383 Stroker: 1971 Chevrolet Nova

The decision to part with your first car can be a difficult one but after 18-years of driving pleasure, that is precisely what the owner of this 1971 Chevrolet Nova has decided to do. Having said that, the car isn’t quite the same as it was when he bought it. Once you’ve taken a look at what has been done, you might decide that this would represent something rather nice to park in your garage ready for an enjoyable bit of weekend cruising. If that is the case, then you will find the Nova located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN on this beauty has been set at $19,999, but there is also the option available to make an offer.

The first thing to note about the Nova is the fact that the Lime Green Metallic paint that the car wears is claimed to be original. If that is true, then it has survived incredibly well. The back story runs along the lines of the car originally being owned by a widow. She used the car to commute to-and-from work on a daily basis until she retired. During the entire time that she owned the car it never once saw a highway or an open road. Apparently, her husband had been killed in a motor vehicle accident, which made her wary of the open road. When she passed away, her son inherited the Nova. Between 1992 and 2002, he managed to clock up a mere 800 miles before selling the car to its current owner. The car is clean, and the only spot of rust is a small area in the lower front fender on the passenger side. This was present when the owner purchased the car, but as it hasn’t deteriorated, he hasn’t touched it. The wheels have been powder-coated, and have come up a treat. The external trim and chrome look great as does the glass.

The originality of the Nova extends to the interior trim, which the owner rates as a 10/10. I’ll mark it a bit more harshly because there is some stretching of the upholstery on both the front and rear seats. It is only very slight, but it is visible. In that case, I have to give it about a 9.8, and I think that even a perfectionist could probably live with it as it is. The dash pad looks really nice, as does the carpet. The dash remains unmolested, with the original radio still in place. There is a set of aftermarket gauges mounted under the dash, and while the original column shifter is still present, the B&M shifter on the floor hints that the story of the Nova’s originality is about to come to an end.

It isn’t clear what originally occupied the space under the hood of the Nova, but I think that it would be safe to say that it wasn’t this motor. What you have is a 383 stroker V8, which is chock-full of good gear and wears a set of fully ported and polished double hump heads. The internals are all forged, there is a high-lift Competition Cam, while the intake is a powder-coated Edelbrock item. The carburetor is an Edelbrock 750cfm, and the spent gases find their way out through a set of ceramic-coated headers and down a 3″ dual exhaust. The radiator has been upgraded to an aluminum unit, the Nova wears new brakes featuring power-assisted front discs, and the power steering even features a chrome pump. The transmission is a 2-speed Powerglide with forged input and output shafts, along with strengthened internals, and a 3000rpm stall torque converter. The 383’s power is then fed from the Powerglide to a 10-bolt rear end. That’s quite a combination and should make this one pretty potent car. For all of that, the owner doesn’t actually tell us how well the Nova runs and drives. I would think that the answer would probably have the word “fast” in it somewhere. What he does say is that he holds documentation for the vehicle which dates right back to the original owner.

This most definitely isn’t your average 1971 Chevrolet Nova, and with the modifications that have been performed, it also won’t suit everyone. However, for the person who wants a potent vehicle in above average condition, this could be a serious contender. Let’s be honest here: It would also be an absolute blast to drive, and that is never a bad thing.

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  1. Howard A Member

    Son of a sailor, it’s my grandpas ’71 Nova,,,kind of. My grandfather bought a new ’71 Nova, this same color, only much more basic. It did have a 350, 2 barrel, automatic, but few other options. He had small hubcaps, no carpet, I had just gotten my license, and it was a fun car, but needed a 4 barrel. Gramps had no idea what I did to that car. Luckily, it was almost bullet proof, and took the abuse. Quite the sleeper here, I love it. “Grandpa, (looking skyward), Look what they did to your car”,,,

  2. Moparman Member

    I love it, a nice, smooth Q-ship; however, I’m not too fond of the “dual shifters”, though. What was wrong w/ using the original shifter, I wonder? I’d prefer to find a steering column designed for use w/ a console. At any rate, I don’t think “No va” applies to this one!! :-)

    • Tony Primo

      Poor man’s interpretation of Hurst Lighting Rods?

  3. Perry Yasher

    all it need is converted back to the column shift connected to a 700R4

  4. Classic Steel

    Nice looking NoGo car.. these novas were hearty strong cars… the green grows on me ….

    I like it…
    Those seats look new and nostalgic…

  5. dave

    Our little shop has tremendous respect for the 383 stroker. We popped one in a ’64 C-10, and man does it scoot!

  6. PaulG

    Nice car, and with the circus in town (B-J auction) it’s a good time to list.
    I’m also not sure about the floor shifter, kind of takes away from the sleeper vibe.

  7. jwzotta

    Get rid of the floor shifter and powerglide! $20K, he may be a bit optimistic.

  8. FordGuy1972

    Gorgeous Nova with a serious sleeper vibe. The originality is impressive, as is the work under the hood. I’d definitely want to hook up the column shifter and remove the floor unit to complete the sleeper look. Considering the excellent original condition and the very well done performance upgrades, it’s probably worth every penny of the ask.

  9. benjy58

    This is something a Northeast rodder would love.

  10. Bob S

    It might be a little optimistic on the price, but on the other hand, it’s priced only a little bit higher than all the rusted out 67/68 mustangs here of late, and you can drive it!! I like it!

    • Bob S

      P.S. the biggest reason why you can’t drive the rusted out mustang for $12k, is because there’s no drive train or interior!!

  11. Chebby Staff

    So low-key, I love it! Lose that stupid floor shifter, and you’ve got a killer grandma-car. I’d add a more attractive GM steering wheel as well.

  12. bikefixr

    Sorry, not seeing $20K here. Not even close.
    Amateur work. A 10 Bolt? Common.

    • Tort Member

      Depends what 10 bolt it has! A 8.5 should handle all the power the 383 is putting out!

  13. Howard Kerr

    My father’s elderly sister had a 73-74 Nova that otherwise was a twin to this car.
    That car spent most of it’s life under a carport in L. A. yet still managed to develop a rust spot at a lower corner of the back window.
    Auntie’s car was a “nice” driver, that might have benefited from an engine upgrade. Though not entirely sold on the green over green look.

  14. ACZ

    Beautiful car except for that stupid shifter. It ads nothing to the car.

  15. Del

    This OK.

    But coming up tomorrow is a real Nova SS.

    I would rather have it than this

  16. Ron

    I like it just like it is, except I’d remove the unused column shifter, the B&M floor shifter is fine…

  17. Rattlehead

    sleeper? how the hell would anybody call a nova with headers and dual 3inch exhaust a sleeper? you’ll hear it a quarter mile away and if it has a decent cam like said then you can here that at idle so leave the floor shifter pull column shifter and see if that 383 and powerglide will chirp second gear at full throttle.

  18. Troy s

    I’d say at one time this actually was the average Nova, so so many were hopped up, even if it was just mags for looks. Of course they were cheap rides back then.
    Either the floor shifter or the column shifter, but not both. That looks kinda dumb.
    Novas are known, in this case nearly fifty years, the murder nova on street outlaws TV show kept that rep alive for the younger gens….it’s never going to be a sleeper.

  19. John C.

    Nice car, made an unnecessary hole in the floor for that shifter though, otherwise is ok.

  20. TimM

    Nice and clean and subtle!! It doesn’t scream muscle car at you!!

  21. CaCarDude

    Nice year for the Nova, I had the identical color car same year but mine was a factory SS, bought it in 1976 for $1400 and it had about 50k on the clock, it had the 350 4 spd black interior w/ bench seat, no carpet just rubber mat on floor and only option was PS, and am radio of course. It was fun car back in the day, barked the tires a lot and left my mark at many intersections.
    This listed car needs to either lose the floor shifter and go with the column shift or at least swap the column for a smooth version, looks rather goofy for the two as it is.

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