6-Cylinder Project: 1970 Chevrolet Nova

It’s refreshing when a Chevy Nova pops up that’s not an SS model, real deal or clone. Just a regular, well-used car, like this 1970 edition. This coupe has an inline-six, Powerglide automatic and power steering. It aspires for greater things with the addition of aftermarket wheels, which we all know makes them go faster. This one’s going to need a bit of work if you’re planning a restoration, and the same applies if your goal is to turn it into yet another SS tribute. It’s located in Raeford, North Carolina and available here on eBay where the no reserve auction rests at $3,050.

Before it was called the Nova, the car was known as the Chevy II, introduced in 1962 to join the compact car revolution. It was Chevy’s second attempt as the Corvair in 1960 was a little too unconventional for doing battle with the Ford Falcon and Rambler American. The car was still called the Chevy II going into 1968, although the Nova name had long been the upper trim level. The auto simply became the Chevrolet Nova in 1970 after two years of transitional nameplates (Chevy II Nova in 1968 and Chevrolet Chevy Nova in 1969). The ’70 was basically a carryover from ’69, with subtle changes. It was the final year for the SS396, although that doesn’t apply here since this car is a six-banger.

The seller of this Plain Jane 1970 Nova says it’s a runner, but he broke off a bolt trying to repair the choke, so both a rebuilt carb and a new choke will be needed at a minimum for the likely 230 cubic inch engine with a 2-speed automatic. We’re told that no title is required for this car in the State of North Carolina, but someone with more knowledge of the NC DMV would know better. The seller has had the car for three years and used it as a daily driver during this time.

A coat of boiled linseed oil was used to give the patina on the car a shine. I don’t know if that just adds more work to the job of preparing the car to be repainted. We’re told there is lots of rust, perhaps more than we can see, with the problem areas being front of the rear wheel wells and the trunk floor. Nova’s usually rusted in the rear quarters and trunk lid, too, so the buyer should check those areas out as well. The car is said to be red in color, which would have made the car pop back in the day. Someone has added a hood with a power bulge in it just like the SS.

The interior is in bad shape, although the seller believes the floors are okay. The front bench seat has a Walmart cover over it, so we’re guessing it’s shredded. The door panels are showing their age and a cover sits over the dash pad, no doubt hiding cracks (I had this same vintage Nova, and I did the same thing). The stated mileage is 100,000, so this car has been up and down and all around over the years.

1970 was a good sales year for the Nova, but not a record-breaker. 307,000 cars were sold in total, with 226,000 being the coupe and 167,000 having the inline-six under the hood. So, more cars were made like this one than the SS396. I had a 350 with a 2-barrel and Powerglide and regret not keeping the car 40 years after the fact. According to Hagerty, your basic six-cylinder Nova in Fair condition is worth about $8,000. It might be a stretch to include this Nova in that category, but if you do, the current bid would be cheap way to get into one of these cars.


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    A v8 swap if I ever saw one.

    Like 5
  2. Restytech Member

    There’s a reason all that dark primer is there. Move on this very carefully.

    Like 4
  3. Stangalang

    Yenko clone..anyone got a spare 427?

    Like 2
  4. Jeffo

    I might be the odd man out but I would build the 6. Dare to be different.

    Like 8
    • Jost

      Normally I would agree with leaving the 6. If it was in “great ” condition i probably would agree, so I am not opposed to 6 cyl. cars, thats how they we’re when new. But this car needs restoration, so since its apart do it in a way that makes it fun to drive and have some more value. I’m not a “big block in everything fan” , Just a nice restoration with either a period correct 327/4 speed, or to keep things simple a nice 383 stroker crate motor and a 5 speed.. a 3:55 posi , nice interior and paint and enjoy the car . Not saying you are wrong , just my thoughts

      Like 1
    • Mark

      I have a 396 that would be perfect for this cheap nova.Goid barn find, finally.

      Like 1
      • Jost

        Mark, in that case I would ignore my small block opinion, can’t let a good bb go to waste with a perfectly good Nova sitting there.

        Like 1
  5. David Plowman

    You do need a title in NC don’t let them fool you. You can do a bill of sale but be ready for the DMV paperwork and some money for a title bond. Just saying. Been there and done that.

    Like 5
  6. JCA Member

    Hmmm…seller states “LOTS OF RUST” yet all of the floor are still there and solid? He must not be a Barn Finds reader lol

    Like 1
  7. dogwater

    Great car for upgrades easy to work on fun project but no title ?

    Like 1
  8. david r

    I don’t understand how people expect to sell cars or motorcycles with no title.

    Like 2
  9. Richard Martin Member

    If it’s a 250 cu. in. instead of a 230 cu.in. then build it up. Just sayin’

    Like 0
  10. Timothy Gyll

    I have a 76 nova with the inline 6,it’s going through a complete frame off restoration at this time. I purchased it new in 76,the sweet little 6 has over 2 hundred thousand on it. Everything will be back to stock however that little 6 will be supercharged with running gear to support it.

    Like 2
  11. Steve R

    That’s because there are more than a few stupid potential “buyers” out there that think it’s not a problem to get one. I agree with you, but there arel people on this site that think otherwise and are more than happy to express their opinion.

    Steve R

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.