45,000 Mile Estate Find: 1969 Chevrolet Nova

Let’s see a show of hands for all of you who have a will and know where all of your cars (and other not quite as important things) are going after that fateful day comes? Hmm.. maybe half of you. This 1969 Chevrolet Nova was an estate find and it looks like a dream project for someone and the bidding is pretty spirited, so to speak, here on eBay. It’s located in Waterbury, Connecticut and the bid is over $10,000 with no reserve.

I also don’t have a will and my wife will have a hard time unloading a few storage units full of obscure cars and motorcycles. Speaking of estates, this estate find Nova turns my crank. If I were to have a third-generation Nova this is the year that I would want. I still prefer the Chevy II version but this one is hard to beat if a person were looking for an early third-gen car. That dent on the top of the LF fender is it for dents or dings, according to the seller.

The seller says about the condition, “body very solid” and that the rocker panels had “previous repair” but that it’s wearing its original paint. I’m assuming everywhere other than the repaired rocker panels. I can’t quite tell if this right quarter panel has been repaired or not? Maybe it’s just a little dirty. I do see a few other creases and dings but hopefully there’s no rust to deal with. One thing I do know is that I would not change the wheels in any way other than to put some new skins on this Nova. There is no better look for me than those dog dish caps over painted rims and blackwall tires.

Back when seats weren’t tarted up and coddling – look at that smooth, seamless, bolster’less, armrest’less, heater’less sea of vinyl! You’ll want to hang onto this steering wheel when heading into corners, that flat seat isn’t going to hold you in place. It looks perfect, though, and that’s all that matters. The interior looks like it’s in great condition. Hagerty lists a #4 fair condition 1969 Nova with a 307 V8 as being worth $10,800 so this one is getting close.

The 307 cubic-inch V8 “runs and drives shifts good”, so there ya go. This 307 would have had around 200 hp when new. It looks a little dirty under the hood as it should look after being stored for who knows how long. The red hoses would be the first thing to go away under my watch but that’s an easy fix. The mileage is listed as 45,000 miles which would have to make it one of the lowest mileage Novas left. Are there any other fans of these early third-generation Novas out there? Now, go out and get your paperwork in order, just in case…


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  1. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    nice…anyone check this one out ?

    Like 1
  2. RoKo

    1970 had those fender gills, not 1969.

    • PepperJack

      Had a ’69 SS…and it had the fender grills…fwiw

    • Karlos

      au contraire, mi amigo. My 1969 Nova, SS, 396/375hp, that I ordered, came with the gills.

      • George

        my mom’s 69 SS396 had the gills!

  3. GearHead Engineering

    I drove through Waterbury on my way home from work today. But I wouldn’t be stopping to see this car. I know it’s hard to tell from pics, but I’m pretty sure I see some rear wheel well lips that have been rebuilt with body filler.

    – John

    • 72-390

      I was thinking maybe someone went for a semi-tubbed look. Not sure for what other reason you’d flare/roll them out like that…

  4. Yenko Deuce

    Fender gills were ’69-’70.

  5. MJames

    Lots of bondo in the eBay pics.. Skeptical of this 45,000m “survivor”

  6. John T

    What paperwork? Nice car in decent shape … I too like the third-generation Nova. Can’t tell if that is a Powerglide (2-speed) or a TurboHydramatic (3-speed) automatic to go with the 307V8. Doesn’t really matter to me, I’m holding out for the straight six three-on-the tree.

  7. Pa Tina

    I hereby proclaim 1969 as the acme of automotive design. It has been a downhill slide ever since.

    Like 1
    • TriPowerVette

      @Pa Tina – You have missed the 1970-’71 Cudas/Challengers, the 1970 -’73 Trans-Ams (including that magnificent Super Duty), “The most beautiful Corvette ever produced” – according to Mr. Duntov (I agree) – the 1973, The 1970-’74 Chargers, the 1970 GTX/Roadrunner, among many others.

      My personal cutoff (for design only) is 1975; the last of the c3 Corvette convertibles. I actually like the 1978-1982 Corvette design, but they were such pigs, I can’t bring myself to include them. I also like the 1971-’74 Mustang, but again they just get this honorable mention.

      The Automotive Dark Ages had 2 components: Design and Engine (transmissions and suspensions (I include tires in this) continued to progress through the Great Miasma).

      I gave you a thumbs up – not out of agreement – but for taking a reasoned stand.

      • Pa Tina

        1974 Charger? Ouch!

      • TriPowerVette

        @Pa Tina – Your selection of ONE example, in order to damn all of the cars covered in my response to yours is ludicrous. Your argument presents at least 7 fallacies:
        1) Fallacy of Cherry Picking (only partially applicable – since only some of the ‘cherries picked’ are fraudulent)
        2) Fallacy of Misleading Vividness (involves describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence)
        3) Straw Man Argument
        4) Fallacy of composition (assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole)
        5) Fallacy of Hasty Generalization
        6) Affirmative Conclusion From a Negative Premise (relied on false evidence)
        And finally;
        7) The ‘Draw Your Own Conclusion Fallacy’ (In this fallacy of logos, an otherwise uninformed audience is presented with carefully selected and groomed, “shocking facts” and then prompted to immediately “draw their own conclusions.” The ‘uninformed audience’ mentioned is obviously not the BF regular readers, since you will fool few of them, but rather it is the casual reader you desire to sway)

        I have therefore not included pictures of all of the car models/years I mentioned, rather, only the year/model you chose to (spuriously) denigrate.

        The 1974 Charger that I include obviously better represents the breed… and is breath-taking.

      • Pa Tina

        Wow! Lighten up Francis, and switch to decaf. I picked the first one that came up on Google Images. And your example is equally ugly and breathtakingly so. Are you going to take my “Thumbs Up” away?

      • George

        you forgot the most beautiful of all the 1970 cars and One year only style 1970 GTO!

    • Derek

      That’s your opinion and you know what they say about opinions? LOL

      • Pa Tina

        No. What do they say about opinions? LOL

  8. Beatnik Bedouin

    Chiming in with GearHead and James, this Nova is not what it’s claimed to be.

    Caveat emptor…

  9. Troy s

    The sleeper image for the ages, imagine this pedestrian looking Nova running a well worked small block or nasty big block with quiet mufflers, with only the tick-ity-tick idle giving away what lurked under the hood. Few gear heads would be fooled by it though.
    Nice car, hate the fact cars like this plain Nova are going for five digits, but it’s still a neat car to look at. Cheap thrills no more.💰😟

    • robb

      Waterbury’s not exactly the IQ capitol of CT .. what’s the $$ upside after someone actually buy’s this dog?

  10. Curt k

    Looks to me like the rear lips have been rolled with hammer or jack.could just bre a bondo jodb.thats whats it looks like to me.

  11. SquareLeft

    The fender gills were first available in 1969 as part of the Exterior Decor package.

    Also, the front seat has been partially recovered with generic vinyl that has a pattern that’s very similar to the stock ‘inserts’. If you look closely, you’ll see that the front seat-backs retain their original patterned covers, as does the complete rear seat.

    As far as the sheet metal goes, replacement panels are readily available at somewhat reasonable prices. I would, however, want to inspect this car in person before bidding!

  12. Joe Haska

    I am not feeling it, usually a low mile car like this gives me the goose bumps, but this one feels off, something is not right, I would want a real close look, before I would jump.

  13. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    I only have one comment to make Scotty. Why do you not have a will?

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Oh, Scotty has a will, alright, the will to own every cool car that he sees. ( and sometimes caves in if the car is REALLY cool)( hence the storage units) Too bad life doesn’t work that way for some, like him and me, and whole lot of others here, I bet.

      • TriPowerVette

        @Rube Goldberg – No truer words… That’s my thumbs up.

  14. Dick Johnson

    Good will hunting. Don’t know where mine is.

  15. Gregory

    This is one of those cars that the owner s
    We’re told for years it’s worth a fortune by people who came across there path and we’re probably asked is it for sale Everytime it was out which gave the owners a false sense of the cars value and condition believing it much better in there eyes than it really is.
    The car has clearly had quite a bit of filler and auto parts store touch up paint done in many areas visible in the photos.thata why it always pays to see it in person unless you’re okay upfront expecting the worst and hoping for the best

  16. Metoo

    Except for the vinyl top, really nice car.

  17. Ezeerider

    Everything the author loves about this car are the things I hate about it. I think it needs bucket seats, a console, floor shifter and dome deep dish Torq Thrusts or Aluminum Slots.

    • TriPowerVette

      @Ezeerider – You forgot the crate 502 + stickies.

  18. Fred w.

    When you can see body work in photos, something ain’t right….

  19. Rube Goldberg Member

    My grandfather bought a new ’71 Nova very similar to this, which we thought was a bold move, trading in his ’65 Impala 4 door, only gramps went for the 350, 2bbl, 3 speed auto, PS, an AM radio and a clock ( my grandma always insisted on a clock in the cars) Rubber mat, small hub caps, and no fancy roof treatment ( that may have been added later) It was a fun car, but needed a 4 bbl. to really spin the tires. It was the last car he bought.

    • SquareLeft

      @Rube Goldberg
      The four-barrel thing was probably a mistake on Chevrolet’s part, as the 350/four-barrel engine was reserved for (and the only engine available in) the Nova SS in ’71 and ’72. My dad bought a new Malibu in ’72, also with the same two-barrel engine. We swapped the carb and intake early-on for a four-barrel Holley set-up. Made a BIG difference in drivability!

      I certainly can’t agree with you… the plain-Jane look is, to many of us, what makes Novas such sought-after cruisers!

  20. Metoo

    The upholstery does not seem to go with it. It came to me that it looks just like that we had in 70’s AF pickups we drove. Ugly as sin, but virtually indestructible. Keep it in pickups.

  21. The_Driver

    One of my uncles, had a green “Acadian”, on that same body style, but it was some kind of metallic mint green.

    Man, that car was PEDESTRIAN, but I have good memories of my cousin (who was not old enough to legally drive), driving me around my dads home town!

  22. Karlos

    And another thing….I do not remember every seeing a yellow engine in a Chevy.

    • jdjonesdr

      You may need to adjust your monitor. It looks like Chevrolet orange to me.

  23. newfieldscarnut

    I feel sorry for the “high” bidder .


    I remember Novas were mostly driven by little old ladies. Look at the options on this one. Old lady stuff. A very few came with a hot 396, but most were grocery getters. No interest.

  25. JEFF S.

    I found a 1969 Nova on autotrader classics for $14995
    Cadillac, MI
    1969 Chevrolet Nova Newly built 383 stroker, full mechanical roller. Scorpion 1.5 roller rockers, Howards stud girdles, aluminum heads, Lunati cam. Th 350 built for motor. Body in good condition, interior needs some minor work. No heat/ac,ps,pb. Fiberglass front end, with metal inner fenders. 20 gall. fuel cell in trunk. Needs headliner. seat belts, seat brackets, and possibly some wiring. Still needs vacuum hose for modulator valve run. Will not start. Less than 900 miles on motor and transmission. New battery. Does have one patch panel on passenger side.373 posi-10 bolt. -Vehicle is on consignment and at our clients home -Please Call First and talk to a rep at 231-468-2809 EXT 1 -Showroom is by appointment only Please Call -If you would like a FREE Listing please visit our consignment page or Call

    It has nice bucket sets and gage package. Even with the minor problems listed, I would rather take my chances with this one.

    $10,100 is just too much for this white 45K??? Estate Find!


  26. Jason G.

    WOW I would grab it as it is 23 miles away. 10K little


    Jason, that will take looong arms!

  28. John Gall

    Yeah, that red heater hose is Dayco. Meh…
    If it was Gates firewall heater hose, you’d have something.

  29. robb

    $10,000 Hagerty value is just plain nuts on 307 Nova! I’ve seen a better interior on School bus!

  30. stan l.

    68 thru 72,s all looked the same 67,s where different & the 73,s were different

  31. don

    total bs on 45k miles! try 245k miles

  32. 123pugsy

    Bondo bucket.

    Floors are more than likely toast.

  33. Howard

    68 was the only year for that style of front side marker lights with the engine displacement. They were used on all chevies in 1968 and only in 1968. But the engine is a 69 or newer model, 68 was the last year to use the oil filler neck in the intake manifold, and also the last year for the alternator being mounted on the driver’s side. In 69 they moved the oil fill cap to the driver’s side valve cover and moved the alternator to the passenger side, just like on this engine. Either the car has a later model engine or it’s a 69 with 68 fenders.

    • SquareLeft


      The switch from the ‘two-box’ side marker lights to the long rectangles with the engine displacement above them occurred on the 1970 models. The markers on this car are correct for a 1969.

      See Chevrolet’s showroom brochure:

  34. David Ulrey

    I hate to join the Nay Sayers but in this case I think that for the most part they are correct. I love these but I just don’t feel like it’s all it’s claimed to be. Something just off here.

  35. Derek

    I just come on here to read all the snarky comments by people who can’t just enjoy the pics and insist on forcing their opinion down other’s throats. I love all old cars and love seeing these finds even if I have no interest in them.

    Like 1
  36. sluggo

    temptation would be too great to recreate a period hot rod from the 70s, Air shocks (HiJackers) Mickey Thompson 50s or 60s n back, 6x 9 Pioneer speakers in boxs on the back window shelf with door speakers too and a Kraco 7 band graphic equalizer and a Kenwood tape deck.
    Headers, edelbrock w/holley, some glass packs or side pipes, CB radio (For where the kegger partys gonna be or cruising on main street) and a “Ass Grass or Gas, Nobody rides for free” bumper sticker with Bostons “More than a feeling” or Some Ted Nugent blaring with a bunch of your friends..

  37. 123pugsy

    The price went down? Huh?
    It was just 8500 and jumped quickly to 9800

  38. SnuffySmiff

    My first ‘true love’ had one of these except hers was blue with same black vinyl top. It was quite a slug for the amount of gas it drank!

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