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Bone Stock Survivor: 1972 Chevy Nova V8

left front

This Nova looks like the ideal barn find, rust free, original and complete. It has been reposted on craigslist and then flagged several times for some reason. I called and talked to the fellow and he’s a nice guy and the ad appears legit. This Nova has been sitting for 13 years. It’s a 307 V8 car with a 3 speed, column shift. It runs and drives and it appears the 60,000 miles showing may be accurate. This Orange delight is in Houston with an asking price of $16,500. That seems really high for a car like this, but once again, what is original worth?


This Nova is a basic as they come. The interior looks exactly like the taxis I drove back then with plain vinyl seats and no carpet. It has only an AM radio, full hubcaps and a remote mirror. This is how my father would have ordered it except  for another pair of doors.

1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame

Underneath there is only surface rust and no signs of damage. It does have some scale that should be treated sooner rather than later.

right front

It’s hard to believe this hasn’t had a respray. Do you see any signs it’s been repainted? It is puzzling why someone would order a car this way. Could it have been a fleet vehicle?

left rear

What would you do with this Nova? It would make a great sleeper. One could upgrade the suspension and brakes, add a crate motor and modern transmission. But wouldn’t it also be great to leave it stock? It would be tempting, though to add A/C and a few performance upgrades when the wife wasn’t looking!


  1. Avatar photo Bill

    Way overpriced.

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  2. Avatar photo RayT

    Way, way, way too much money for this! Like maybe three times too much….

    The temptation to get a little creative would be, as David suggests, strong. Fortunately, the majority of the upgrades he’s thinking of would be bolt-on jobs. If you saved the original pieces, you could probably “restore” the Nova if that ever became worthwhile. And only a real enthusiast would be able to tell the difference between a garden-variety 307 and a heavyweight 350 if you paid attention to engine paint, rocker covers and air cleaner!

    If the price drops, I can see someone having a lot of fun with this.

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  3. Avatar photo Chris in Nashville

    Must have some good drugs down there in Houston…. I would have pegged it in the $7-8000 price range…. but that asking price is completely insane!

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    • Avatar photo Seller

      Apparently many of you guys commenting have never built a car. In Texas we have to deal with low ballers so in turn you have to start high on your price. To build a car right you will invest $20k to $30k and we are not even talking labor. I’m sure you can find these cars around every corner where you live and all the restoration parts are dirt cheap right? Again, “yall” don’t have a clue. I’ve been doing this for 40 years so I know what I’m talking about. Oh and the location will very often dictate the price. This car is a very rare find in Texas. Most of the time our cars are rust buckets so you are extremely lucky if you can find one like this. Just to find a car this age with all of its original parts is very rare. This falls in the muscle car era so many times these cars were modified, cut, and changed in more ways than one. At least you know what you have with a car like this and you don’t have the worry of what poor quality work the new shiny paint is hiding. I would take this one owner car over one that has had multiple owners and who knows what all has been done to it. Get real people. If you don’t know what you are talking about then why even comment.

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  4. Avatar photo DRV

    Although it would be great to see originals get top dollar because they deserve it and are the most desirable to me, this is priced at least one third too much for reality right now.
    What is hardest to find if you want one? A good original.

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  5. Avatar photo Bubba Smith

    Wow for that type of money I would expect a big block or LS swap to be under the hood. As is it’s a decent deal at 5 to 6K…would make a nice sleeper. Sure its original…but needs a lot of TLC and with a 307 who really cares…its a boat anchor at best!

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  6. Avatar photo Donnie

    Some clown wheel by it and put SS emblems on it.

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    • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

      Clown wheel?

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      • Avatar photo Tom Member

        wheel, will, whatever, right? By, Buy, whatever. At least it is not like a guy who came in for us to work on his “Ford Nova” once. Clearly the big PRISM Ford sticker on the rear window determined the brand! Nice.

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  7. Avatar photo Tom Member

    DRV – your comment is the best one here. Sorry guys, I am not saying this car’s asking price isn’t a little too high, BUT if you buy a rust riddled, rode hard and put away wet car like most we see on this site you will spend $20K buying new sheet metal, welding and fabrication, trim and interior pieces which this car offers….most of which look REALLY clean and solid to where it can be cleaned up or reconditioned, you will save a TON of time and labor dollars on top of it.

    If you have restored cars of both types, you will know this car is in a sense “worth the money”. They are only original once AND they aren’t making any more of them! There is a good cost and price to be paid for an original unmolested car.

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  8. Avatar photo Gary I

    You can get restored Novas in the twenty to thirty range. No way this is a sixteen thousand dollar car in my opinion. I’m thinking maybe ten grand to someone who appreciates an original car.

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    • Avatar photo Tom Member

      Gary I, yes I agree at a 10K car, maybe a little more if when in person the body and interior are in really excellent condition where a great detailing a set of new wheels and tires would make it a nice driver on the weekends.

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  9. Avatar photo jim s

    my family bought one of these new which i drove, i think it was 1968-70 range, that was a base model. 4 cyl motor, 3 on the tree, 2 dr, no options at all. driving this car every day would be a better workout then a gym membership. i think this car will end up being cloned into an SS or yanko. great find

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  10. Avatar photo stillrunners

    any one notice a re-paint….?…..and yes those are Texas plates….and stickers on the window…..

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  11. Avatar photo Luke Fitzgerald

    Never liked the look of these cars – but after seeing the car chase in the “seven ups” I do – this car is worth every cent – and he wants to trade your rubbish as well! – after seeing bombs pull nearly 5 figures – how can this be a bad deal? ( that appears very negotiable ) you Americans are bloody spoilt

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  12. Avatar photo Jack NW PA Member

    I like it very much,my favorite color too! I had a green 1969 with the 307 3 spd. however the first thing I did was a floor shifter and 3 deuce intake and carbs. wreck it twice and finish it off in a demo derby. stupid kid. I would just clean and polish this one up and drive it on Sundays.

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  13. Avatar photo David Member

    I would always take an origional car over a “restored” one unless I knew who did the restoration. There is no way you can buy a well restored car for 25K. What you get is bondo and rust.

    You need to consider the value of the car to you, not just its market value. If you plan to buy a car and flip it or sell it soon, that’s one thing. If you plan to keep it, that’s another. For example, over 20 years ago I spent way too much money on my old Mercedes, but I’ve have years of enjoyment out of it and the $8,000 investment ($2500 plus restoration costs) has been well worth it.

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  14. Avatar photo Joe

    Car looks pretty solid overall. 307 and three on the tree makes me really question asking price. Wondering what the last year for column shifters was in American cars. Know trucks went to mid 80’s. 1972 must be close to last year???

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  15. Avatar photo KyleK

    I bought a red 72 but with a parchment interior and a 6cyl auto back in 06. It had 40k on the clock and I paid $5500 for it. It was a really nice original. After I sold it the Nova’s really took off in price as with everything else I sold!

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  16. Avatar photo forzaman

    ZZ6,5 spd Tremec and 12 bolt/4:11’s and some Cragar SS’s and Lakewood traction bars and and….Have fun with it if it could be had for about $6k.

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  17. Avatar photo Ron

    I bought the car and cannot believe how clean and solid it is. There isn’t ANY rust in the car what so ever. The paint has been buffed out and looks great. The car also has new steel wheels painted red to match the car and new Good Year F 70 tires. I also have new dog dish hup caps too. Everywhere i take the car people beg me not to repaint it. I have been building cars for 22 years and I know what it cost to build a car. If you buy a rusted pile of junk for 4-7k expect to put another 10-15k into the paint and body work. You end up with Chinese parts that are thin and do not fit properly. Everything piece is on the car that came from the factory and is in working condition. The assembly line build sheet is still behind the rear seat. I have the original documents and protecto plate as well. I also got the orginal keys and key chain that came from the Chevy dealership where the car was purchased from. I purchased the car to build a quick little street car but now I am torn between the build or keeping it as is. It drives like a new car and looks great.

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    • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

      Congratulations, Ron! Be sure and keep us updated!

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  18. Avatar photo Randy

    Hi Ron,
    That was my aunt’s car. Let me know if you would like more history on the car.

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