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Base Model Nova: 1962 Chevy II

1962 Chevy II

It’s no wonder the Nova didn’t do so well in the Spanish speaking world, especially when you consider that “no va” means “no go” in Spanish. The Nova was the top model of the Chevy II, so this base model car isn’t a Nova per say. The Chevy II was built to compete with Ford’s first compact, the Falcon. The development program was 18 months, from “build it please” to production, the fastest ever for GM. This Chevy II is listed on craigslist in Sacramento has been sitting since 1991. It’s a 2 door hardtop, but it’s also a six cylinder with the automatic. There’s little rust, just a bit in the floor pan on the driver’s side. If it’s as nice as described it might be worth the $5,000 asking. It runs, but doesn’t have any brakes.

nova right rear

It’s described as complete and original with the original paint and there’s no doubt of that in our minds! The interior could be useable. The seller is also offering to include a rebuilt 350 engine and transmission. I guess most people would install a V8 and repaint it. It’s actually just down the road from me. I’d love to just get it running and drive it. The paint might not even be so bad, it might even polish up. It could be a nice driver or a mean hot rod!


  1. 64 bonneville

    As GM used acrylic lacquer in the 1960s’ most likely the paint will not buff out. The weak toe board in the front is an easy repair, as is the dent in the deck lid. I would re do it stock and enjoy the decent gas mileage.

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  2. Mike H. Mike H.

    Oh please. . . Don’t perpetuate that old B.S. urban legend:



    The Nova sold very well in Mexico and Venezuela because it was a good car for the time. Nova and “no va” – to a native Spanish speaker – aren’t even a little bit the same thing.

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    • Gerry

      My thought exactly. What a silly thing to perpetuate.

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  3. JW454

    No Nova name plate? Then what’s those things on the rear of the quarter panels that says Nova?
    If GM put a “Nova” badge on it, it’s a Nova. It looks to me like these have been there for the last 53+ years so….

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  4. Mike R

    Assuming the 350 combo is decent, that’s a fair deal..

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  5. RayT Member

    Every time I see one of these, all I can think of is “Bad Bascom,” a Chevy II built by Bill Thomas, the creator of the Cheetah. Had a full-on 327 and 4-speed, and — I think — the diff. and rear suspension from a Sting Ray. It was stripped out and had some fiberglass body panels, too.

    I’ve always wanted to have a slightly tamer replica of it. I saw it in person once, and to a young teenager, it was wicked fast. I bet I’d still think it wicked fast!

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  6. Vince Habel

    Small block time with a 4 speed for this one.

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  7. J Jefferson

    The ‘no va’ is not the only car that has a questionable name in another language:

    Toyota MR2 is pronounced ‘merde’ in french, which is the same as dookie
    Chevy HHR is pronounced ‘achat cher’ in french, which is ‘expensive purchase’

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    • Toast54

      Ours was the Huh-Hur

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  8. JW

    When I was a teenager I had one of these in white with red interior, I bought it from a quickie I’ll loan to anyone used car lot in Chicago, what a mistake it didn’t make it home to Aurora on I-88 ( I-5 back then ) before it broke down. It was a straight 6 with a 2 speed auto, it wasn’t fast but it got me around until a old guy with a couple drinks too many turned his Lincoln in to my lane head on. I never really liked that car so being totaled and me not hurt was a great day.

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  9. Joe DiNoia

    The Chevy II had 4 levels.The 100,200,300 and the 400 series.When you got a 400 series, you got the Nova.The badge on the rear 1/4 panel states “NOVA,Chevy II 400.You could get a Convertible,Sport,Coupe,Sedan or Wagon.

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  10. bradshaw from primer

    I think the trim levels were chevy II 100, 200, 300 and Nova….base engine was the 2.5 liter 4 that became the crossflow Iron Duke …..

    Knew several engineers who had the 4 cyl 4 door as their family car.

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  11. Doug Towsley

    I had 3 Novas, one a 63SS, a 64 SS and a 1972 Rally Nova. The 64SS was lightly wrecked but repaired. 283 and a Muncie 4 speed. Very fun little car. I bought it in 1984 on a US Air Force Base off the Lemon lot. I stupidly blew the motor, and replaced it with a 327. But then found in a impound lot a clean little 63SS. Theres big differences in them not readily obvious. 4 lug wheels, some trim, and the 63 had the “Satiny 6” as period advertising went. It also had a powerglide and power steering assist. I was young an dumb and limited on how many cars i could own, so combined the 63 and 64 and made a hot rod out of it. Scrapped most of the rest. DUMB! Turns out the 64 was way more valuable.
    At the end of the day after 20 yrs ownership i tired of the crappy and dangerous brakes, totally dangerous suspension, and went in another direction. Now days theres full suspension and brake kits that would have made it tolerable, It WAS WICKED FAST. but too many near misses and underwear soiling events. I sold it. Still have the pictures and memories. But at the end of the day it was a early economy car built to a price and severe engineering defects. I am enjoying building my wifes 69 Chevelle much more. Period class and fun but a much better platform. (I DO very much miss my Rally Nova though)

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  12. Smittydog

    Good car. Just fix it and cruise around once in a while.

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  13. mtshootist1

    I had a 62 four door sedan Chevy II in high school, my grandfather had bought it new in 62, and I started driving it around 67. It had a 194 ci six cylinder with a three speed on the column. My great uncle was the chevy/GM dealer in Laurence KS and so my gramps ordered it with heavy duty suspension and cooling system. He used it out on our ranch to drive around the pastures. By the time I inherited it, it had brown Union Plug chewing tobacco stains down the drivers side door, which stood out even though it was a brown car. I discovered JC Whitney, and put a lift kit in the rear amongst other things that I am too ashamed to say here. it finally met its demise on the highway south of town when it got hit broadside by a oil field Diamond T with drilling equipment on the flatbed. literally ran over the back part of the car. Anyway, that 194 was actually pretty good on the county roads, and I could do slides around corners, I could beat small block Chevys thru the “quarter mile” because I wasn’t burning rubber. Its a wonder I am still alive….

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