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1972 Chevrolet Nova SS 350 Barn Find

The 1968-74 run of the Chevy Nova was quite popular, including the SS models. 1972 was the only time that a true SS was reflected in the VIN (check for a “K” in the code), meaning that the Nova had an L48 350 V8 engine. This is a real SS that’s has been off the road for the past 36 years. It’s going to need a fair share of work, but we’re told it runs well. The car is in Perkasie, Pennsylvania and available here on eBay where the auction is waiting on the first bidder to step forward at $13,500.

The Nova compact began life in 1962 as the Chevy II and the Nova would be the top trim level. That all changed in 1969 when the Chevy II name was retired, and it was then Nova all the way. The coupe version of the 1968-74 series sold so well that it was a stimulus for Plymouth and Dodge to get into the sporty compact game with their Duster and Demon. Nova sales were quite strong for 1972, selling nearly 350,000 units in the total of which 12,300 of them were the SS model. The SS had one engine choice, the L48 with a 4-barrel carburetor that put out 200 net hp. This made the Nova a formidable muscle car as it could do the quarter-mile in under 15 ½ seconds. Thanks, Nova Resource, for production insight.

The seller discovered this 1972 Nova SS parked in a barn since 1984 for reasons not divulged. It had just 69,000 miles on the odometer and the seller got it to run again, so we wonder why it would be in hiding for 36 years. Anyway, while the car was in said barn, part of it caved in and fell on the front clip of the Nova, damaging the hood and driver’s side front fender. The prior owner obtained another front clip to use with this Nova, but the seller found it to be a poor candidate for a swap when he later bought the car. It comes along with the sale in case the next owner thinks otherwise. The rest of the body looks decent, although there is one rust bubble brewing along one of the rain drip rails. The trunk is said to have a few small holes and the paint is an older respray where the color was changed to a dark blue.

In his quest to find rust, the seller pulled the seats and carpeting to find little to no corrosion. The photos provided show the interior with and without the stuff that was removed. Everything will come with the car when sold. The buyer will want to recover the seats and get new carpeting before putting it all back together. The seller says he discovered the interior build/code sheet under the rear seat but has not found the build sheet so far.

The seller spends a lot of time talking about the motor, which is always important. We’re told it’s a numbers-matching car and a true SS, which the K in the VIN confirms. He drained the gas and crankcase oil, primed the engine with oil, soaked the Q-Jet, and fired it up. He says it ran smoothly and the automatic transmission shifts properly. But the low idle circuit on the Q-Jet is stuck and will require further attention and the master brake cylinder needs to be replaced. The seller is in possession of the original title that he got from the first owner when he acquired the car (recently as a flipper?).

Third-generation Nova SS models can command some big bucks and you see as many clones advertised online as you see the real deal. This one looks to be the genuine article but is going to need a fair amount of TLC (and money) to bring it up to the level of the cars you’re seeing out there for $35-45,000. But you’ll have to first fork out $13,500 or more just to have something to work with. Is this a good buy?


  1. Steve Bush Member

    Looks to be a good restoration candidate but would need to see undercar pics and make
    a personal inspection to be sure. Also, if the seller wants $13.5k to start the auction, he needs to replace the carb and master cylinder.

    Like 7
    • 8banger dave Member

      Agreed, but keep the original ones in the trunk.

      Like 5
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    In a barn since 1984 for reasons not divulged with 69K on the clock?

    Hmmmm, those holes on the trunk weren’t bullet holes by chance?

    Like 4
  3. Timmyt

    I see a lot of these priced at 30k+ but they’re only getting 20-25 bid I’ve seen some priced at 60k get no bid I have a 71 SS 4 speed Nova not finished I’ll have 12,000 in it finished and have my doubts of it cracking 20k

    Like 3
  4. Troy s

    Cheap thrills for years and years, I can’t begin to count the number of worked up Novas of all years, types, and performance levels I’ve seen on the street, the track…….the police station!
    I never get tired of them either and this looks to be in fairly good shape for being hidden away for three decades,
    the stock 350 is a surprise to me, and there’s a chance it won’t stay that way.

    Like 3
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Do the molds for those front tires still exist?
    Is there anything special internally about this low compression 350?

  6. Phlathead Phil

    My brother once bought a brand new ‘70 Nova SS with a phactory 350 & Muncie 4/Speed shifter from a local dealership.

    It was Maroon with black interior and was phast, very phast.

    Like 5
  7. 1-MAC

    Nice to see an unmolested car. When you all complain about prices, but pay 30K for an import, I wonder? Here is something worth fixing and keeping.

    Like 6
  8. Raymond Keck

    My cousin lost an almost-identical SS in the Santa Rosa fire Sunday night. He bought it brand new when he was a teenager

    Like 3
    • Phlathead Phil

      Sorry to hear this news.

      Like 3

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