53k Genuine Miles: 1973 Chevrolet Nova Custom

Careful ownership shows, and you only need to look at the photos to gain some understanding of just how cherished this 1973 Chevrolet Nova Custom has been throughout its life. The vehicle’s condition is just striking, and all it needs is for a new owner to slide behind the wheel, and to appreciate the experience of classic car ownership. The Nova is located in Houston, Texas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $6,200, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There is also a BIN option available, and this has been set at $14,900.

Finished in Medium Orange Metallic with an Antique White top, the Nova is a striking looking car. The seller is a dealer, and received the car from its original owner. He believes that the paint is original, and if this is true, then it does look to be in quite good order. The fact that the Nova has spent its life in Texas is no bad thing because it means that the chances of there being any rust problems have been greatly reduced. Certainly, there are no visible signs of rust, while the exterior chrome and trim, along with the factory tinted glass and the original Rally Wheels, all look to be in exceptional condition.

When you are dealing with an interior finished in trim as light as Neutral Cloth, the chances of marks and staining are very high. In this car, that doesn’t appear to be a problem. The interior is said to be original, and if this is true, it’s pretty amazing that it has survived in this sort of order for the past 46-years. About the only flaws that are visible is some fading in the carpet on the driver’s side, along with one missing knob off the radio. I’m not even convinced that the fading is there, as it might also be a trick of the light. Buying the Nova won’t mean that the next owner will be drowning in luxury appointments, but apart from the spotless interior, they will at least be getting air conditioning that is said to blow ice cold, an AM radio with a rear speaker, and a remote control exterior mirror.

Lifting the hood reveals more spotless presentation. Obviously, there has been some detailing spray used in the engine bay, but looking past that, everything is still in pretty impressive condition. This is the venerable 350ci V8 engine, producing 145hp. The transmission is a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic, while the Nova also features power steering and power brakes. The owner claims that the car only has a genuine 53,161 mile on the odometer, and given the collection of documentation that he holds, I see no real reason to doubt this. It appears that the Nova runs and drives nicely. The owner provides this YouTube video of the engine running, and it sounds clean and strong. Included in the sale are all of the original owner’s manuals and documentation, including the Order Form and original Window Sticker.

For the person who is looking for a practical classic car that they can simply own and drive, this 1973 Nova could be quite a good option. It is neat and tidy and really wants for nothing. I will say that its price is right at the top end of what you would expect to pay for a Nova Sedan of these specifications and vintage. However, it really is a case of getting what you pay for, and finding an original and unmolested ’73 Nova in this condition is not an easy task. What makes this one all the more interesting is that it is a Sedan. If you search for Novas of this era that are currently for sale, you will find plenty of Coupes and Hatchbacks, but you will hardly find a Sedan. These were considered to be affordable family transport when new, and many were used up and thrown away. While the Coupe and the Hatchback will always be considered to be the most desirable variants, the sheer “disposability” of the Sedan means that they are now a pretty rare sight. Combine that with the vehicle’s overall condition, and this is a car that would seem to make a lot of sense as a classic buy.

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Comments

  1. Keith

    Very nice Nova but too many doors for that price.

    4
  2. GMoparman

    This is a beautiful old car! I would love to DD this in good weather. Its certainly not inexpensive, but not a left like this. Im sure we will soon hear from those who are triggered by “too many doors” ☺

    10
  3. That Guy

    It’s kind of amazing the car has as many miles as it does. This looks like it could be sitting on the showroom floor in 1973.

    I think the absolute best thing you can do for a car’s longevity is to keep it in a dry garage. There’s no way this car could possibly have survived in this condition if it had lived outside for any length of time.

    Oh, and the orange and white color scheme is wonderful.

    14
    • Bob C.

      My thoughts exactly on the color scheme, VERY period. Is that a vinyl roof? If so, it would be my only concern about hidden rust. Beautiful well optioned car, but a little pricey.

      2
  4. art

    Nice car but @$14,900 the dealer is penny pinching, painting the brake cylinder and booster with a $2.98 can of tacky silver paint….and buy a knob for the radio! My guess is this dealer is probably leaving an oil change and filter to the new owner.
    When one is pricing a car this high, don’t go cheap on the details. It would be nice to know that the fluids were changed, brakes checked, tires checked, filters changed and hoses renewed.
    It’s one big guess…..for $14,900.

    14
    • That AMC Guy

      Probably another trade-in the dealer paid $500 for just to take the old thing off the original owner’s hands, as a favor.

      13
  5. Troy s

    Excellent condition and I agree with the author on how these really were disposable transportation cars…to see one like this after all these years is almost like finding the needle in the hay stack!
    Not everyone’s cup of tea, the extra doors, lower power, blah blah blah…..can’t make everybody happy, this much I know.

    7
  6. Dirtyharry

    The Halloween model. I like orange. It is a V8, PS, PB, AC car. If I had a bad one and had to take it apart, paint it and sort out an interior, I would be over this price. That is what makes this one appealing. I doubt anyone will spend restoration money on a 4 door Nova, so finding one like this makes it worth having. But I like it better at 9500, all in. I can justify it because in many ways I like it better than a new Kia or some of that similar stuff. I bet it will run a long long time too.

    10
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    I had a ’74 Hatchback, it was an excellent car. The weird thing is I bought it for just $400 in 1980…so it was only 6 years old at the time. I have no idea where I got $400 in 1980, but somehow I did.

    The 250 six was running pretty rough, when someone suggested that the carb fuel filter might be clogged. I had very little experience fixing cars at that time, but somebody showed me how to change that fuel filter, and voila! the problem was solved and the car ran great thereafter. I learned a lot about working on cars with that Nova. I sold it a year later for $600. Great find.

    7
  8. jerry z

    This is a type of car to fun. Throw on a fuel injection setup, change to a 200r4 or 700r4, change rear gears to 3.73 posi, and widen the rear wheels 1 or 2 inches.

    Then it’s perfect!

    • OhU8one2

      Yeah its exceptionally clean and original. It’s also rare. Why? Cause it’s a four door sedan. In my opinion, sedans make wonderful parts cars. It’s just too bad it’s not a two door. Low mileage original gems are always my first choice over a car restored. But hey, that’s just me.

      2
      • Chunk

        It is, in fact, just you.

        6
  9. Miguel Member

    It is nice to see four doors getting some respect now.

    15
  10. Chebby Member

    Whoever bought the car from the original owners got a great, or at least reasonable, deal. The dealer markup makes the price too high for what it is, a nice old Grandma car.

    4
  11. Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice car, and nice write-up Adam.

    One nitpick: obviously no salt-on-the-roads-in-winter induced rust in Houston, but that doesn’t mean it is a rust-free environment. There can be plenty of humidity-induced rust. Houston is miserably humid almost year-round.

    6
    • Chunk

      And Galveston, or the rest of the coast… GAH!

      4
  12. FordGuy1972

    Beautiful, well preserved car. I think 14k is a little optimistic but this sedan does have a lot going for it. It’s a rare survivor in outstanding, original condition and it would be a big hit at any car show or cruise-in. We’ve all seen plenty of two-doors, probably enough to fill a parking lot. But while there were many four-doors produced, it seems very few survive today.

    Clean, original survivor 4-doors are starting to bring decent money. They’re rare and a lot cheaper than their two-door siblings. Whoever ends up with this Nova will have a really nice classic car that they can enjoy and be proud of.

    8
  13. rpol35 Staff

    Magnificent condition, hard to believe a ’73 four door sedan was preserved to this level. Price, however, is a pipe dream.

    4
  14. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. Given its condition and its relative rarity (in 4 door sedan form), I would be willing to pay up to $10k for the car. I’d still have enough money left over to have inspections done on the car, to make sure everything works like it should.

    5
  15. Djjerme

    I love Chevy II/Nova’s – my first car was a ’67 . Four door even, (and ended up owning two ’66’s and a ’63 wagon). While the ’62-’67 could pull off being a more-door, the later body styles less so. It just doesn’t look right with the extra doors. But I appreciate that these cars were always pedestrian haulers of the time, so it wasn’t uncommon to see so many of the later 4 doors out there. When they went back to a more square body style in the later 70’s the sedan look fit a bit better, but by then, the Nova was really turning in to the “No Go”..

    2
  16. Car Nut Tacoma

    The Chevy Nova I remember when I was growing up was between 1974 and 1980. A friend of my father’s had a 1977 Chevy Nova. It wasn’t the prettiest car I’ve seen at the time, but it was a fun car to ride in. It sat six adults, most of us were football player size. We’d pack up to seven, maybe eight people in the car, and we’d travel from Seattle Washington to Philipsburg Montana in a few days.

  17. Susan McKee

    Can’t place the exact neighborhood here in Houston, but check that it wasn’t in a flood area during Harvey.

    1
  18. Duaney Member

    If GM could start manufacturing this very car today, they would sell like crazy.

  19. Del

    Nice example. Bidding at 6 grand and thats all its worth and more.

    Even a two door in this shape would have a hard time hitting BIN price.

  20. bone

    The seats look to be redone ; I’m pretty sure the cloth interiors on these cars would have been a black and white herringbone design . Other than that, this car is in fantastic shape !

  21. Novaman

    I love it. Who cares if it’s a 4 door. Love that 70’s nova orange . 2 bad I already have 2 toys. I am partial to nova’s

    1
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I’ve always loved the 1968-74 Chevy Nova. :)

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