Blue Plate Survivor: 1972 Chevrolet Nova Coupe

For an enthusiast who is searching for a project car that wears the Bow-Tie, this 1972 Nova Coupe might be worth more than a passing glance. It is a solid Californian car that runs and drives, and with no immediate or urgent needs, any restoration work could be completed as time, money, and circumstances allow. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring the Nova through to us. You will find the vehicle located in Riverside, California, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The asking price for this solid survivor has been set at $8,900.

The dark blue paint that the Nova wears isn’t original, as there is some visible evidence that it was originally finished in Ascot Blue. I honestly don’t mind the current shade, but whether it remains this way will be at the discretion of the next owner. What the owner does say is that the paint is old, so it sounds like it would benefit from a refresh at some point. The car is also described as being solid, and if it has spent the majority of its life in sunny California, this really wouldn’t be surprising. Looking the car over, the exterior trim and chrome generally look quite good, while the Rally wheels also appear to be in good condition. Growing up in Australia, the Nova was not a car that we ever received Down Under, and I think that this was a shame. These are a handsome looking car, and I fully understand why they are a popular choice amongst enthusiasts today.

The interior of the Nova generally looks tired, and a refresh is on the cards. The dash pad wears a number of cracks, and while it might be able to be restored, I suspect that replacement might be a better option. The rest of the interior trim is looking quite dilapidated, so it might be the case that an entire trim kit will need to go onto the shopping list. These are readily available, and I’ve had no trouble finding kits that include the seat covers, door and rear trims, headliner, visor material, and a full carpet set for less than $1,000. This seems like a fair deal if the end result is going to be an essentially pristine interior. One great positive, especially given the car’s current location, is that it has been fitted with factory air conditioning. I noticed that the belt is off the compressor, so it might require some work before it blows cold once again.

Hiding under the hood of the Nova is (and correct me if I’m wrong) what I believe to be a 307ci V8. Hooked to the back of this is a Hydramatic transmission, while the Nova also features power steering. The presentation of the engine bay isn’t great, but the owner does say that the car runs well. Looking around, it looks like it may recently have received a new master cylinder, while the owner acknowledges that the Nova is also fitted with newer tires. It looks like driving the car in the short-term while preparing for any restoration work will be a viable option, which opens up some flexibility with this as a project car.

Even though the paint might be looking a bit on the tired side, this 1972 Nova is still a striking looking car. It would have looked extremely nice in its original Ascot Blue, but I really do like the color that it now wears. This is a car that opens up a world of options for the next owner, so I will be interested to see what our readers would do if they bought it. What would interest me more is to know whether any of our readers are interested enough to pursue this one further.

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  1. Bud

    Time for a ” Death Proof ” clone .

  2. jerry z

    Post is deleted, car must have sold alreadly, not surprising by pics.

  3. Tony Primo

    This car is a clean slate. Not worth any more money with the matching numbers 307. First thing I would do is toss the bench seat into the rafters for the next owner and find some bucket seats out of a second generation Camaro.

  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Probably bought up by a shop that is going to make it into a “Custom” and get 70K for it at next year’s B-J auction. Did you see how many 600 HP Novas were offered?

  5. dave

    And while AC is needed in sunny CA, heat is not.

  6. TimM

    Clean looking car!! The driver side front fender seems brighter than the rest of the car!! Wonder if it was in an accident??? I would pull the anemic 307 and put a big block with buckets like Tony Primo said!! A five speed Tremec with a console would be sweet!! No clone SS badging though!! There’s enough clones out there and I’d rather have it look sleepy!!!

  7. Terry J

    “Hooked to the back of this is a Hydramatic transmission”. Good write up Adam, thanks for taking the time. Not to be picky, but a Hydramatic is very different from the Turbo Hydramatic in that Nova. Not to be confused with the Roto Hydramatic, Ha ha. Of course the original Hydramatic ,1939-1956, was the first automatic transmission developed for passenger automobile use and as such was the grandpa of them all. :-) Terry J

  8. Troy s

    Aftermarket valve covers on the 307 were good for fifty horsepower… some teenagers mind. Cool Nova.

    • Brent

      Chrome valve covers where worth 50 hp. Finned aluminum covers like on this Nova where good for at least 75 hp. Add a set of mags, chrome air cleaner, fake hood scoop and a revirb for the AM radio and you could be pushing 600 – 700 hp! Ah I remember well!!

  9. Del

    I have a nose for these and this one is way over priced


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