Two Owner Survivor: 1972 Chevrolet Nova

Perhaps it is just me, but it seems there aren’t nearly as many Nova survivors as there should be. This 1972 model is a 2 owner car, and the original owner was a “Grandma.” Between the two owners this Nova has only seen 70,000 miles in its lifetime. Relatively clean, with a few blemishes, this Nova can be yours for $11,500. Find it here on craigslist out of Costa Mesa, California. Thanks to Rocco B. for the submission!

Tried and true, the Chevrolet 350 is a grand engine that is hard to beat in performance, cost, and parts availability. Equipped with air conditioning, power brakes, and an automatic transmission, this Nova will be easy to live with. Slightly dirty, the engine and the bay has some minor surface rust, but would probably clean up nicely. The air conditioning would certainly be a welcomed feature on those hot summer days at your favorite car event.

Although not my first color choice for the interior, the interior of this Nova is beautiful. Cream with the mocha brown carpet is actually a beautiful combination, and the best part is the condition. There is no real evidence of any damage or wear on the interior. The dash looks excellent, as do the seats, carpet, and door panels. The only thing worth mentioning is the headliner has a rip, and looks to be hanging in a few areas, otherwise this interior is gorgeous.

Moving to the exterior, we can assume that Grandma didn’t select those wheels, but they play the part nicely. There looks to be no rust and the seller mentions none. The only downside to this Nova comes in the form of a dent in the driver door, and some damage to the driver rear corner. The door could likely be taken on by a dent wizard, but the rear damage is more extensive, even though it is easily overlooked. The quarter has no rumples, but there is a minor crease at the very end of the quarter. There is also a wave in the rear taillight panel just to the right of the driver side taillight. Also the bumper is slightly bent on that side indicating this Nova has been bumped at some point. It’s a shame really, as the car almost looks like a “perfect” survivor. Granted this damage isn’t the most obvious at first, so it takes very little away from the cars appearance. Something that may be more concerning is that this Nova now has a “Salvage title” which for some states can be an absolute nightmare.  Beyond the bump and the title, this Nova looks like a clean example that would be a great driver to enjoy. Would you pick up this muscle classic?

Fast Finds


  1. Dave Member

    Not as many left in original condition because most folks got ’em cheap, stuffed a rat in ’em and proceeded to mash the gas.

    • racer99

      Bought a real SS version for $500 in ’86. Cut it up and made a race car out of it and gave the shell away when we were done. Didn’t think twice about giving it away at the time — I do now.

  2. CJay

    Salvage / Reconstructed branded titles drop the value about 1/3. (KBB says 22 to 40%).
    The question is why was it branded.
    I’m not scared of a blemished title if I did the repair myself.
    The world is full of hacks and shady deals.
    When you are done with the car, it will effect your resale.

  3. JamestownMike

    $11,500 for a brown 72 Nova??……..with a salvage title????

    • Woodie Man

      And a slushbox! What has the world come to?

      • al8apex

        it DOES have a/c though …

  4. Squanto

    I would happily drive just the way it looks. Best wheel ever made. (In my opinion)

  5. JW

    Would be a nice car for a young guy wanting a classic but the price is about 2x too much. That front seat doesn’t look like it goes with the rest of the interior IMO.

  6. motoring mo

    Had this exact car in yellow. Bought it for $300.
    2 spd powerglide transmission was fantastic.
    Brother wrecked it, SAD!

    • Rod

      I had a 70 SS 350 4 speed. It was also canary yellow with a black vinyl roof. Black interior with a bench seat. Very nice car and I wish I had it today. Unfortunately I wrecked it.

      • Mike Super Sport

        I still have my ’70 SS since ’81

        Like 1
  7. Don

    The Craigslist add is 9500!

    • JamestownMike

      Yep, the Craigslist ad has a $9,500 price tag. Sorry, but I don’t see a $9,500 car there! Looks like a $3,500 to $4k tops car to me.


    It’s a wonderful 3k project car.

  9. Rhett

    5k on the east coast for lack of rust. Tops.

  10. Howard A Member

    My grandfather bought a ’71 Nova very similar to this, only more bare. No carpet, dog dish hubcaps, but 350, 2 barrel, 3 speed auto. Was a fun car, but needed a 4 barrel. ( this, at the time, 19 year old punk thought) Not sure where it says salvage title, ( says clean on the description) but, in Wis. all that’s needed is for the car to be inspected, but I think, “salvage vehicle” remains on the new title. I agree, a little steep on the price, but like Dave sez, most were pounded into the ground. Great find.

  11. gbvette62

    It seemed like half the guys I hung around with in high school (and street raced with too) had Nova’s. There were two 396/375’s locally, a 396/325, a bunch of SS350’s, a very nasty ugly pale green 68 sleeper with a radical 327 in it, and even a yellow 68 with the 153 4 cylinder, a 3 speed and rally wheels.

    I’ve been told that one of the 396/375’s is still around, but none of the others have survived, that I know of.

    • Don

      Today the 4banger would be the rare one🚘

  12. JamestownMike

    Where is salvage listed? The Craigslist ad says it has a CLEAN title. Salvage isn’t mentioned ANYWHERE.

  13. Richard

    I’ve got a factory 69 ss-4 speed that I’m working on non matching # but vin tag says all of the above

  14. David J David J

    I love the “torque thrust” type wheels on this car. Awesome.

  15. Doug Towsley

    Fond memories of mine,1972 Rally Nova,, Bought it for $800 in 1981 from Jeannie the waitress at the Wood Village Denny’s restaurant. Proceeded to try all kinds of poorly conceived Hot rodding ideas and was a real learning experience of being poor with big dreams. At one point had the widest Mickey Thompsons M50s on back with Air Shocks. Over the years ran a variety of small blocks and big blocks in it, I so much regret selling that car. I had a 63 & 64 SS Novas and thought It was a smarter move to go with them instead but the 72 was a better ride all the way around. Still huge regret. Heres a picture winter 1981 or 82. Troutdale Oregon. Many run ins with the Police. Looking back I would pull me over too. I sure thought I was cool!
    And yes.. I had 6×9 Speakers in boxs in the back window, Pioneer tape deck and Kraco powerbooster-equalizer.

  16. Rob

    My first car was a 1970 Nova. I so want this!! But alas, I am poor. :(

  17. JoeBazots

    First wife had a 70 in the bland cream color. Had the 6 cyl./ auto setup. We drove it from St.Louis to Nashville on our honeymoon. Had to stop 3 times to put oil in it. LOL Very memorable trip. After we divorced, (8 yrs later) I ended up back in Nashville and married a lovely lady we met while in Nashville on said honeymoon. Almost 19 years later – still in Nashville and still married – though the Nova went by the wayside years ago…

    Good times!

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