Factory Hot Rod? 1977 Chevrolet Nova 350/4-Speed

The 1977 Chevrolet Nova Coupe is a striking looking car, and this one has some muscle to back those looks. The original owner ordered the Nova with a V8 and a 4-speed, and both items remain intact. It is a classic that is now looking for a new home. The Chevy is located in Germanton, North Carolina, and is listed for sale here on eBay with a BIN price of $14,500. There is also the option available to make an offer.

I couldn’t resist including this photo because those have to rate as some of the cleanest floors that you are likely to see in a vehicle of this age. Manufacturers hadn’t gotten their heads around rust prevention at this stage, and it wasn’t unusual to see cars like this Nova “biodegrade” fairly quickly. That isn’t an issue with this one, which indicates that it has been treated with care and respect.

The exterior of the Nova is just as impressive as the underside. The rust-free theme continues here, with the panels appearing to be clean and straight. The Antique White paint holds an impressive shine, with few visible flaws. The bumpers and trim look really nice, while the same is true of the glass. The wheels aren’t original, but they give the car an aggressive appearance that suggests that there might be more to this classic than meets the eye.

It’s disappointing that one of this car’s strongest features has been highlighted by two photos that are of low quality. There were two different V8s offered in the ’77 Nova, and this is the big boy of the bunch. What we have is a 350ci V8, which should be producing 170hp. Backing this is a 4-speed manual transmission, which feeds the power to a 3.43 Posi rear end. Topping things off is power steering and power front disc brakes. When it was shiny and new, the Nova would have been capable of ripping through the ¼ mile in 16.6 seconds. That might appear to be relatively sedate now, but it was big news during The Malaise Era. The engine bay presents very well, but there’s no point to the exercise if it doesn’t perform as well as it looks. You can relax on that score because the owner says that it runs and drives excellently.

When you open the doors and take a peek inside this Nova, it is hard to be disappointed. The interior is trimmed in Black, and there are no problems to fret about here. The upholstery is close to perfect, and the carpet shows no appreciable wear or fading. The dash is immaculate, while the pad is free from cracks or warping. There are some gauges mounted under the dash, but that appears to be the extent of aftermarket items. The Nova was ordered with air conditioning, but this will require attention as it doesn’t currently function.

The Malaise Era is not remembered fondly by performance enthusiasts because it was a time when great V8 performance cars were reduced to a shadow of their former selves. There is little doubt that if this Nova had rolled off the production line in 1970 rather than 1977, the buyer would have had somewhere around 300hp available from that 350ci V8. However, it would be possible to extract some performance improvements with a bit of tinkering and relatively little cost. That would be tempting because then it would possess engine power that would complement its looks. That has to be an idea worth thinking about.

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Comments

  1. Dcor

    Nice original Nova. A little tuning on the motor and you’ve got a fun 4 speed weekend classic. GLWTA

    Like 9
  2. Deborah Polk

    My first love (car) was a 76 two-door Nova. I need this car.

    Like 3
  3. Skorzeny

    Amazing that this is a 4 speed, and the wheels look really good on this. The color is unfortunate though. I think this is a bit pricey, but that underside shot is very impressive. There can be many of these (esp w/ 4 spd) left in this condition.

    Like 4
  4. Joshua

    I had a 77 Ralley trim in root beer brown with an awesome plaid interior. It’s amazing how much a Honeycomb grill and clear horizontal marker lights change the look.

    Like 4
  5. Dave

    Nice car of this era – would have enjoyed it at the time. I recall a friend with one that was 305cid three speed manual. Color was factory orange.

    Like 4
    • Tom

      I had a ‘75 SS with a 350 and a 3 speed manual on the floor. Silver with a black bench seat interior. It wasn’t fast but it looked and handled great and was fun to drive. I’d love to have another one and this one would be a lot of fun. Good luck with the sale. Nice car!!

      Like 3
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Mine was silver with a red bench seat interior. Most of these became food for the tin worm or simply disposed of as old used cars at the end of the last century. Especially the 3 spd with no options. Mine at least had air.

        Like 1
  6. EPO3

    Would have laughed in 77 when I was in high school but not now.That is one nice nova

    Like 5
    • Richard S Sikes Member

      I thought the exact same thing before I read your post. I should have had the guts to have driven a sleeper like this back in ’78!

      Like 2
  7. Paul R.

    I had a ’71 Nova, 3 speed Muncie manual, floor shift , bucket seats , positraction, with the 307 cu,in. V8, 200 h.p.
    Great car, ordered from the factory, $3400. Cdn., brand new.
    Had it for 12 years until the ex smashed it up. Got $2000. on insurance, so net over 12 years was $1400.
    Pretty good deal . Miss that car though.

    Like 3
  8. JCA

    Nice car and a great story. Who doesn’t like a special order sleeper?

    Like 2
  9. Richard Isenberg

    This is sweet. The fact the body and undercarriage are that nice ,and its has a terrific head start for someone’s dreams. Some nice wheels to bring it to sweeeeeeeet factor. Some lucky person is gonna get this, and AC. I’m jealous.

    Like 2
  10. Richard Isenberg

    What about a professional 8 inch stripe on bottom to accent the white. I don’t know.

    Like 1
  11. Claudio

    The 1977 Chevrolet Nova Coupe is a striking looking car,not from what i see ! Always found these things ugly , maybe compared to the same year impala or one of the many horrors that the big 3 produced in that year …FUGLY
    The only ones that i owned were bought for scrap or occasionnal tires but it is clean

  12. Frank

    Interesting car, Nobody commented on the Vega steering wheel
    Not much to do but drive that baby!

    Like 1
  13. Raymond

    Do carburetor re jet get 30 hp add on

  14. Super Glide

    Looks like a great car. The wheels are a great addition. A trip to the Edlebrock toy store for heads, manifold and carb and you’re off to the races. Or weekly car shows.

  15. Novaman

    Maybe I am wrong but I thought they quit putting 350 in Novak’s in 1975.1976 started the 305..

    • Ten50boy

      10,902 built with 350’s in 77……. only 1934 got the M20 4spd….. rare little ride if truly #’s matching.

      Like 1
  16. Mike Brown

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any exhaust system in the undercarriage pic.

    Like 1
  17. Connecticut mark

    Yep no exhaust weird.

    Like 1
  18. Richard Isenberg

    Ok everyone agrees that’s odd. So no exhaust as in it was all bad and removed and why isn’t that mentioned. I’m confused

    Like 1
    • Travis Pugh

      I have a ‘79 Nova Rally 305 4-speed. It has no exhaust. It rusted and fell off. I left it (muffler) on the side of the road. This was many years ago. I still have the car.

      Like 1
  19. Ten50boy

    Not to mention that there undercarriage was repainted. Look at the subframe and bushings…. overspray. The floors look good in pics….. but I would definitely look closer if I was buying. It isn’t cheap for what it is, so with the missing exhaust and God knows what else……I would inspect that thing all day before paying a dime. Who knows if it was painted to show that the floors are good or if it was Painted after it was backyard patched and the seams sealed to hide something else. Just saying…… I’ve seen it all being from LI…… the rust capital of the world

  20. Steve

    If you look real close, you can see collectors. So he must be running open headers, at least when this pix was taken.

  21. Dave Fellows

    Bought a white 77nova with 4 speed and white bucket seats.The interior was blue and white combo.A set of headers and turbo 350 mufflers really woke it up.Only problem was the Saginaw sourced 4 speed.Comlete garbage.Fun car though

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