000 nut-and-bolt restoration but it hasn’t, it’s original. I love it just because it’s in this unbelievable condition more than I love it for being a 1973 Nova. Not that I don’t like 1973 Novas but I don’t usually love them. This car is out of my fun-car price range but it will be interesting to see what it sells for. $20,000? More?

Just imagine if this were a first-generation Chevy II/Nova, not that a third-generation Nova is a bad thing at all. A good friend of mine in high school had a super nice, red 1969 or ’70 Nova and that was one nice car. I don’t think it was even this nice, though. The seller talks about the body of this car, saying that there is “no rust at all, body is in great shape (less than a couple of bumps when grandma got to close to the garage door on the left rear quarter).”

I got pretty excited by the almost drone-like photos of the exterior, and then we get to the interior and there isn’t one photo that shows the front seats. That usually tells me that they’re ripped, stained, and/or otherwise in horrible condition. We know that they’re most likely in perfect condition on this car, though, don’t we? At least we assume that they are because everything else is. At least they show a few detail photos of the door panels, the back seat – with the original clear plastic cover – the glove box, the passenger seat area with some original paperwork on the perfect and beautiful brocade fabric, and the trunk which is also looking great aside from a ripped trunk mat.

The engine under this perfect hood is Chevy’s 350 V8 which would have had 145 hp with a two-barrel carb. And, the AC still works! It’s easy to tell that this car “has been pampered and garage kept it’s whole life, NEVER driven in bad weather.” Have you ever found an ultra low mile original car in similar condition to this 45-year old Nova? If so, what was it.

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Comments

  1. BRAKTRCR

    Owners manual says 73, but I thought the larger rear bumper didn’t come until 74. I’m probably wrong. This thing is immaculate. Nice find

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      Good point. Front 5 mph bumpers were mandated for ’73 and rears for ’74.

      But on the Nova, the ’73 and ’74 rear ends look the same, at least superficially. I don’t know if there were any internal differences but looks wise I’ve never been able to tell.

      Like 1
      • Madbrit

        My dark blue ’73 Nova I owned in the UK had the larger front and rear bumpers but neither were the shock absorbing 5 mph type. It was from New Jersey and was a Doctor’s car. I was the second owner, low mileage. It was a real plain Jane with rubber floor mats, minimal chrome and stainless trim, Rally wheels but with a 350 V8, four barrel and four speed with the better Hurst style shifter. Maybe he used it for trips to the wrong side of the tracks, where it would not be too noticeable and for fun at the weekends, who knows.

    • Nathaniel Brown

      Hello I’m Nathaniel Brown I would like to know is this 19,000
      miles 1973Chevy Nova is still available I am very interested
      in that car. Please let me know as soon as possible.

  2. Alex

    My uncle have an 1972 Chevy Nova with the 350 in it. Right now its in pieces and he rebuilding it and its an nice cherry red paint job. It looks an amazing can’t wait to see how his get back together.

  3. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice one, Scotty! I mowed lawns in the ’80s, and one of my elderly customers had a ’71 Pontiac Ventura 2-door, same body as this. She used to have me back it out of the small garage – the only way I could get her tractor out – it had 17,xxx miles – green inside and out but paint was faded – otherwise perfect. It started instantly and idled silently. I hope someone in her family appreciated it when the time came for it to be sold. Thanks for the memories!

    Like 1
  4. Madmatt

    Of all the nicest most original cars I’ve ever seen,
    all of them were green…,a granny’s color for sure,
    but that is why they all have survived..so nice…for so long.!
    really nice Nova…!

    • Jim

      Green was extremely popular across the board in the ’70s with young and old alike.

      • Frank M

        Yes, back in the 70’s granny was young!

  5. Rhett

    One thing I love about GM is that every once in a while, you get a ringer – a car that for whatever reason just has the right set of build tolerances to really scream in comparison to the one built right after it on the line..I’ve only experienced a few myself.. an 80 2.8 Citation, a 85 4.3 Monte Carlo, a 71 SB400 Impala convertible, a 3.8 85 Century wagon, but the one that really stuck with me was a 73 350/4bbl Nova coupe.

    An untouched 1 family 100k mile car, It would run circles around any number of high compression GM small blocks, and even outran a late 60’s Jag XKE. And what happened to this incredible one-off Nova? It got passed down to each kid in the family until it just rusted and was junked. An ignoble end to a hero of a car…

    • Pa Tina

      In other words the few cars built on the few days labor and management weren’t fussing and fighting and a majority of the work force were present and relatively sober.

      • Loco Mikado

        You are closer to the truth than you realize. Alcohol and drugs were a fact of life in the 70’s and 80’s manufacturing plants of anything in the US starting from the top on down. In fact it spilled over into government. How do I know? I was there.

    • PAPERBKWRITER

      Heavy money, but where are you going to find another one this nice?

  6. Joe Haska

    This is really a great looking car, and if it is half as good as it looks, it could be a great buy. I really don’t know for sure, but I think it all comes down to why you want it. For me it would be to drive it for everyday transportation, and when you think of what you can buy for 15K, its a no brainer. You would peg the fun meter everyday, and be super cool doing it!

  7. DRV

    I like the color and tinted windows together. It has only one problem for me and that’s the MPG. I had it’s sister in an Olds and it got 10 MPG.

    • Anthony in RI

      In 73 each division was still putting its own version of the 350 engine in these cars. All the 6 cylinders were the chevy six but chevy engines in olds and pontiac did start until 1976

    • johnfromct

      DRV, I’m wondering if installing one of the new throttle body EFIs for 2 BBLs would improve both the mileage and power quite a bit, for a little more than $1K. Anyone out there with experience?

      • JohnD

        Great idea. I think you’re on to something. Seems like a fairly straightforward mod that you could do in your own garage, with easy starting, smooth running, and better mpg as a result.

  8. Phil

    I had a “71 that was purple-when I started it I had to keep the gas pedal on the floor for a couple minutes or it would stall and then not start…other then that it ran great I wish I had it now Thanks for the great memories and nice find !

  9. mds47588

    Only original once!

    Like 1
  10. Classic Steel

    One of the nicest “no go” cars I have seen👍

    Not crazy on the paint but livable 🚗

    I hope new owner drives it often and logs many miles of fun with the speedo unhooked as the last guy did 😜

  11. robb

    Gotta luv Avocado Green!

    Like 1
    • Tom Member

      No you don’t.

      Sorry, I must be in a downer mood today.

      Don’t get me wrong, super nice clean car. Just the wrong color, wrong interior color, 2 years to late on the performance side of things, terrible 73+ bumpers and in my opinion, too nice to chop it up into a nicer version of something else.

      This person suffers from the same problem my dad did, by the time he realized he should have kept and put away his “cool cars” and finally saved one …..it was well kind of the wrong one to have put away.

      Save the hate mail. Just my take.

    • Utes

      @ robb….
      Sure it’s not Guacamole Green?

  12. jw454

    I had a 1968 Nova that was as nice as this one… of course that was 1973~’75. It had the venerable 230 six cylinder with a powerglide. Excellent car. It was traded off for who-knows-what but, it was missed for it’s simplicity and reliability.
    The feature car here looks like a very nice example of the breed.

  13. Wade Anderson

    In the mid eighties a lady used to come to the grocery store where I worked driving a 63 impale 2Dr with only 10,000 miles on it

  14. EJB

    First ever ride in a brand new car was in a 73′ Nova hatch (I was 3).

    Dad still reminds me to this day that I left my Crayola 64 crayons in the back where they became part of the carpet a few weeks after he got it.

  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    In 1980, the manager of my rented campus apartment asked me if I wanted to buy his 1974 Nova. The car was in great shape. He wanted $400 for the car, so I bought it. Hard to imagine a 6-year-old car with 70K miles was only worth $400.

    Soon thereafter the car began to run rough, but the carb-mounted fuel filter proved to be the culprit, and from that point on the 250 inline 6 ran great. I drove it for a couple of years, then sold it for $600. I then bought a ’67 BelAir for $150.

    And where did I get $400 in 1980?

    • Pat A

      Where? Where?

      • Rocksteady

        1980, campus apartment, $400 cash on hand, I think he was vending something!

      • Loco Mikado

        I had a room mate in the early 70’s that got 1 lb coffee cans from Columbia only they didn’t contain coffee.

  16. jaymes

    gorgeous! love the big bumpers!

  17. moparman Member

    I LOVE this! Not as svelte, w/ the “5 mph railroad tie” bumpers, but otherwise an extremely nice car! Sadly, though, it’s already priced out of my range!

  18. LAB3

    There’s a lot of names for different engines that have popped up over the years. Chryslers 426 hemi was the elephant, big block Chevy the rat with the small block being the mouse. With 145 hp we all know how much of a dog the 70’s and 80’s V8’s where, therefore I say we start referring to them as Canines.

    • Madbrit

      Don’t forget that around 1973 was when they stopped measuring the horsepower at the flywheel of a motor without ancillaries and measured it fully loaded and, I think it was, at the end of the transmission. Hence one reason for the drop in HP rating, emissions equipment was not a help either.

  19. Pat A

    My aunt had a ’72, 350 2bbl, automatic, no power anything. In about ’78 a rear axle bearing started getting noisy, so she parked it and bought another car. My dad drove the Nova for another 100k miles until the motor went blooey. He never fixed the bearing. He sold it for 150 bucks , ’91 I think, to a guy who dropped in a built 350 motor.

  20. PETER P BAUSYS

    Seems like everybody has a Nova story. I took my driver’s license test in a 69.
    Even GM admitted it was a mistake to kill the Nova

  21. Redragula

    The ultimate “mom car”, especially ones that only had 1 or 2 kids. These along with Dusters, Mavericks, Darts, and Vegas were everywhere when I was growing up and didn’t start disappearing until the late 90’s. Never imagined I would miss seeing these cars

  22. Crazyhawk

    I’m in the “I love it” crowd. Cool color, cool year, even the bumpers are cool. Why, because it is different and a perfect example of a moment in time in automotive history.

  23. dgrass

    @staff, Alan is an automated bot account that needs to be nipped in the bud.

  24. D.L.Page

    In 2007, I went to Chicago to look at & then bought , from the original owner, a 1979 Buick Century Turbo Coupe with 12,000 miles on it. It still had the original tires & shocks on it. It is a highly optioned car with bucket seats, console, tilt wheel, power steering/brakes, power windows/locks, rear defroster, A/C & a factory power sunroof. I paid a lot less then the current bid on the Nova.

    • D.L.Page

      Interior picture.

      • D.L.Page

        Engine picture.

    • Zapp

      Haven’t seen a Century Turbo coupe since about 1990! Took one for a test drive then and absolutely loved the way it drove–wouldn’t mind owning one today.

    • stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

      okay…so we are saying 10 years ago…..let me brag on the girl I just met……..

    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Looks like you’re in Ohio there.

      • D.L.Page

        Yes, it is northeastern Ohio.

  25. Bill T

    My 87 Nova get over 30 MPG :)

  26. Tort Member

    My son bought a 70 Nova that he said it could be his everyday driver. I discouraged him in buying it to no avail. A pro-street 454 with two holley”s on a tunnel ram that would run on race gas only! After a few days he admitted I was right. All his Mom said ” I know someone exactly like him, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  27. Bob C.

    1973 was a good and bad year. First the bad, the emission air pumps dropped net horsepower from 165 (1972) to 145, but on a happier note, in 1973 they started using hardened valves and seats making this car unleaded fuel friendly. One more thing, in the early 70s they used nylon timing chains and gears in a lot of engines. Replace with metal. SBC v8s are prone to valve bending when a timing chain lets go.

  28. Derek

    I love everything about it, especially the color used to hate green now I love it. What a find. And working AC? Even better. Those bumpers are so much bicer than the plastic junk they make now.

  29. Charlie 1

    a clean car for the year but 1973 was hardly the year of the muscle car at
    145HP, not to much get up and go !

    • Derek

      Charlie 1…who in their right mind would hot rod a car this clean and original. I don’t get the obsession with power. This car should be driven like the rare piece of history it is. Keep it nice. I think if people want to drive like maniacs they should buy some modern plastic bubble.

      • Alan

        Derek I am with you 100% on this. I do have collection of vintage American cars all original survivors v low miles and I like them stock and of course they are Not daily drivers mostly sitting in my warehouse. I personally against Hot roding

  30. D.L.Page

    The Nova just sold last night for $15,450 !!!!!

  31. chad

    my clone was a Ventura hatch. It moved me WVa – MA, 1982. No lic plate. B4 I left WVa I cked in w/State ‘smokies’ “Can I drive & not register till I get 2 MA?” (yes, they said, just ck in here 1st.). Hatch back was horizontal’n open w/stuff trailin so full, also stuff on roof w/o official rack, etc.
    Only got stopped once – I95 in Jersey. Statie took 1 look, began to ask 4 my lic, saw the paper I waved from WVa & just said to get out without stopin in NJ…

  32. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    I had a ’70 Nova SS in the 1980s. 375 HP 396 cubes, Turbo 400. Painted Corvette white, with 60 series tires on the rear(fenders pulled a bit for fit) and 70s on the front. It had a 780 duel feed, double-pumper, mild cam and headers. Had it for quite a few years. I even drove away from the church on my wedding day with my new bride in it.

    Sadly, I got rid of the car. Happily, I got rid of the wife. Guess which one I’d dearly love to have back?

  33. Chuck Simons

    Not built in my beloved Van Nuys plant…Built in Michigan ‘W’ 7th digit. Still a nice car….specially since it came from rust prone state to another rust prone state. Yes, VIN says this is 73.

    http://www.paddockparts.com/resources/1962-79-chevy-ii-nova-vin-decoder/

    I think someone got a great deal!!!!!

  34. 1st Gear

    I call B-S. Rocker covers have been pulled recently and painted.Nice start for a all out kick your butt sleeper.

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