Live Auctions

21k Original Mile Survivor: 1966 Chevrolet Nova

It is fair to say that we have seen our share of Chevrolet Novas over more than a decade at Barn Finds. Most have been SS versions with a V8 under the hood, but this 1966 model blows in like a breath of fresh air. Its engine bay houses its original six, and it is an unmolested survivor with a known ownership history and a genuine 21,000 miles on the clock. It needs a new home with the seller listing it here on eBay in Louisville, Nebraska. Frantic bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $27,100.

Until recently, this Nova had been part of the same family since the day it rolled off the showroom floor. It passed from grandmother to grandson, with the latter choosing to part with the vehicle due to his advancing age. It wears Artesian Turquoise paint that retains a healthy shine. The seller indicates there is no history of prior accidents or rust repairs and no evidence of restoration work. The good folks at Chevrolet applied that Turquoise paint, which has stood the test of time. The panels are pretty straight for a survivor of this vintage, although they have accumulated a few bumps and marks. None of the flaws require urgent attention, and it would be worth consulting a paintless dent removal company to see if they could address the problems. A reputable shop may be able to spot-repair the damage, but I would hesitate if it risked compromising the car’s survivor status. The chrome shines nicely for its age, and the glass looks flawless. The seller added a set of wider wheels and dog dish hubcaps of 1963 vintage but retained and includes the original wheels and trims for those preferring a “factory” appearance.

Those readers hoping to lift this Nova’s hood to find a V8 will be disappointed, but the theme of originality continues when we consider its drivetrain configuration. The first owner ordered the car equipped with a 230ci six-cylinder engine, backed by a three-speed manual transmission. They didn’t load the car with options, meaning there is no power assistance for the steering or brakes. Chevrolet may have created this car as basic family transport, but it springs a surprise when we turn to the subject of performance. That six may only produce 140hp, but thanks to the curb weight of 2,800lbs, this beauty can scoot through the ¼ mile in 17.9 seconds. That figure is probably irrelevant in this context, but its ability to cruise effortlessly at highway speed while hitting 20 mpg makes it a perfect long-distance cruiser. When the seller performed the wheel change, they added new tires that have only accumulated twenty-five miles. They believe the only other non-original components are the battery, one battery cable, and the muffler. Otherwise, it is mechanically untouched. They claim it has 21,000 miles on the clock, and while they don’t mention supporting evidence, the ownership history suggests it may be available. The car runs and drives well for its age and has no apparent mechanical needs.

If this Nova has an ace up its sleeve, that honor falls to its interior. It is as original as the rest of the vehicle, with no modifications or aftermarket additions. The seats wear Turquoise cloth and vinyl covers that look excellent. The previous owners protected the front seat with a plastic cover that had seen better days. Removing it revealed upholstery in as-new condition. The back seat is equally impressive and doesn’t look like it saw much use. The seller indicates a single hole in the headliner as the only flaw, but an upholsterer may be able to blind patch it. The dash and pad are spotless, and the wheel is crack-free. The new owner won’t be overwhelmed with a load of trinkets and automotive tinsel. Luxury touches extend to an AM radio, and that’s about it!

Some readers will look at this 1966 Nova and feel it is the ideal candidate for an SS clone. Others will argue that preserving this classic is the right approach, because you will spot few examples with these specifications so original and unmolested. My preference would be to follow the second path because history confirms there is no shortage of SS versions. My only concern would be whether the minor dings and dents could be removed without compromising its survivor status. There are no pressing panel or paint needs, meaning the new owner could take the time to assess their options carefully. Would you preserve this classic, or would a clone be impossible to resist?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, son of a b,,,sometimes, I simply can’t refrain, if I have a certain memory and a car that triggers that memory comes along here is wrong, I apologize, but in this chapter, my late ex father in law, had this exact car( almost), except a 4 door and automatic. One of my ex brother in laws got it cheap in the 80s. He did car repair on the side, someone brought it in just to get rid of it and it also had like 20K, and he painted it this very color. Again, all we hear of is muscle cars, but this is what America drove to work. Work was the reason for living, and simple cars like this got our folks there. Now the car is the biggest thing in some peoples lives.
    It should be noted, as a WW2 vet, my FIL was a shyster, and lived to be 96, and only took his Nova to church on Sunday, to play the “little old man on Sunday” schtick. He was an odd man, went through hell in the S. Pacific in the war, which explained a LOT, but he was a good grandfather, and I miss him. Thanks, Adam.

    Like 28
    • robert

      Thank you for your service, Howard…..you’re a brave man to have gone to hell and back……

      Like 2
  2. Big Al

    Thank You for your service Howard A ! 👍👍

    Like 5
    • Big Al

      I’m sorry Howard. I realize now it was your FIL in WW2.
      Haven’t had my coffee yet ! Sorry

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        That’s okay, Al, and to Harry, it was my father-in-law, I never was in the service. Dang long haired hippy just missed Vietnam, luckily. My ex-wife said, while growing up, he never spoke of his service in the S. Pacific, I’m sure the atrocities he saw were overwhelming. It wasn’t until at family gatherings, did he start talking to my old man, who saw service in Europe, and big and macho about it, they instantly had a connection, and then the stories came out. I make sure to say thank you to ANY vet, LEO, or firefighter I see. They are the real heroes.

        Like 8
  3. Harry Allen

    This vehicle would be kind of like a suitor for my Daughter. You take good care of her and do NOT mistreat her and I won’t rain down the fear of God on you. I have had a few originals but NONE like this. I cleaned mine up and made the necessary repairs to make them road worth and only made metal repairs if it was necessary because I just thought that the beauty was being as pristine as possible. Yes Howard thank you for your service.

    Like 1
    • Rico

      In the church, while both my daughters were about to be married, in front of the priest, I reminded the soon to be sons-in-law that the day they called me to tell me that they made my daughters cry was the day I was going to kill them.
      It must’ve worked because the older has been married 27 years and the younger just celebrated #12.
      Both sons-in-law have become remarkable youngish men.
      I’m very proud of them both.

      Like 5
  4. doug

    Why does it have full hubcaps on one side and dog dishes on the other?

    Like 1
    • Pat

      eBay listings shows two sets of picks of both sides. One set with dog dishes and one set with full covers. Good eye on your part.

      Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Did you read the story’s text? 2 sets of tires/wheels.

  5. Gary

    You have to wonder if at 56 years old and not having been driven much, how many fluid leaks will spring up if the new owner begins driving the car regularly. I would think most of the seals and gaskets will need replacing.I would also vote for keeping the car original. There are very few like this but plenty of SS clones.

    Like 1
  6. doug

    AND white walls and black walls.

  7. Jerry Bramlett

    What a nice car!

    Like 1
  8. Lionel Gagnon

    My second car I ever owned was a 1966 chevy Nova 2 door 6 cylinder! Loved that car wish I still had it!

  9. earl schull

    love this car just the way it is. but were are the heater hoses? bet it needs a new heater core

    Like 2
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Replacing the heater core on this should be an easy job. Why didn’t the owner do that before listing? Makes more sense than having a set of wider wheels and tires added.

      Like 1
  10. Rw

    SS didn’t mean V8 seen several SS 6 banger Chevy 2s

    Like 8
    • Jerry from New York

      Absolutely right, I owned a 66 nova super sport, had original 6 cyl with automatic console and white interior bucket seats…. wish I kept that car, I was nineteen then if only I knew, I would have kept a lot of these vehicles

      Like 1
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I agree. Who needs a V8 engine, unless you intend to speed down a drag strip like a lunatic. For most every day driving, all you need is either a V6 engine or a straight six engine.

  11. Jerry from NY

    Yes Rw! I owned a ss nova 1966, had a 6 cyl automatic console, dark green exterior and white interior bucket seats… I was 19 yrs old then wish I kept this car…. But then I wished I kept them all!

  12. John D

    I like the 6cyl 3 on the tree with this nice roof line. I would keep as is remove any dings possible using paint less dent repair and leave what damage is left to keep the original paint. I would for sure replace the heater core it gets pretty chilly here in the Adirondacks well before you’d have to put it away for the winter.

    Like 3
  13. David Buswell

    I believe this car was born with fender skirts. I can’t understand why no one mentioned it.

    • Chuck Dickinson

      Fender skirts were NEVER an option. Why would it have them?????

      Like 2
      • David Buswell

        Never an option? Then what are those strange ridges on rear fenders?

  14. Greg Gustafson

    The above copy says “ Frantic bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $27,100.” But the listing on “here on eBay” says the bidding ended Oct. 1 at 3:04pm car had zero bids??? What am I missing?

    • Jerry Bramlett

      It sold off-line, and then the seller stopped the auction. All the previous bids disappeared when that happened.

  15. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My father purchased a 1964 Ford Fairlane in October of ’63. Just like this car, it was a basic no option car, except for heater and AM radio. My mother insisted it be this turquoise color, whatever Ford called it. Just like this Chevy, she expected the interior to be turquoise as well. Guess someone forgot to specify because when the car came in 6 weeks later, the interior was a light brown. My mom was so disappointed. She really wanted a turquoise interior.

    Like 1
    • John D

      Angel what’s worse Ford did offer the turquoise interior I believe even in a sharp 2 tone turquoise. I would have been mad never mind disappointed if I ordered it that way.

      • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

        I’m not sure how it was ordered, I was only 10 at the time. I am assuming when they specified the turquoise exterior, they just assumed it would have a turquoise interior as well.
        My guess is no interior color box was checked, so Ford just put in a brown interior.

    • Chuck Dickinson

      While manufacturers usually had a turquoise interior during this time period, many times those were only for the top-tier trims. Bottom level cars had limited choices as the manufacturers generally offered only a limited number of interior colors on the base-line models. That is why many low-line cars have beige or fawn interiors since they ‘match’ more exterior colors than a turquoise one would.

  16. Glenn Schwass Member

    This is really nice. I had a 66 Chevy II but it was a rust bucket with a tired 6 banger I replaced. Nice to see one looking like this.

    Like 1
  17. 19sixty5 Member

    3 on the tree is practically an anti-theft device! Cool car.

    Like 2
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. Most people these days don’t know how to drive a car with a manual shifting gearbox, never mind one with a steering column mounted control. I know how to drive a car with manual (stick shift) gearbox, but never one with the control on the column.

  18. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. IMHO, it’s the last of the great looking Chevy Novas until the 1968-74 Chevy Nova. I also love the Inline six engine that powers this car. Who needs a fire-breathing V8 engine, unless you’re a drag racer or a Nascar race driver? For most driving, I would think a six cyl. engine would be perfect.

  19. Lukin R.

    Beauty.

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