6K Mile 1971 Nova Revisited

1971 Nova Survivor

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We featured this Nova the other day, but the seller expressed some frustration about the way we presented the car. They felt that we stirred up some undue doubts. So, we agreed to run the story again if they provided better photos and proof of documentation. They complied and have relisted it here on craigslist. They also filled us in more on the story. Apparently the same person owned and drove the car for the first 20 years of the cars life. That was on the island of Puerto Rico though, so they didn’t rack up many miles. After the owner passed away, the car then went into storage.

250 Inline Six

The ocean air had worked its magic on the paint by that time though so it was resprayed sometime in the 90s. Finally, it was pulled out and shipped to the States in 2011. The seller has the license renewals from the first owner and some old photos of the car. The full story does make the mileage claims more believable, but there are still questions about how much of the car was restored in the 90s and how much is still original.

Do Not Touch

That tear on the seat is conveniently covered with a “do not touch” sign this time around. That rip isn’t really a deal breaker anyway because it could have happened the day it left the lot in 1971 for all we know. As is always the case with a purported survivor, you will want to get closeups of the wear surfaces and door jams before making a deal.

Clean Quarters

The paint looks a lot better in these photos too. It’s funny how the presentation of a car can have such an effect on our perception of it. The seller mentioned to me that people keep flagging his craigslist ad and he’s not sure why. I can think of a few reasons, but after talking to him, I do feel better about the whole thing. This is one of those deals that you will want to do in-person though.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. JW454

    Just by the act of the seller covering over the damage to seat tells me he is trying to be deceptive. If you’re selling something with known damage and you conceal it to improve your chances for a sale that’s dishonest in my opinion. Why should I believe anything else this seller says? I think BF and the readership was fair the first time this car was presented. What we have here is a whiner.

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  2. RayT

    Looks like a decent car, regardless of its history. For me, 7500 scoots would be way out of line unless it were configured/optioned more specifically to my tastes (2-door, 327, 4-speed manual trans., etc., etc.) which it isn’t.

    From the collector’s point of view, I agree with JW 454. But to me this is not really a “collector” car. It’s a nice oldie, and no more than that.

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  3. HoA Howard AMember

    I didn’t see what all the hub-bub was about this car. I think it was accurately portrayed the 1st time. My grandfather bought a brand new ’71 Nova ( only a 2 door and a 350 V-8) same color, same options ( not many) even the rubber floor mat and hub caps. I wish people wouldn’t rip on someone’s car, but that’s like asking for world peace. I rarely comment on the price either, none of my business, as I probably won’t buy the car anyway, ( well, I shouldn’t say that, if the right pickup comes along, I will go for it) and use this site, as a portal into the past of all the cars I came in contact with (literally hundreds). Thanks for a great site. BTW, this Nova, I feel, is an excellent example of a 4 door ’71 Nova. Few kept the 4 door, ( which I like) and most were junked.

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  4. Rob

    My first car was a 1970 2-door with the same drivetrain purchased in 1977 rust free (in upstate NY that was something) and 20k on it. It was turquoise but I had it painted midnight metallic blue, threw some Keystone Klassics, and air shocks on it (to accommodate the 60’s, remember those?) and had a blast. I loved that car. Had plans to put a 350 in it but some old lady pulled out in front of me and I t-boned her. Replaced the front clip and sold it. I would love to have another, but I prefer the 2-door.

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  5. Chebby

    It’s not a “survivor” if you’ve repainted it. That word has become meaningless. Technically, every car that hasn’t rusted away or been crushed is a survivor.

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  6. Frankie Paige

    seeing a car stuffed in a barn makes some drool at the possibilities of making a profit over a potentially rare vehicle. The pics usually are poor, dark and very few and the seller says very little in the ad about the car and as usual they expect you to pay their usually high asking price. While he car might be worth a lot I skip past them. I look for pictures that are clear, not too far away. This nova looked good in the earlier ad, but it’s the sellers fault for not providing documents and better pics.

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  7. Rick

    Too many doors!

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    • TomMember

      Amen. unless this is nostalgic and bringing back childhood memories…pass.

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  8. Waldon Herdman

    All this fuss over a plane-jane 4dr???

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    • Woodie Man

      Succinctly put, Sir. And dont forget the six banger. Plain Jane does not quite capture it despite its …um…..paint job.

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  9. Mike R

    Kind of a neat little car, even for a basic 6, but besides the repaint, looks almost a bit too shiny under the hood, given the exposure to salt air…

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  10. Mark S

    There was some really great things about GM cars back in the time line of this car. Firstly every thing was so interchangeable you could put just about any engine on any trans (within reason) and install into any GM product. Second guys who liked to take a 30’s 40’s 50’s anything and modernize it this car was your donor. The front sub frames were bolt on and contained trans mount, motor mounts, (A) arm suspension, steering gear and linkage, brakes, and radiator support all in one package. It was very common for someone building a hot rod coupe to cut off the front half of the frame on the project car then fit and weld one of these subframes in its place.This made for a very easy custom car and then you could put what ever you wanted on it no fussing around.

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  11. dogwater

    This car would be great for a first time driver (teen) back and forth to school or a job EZ to work on, price should be about 1500.00

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  12. krash

    ad deleted…..

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