End of the Line: 1976 Chevrolet Nova SS

The fourth generation of the Chevy Nova would run from 1975-79, but 1976 would be the last year that you could get a Nova Super Sport. They weren’t the fire-breathing muscle cars like the 1969 Nova SS396, largely now a handling and appearance package. Located in Batavia, Illinois, this 1976 Nova SS is available here on eBay where the auction sits at $13,000, with the reserve still outstanding.

The predecessor of the Chevrolet Nova was the Chevy II, launched in 1962 as a new player in the growing compact car field. The auto largely came about because the Corvair – with its unconventional engineering for the times – wasn’t beating the Ford Falcon and Rambler American as envisioned. The first Nova Super Sport would appear in 1963 when a six-cylinder engine was the biggest powerplant you could get; a V-8 option wasn’t added until 1964. The 327 cubic inch V-8 was the largest motor you could get until 1968, and then it was “Katie bar the door.” The Chevy II simply became Nova in 1969. The last of the rear-wheel drive Nova’s would come for 1975-79 before being replaced by the front-wheel drive, infamous Chevy Citation.

This 1976 Nova SS was the end of the road as it was the final model year you could order a Nova Super Sport. For a few extra dollars, the SS got you a black grille with a diamond-mesh pattern, Rally wheels, four-spoke steering wheel and a heavy-duty suspension. The 350 V-8 would put out just 165 hp now, with ratings stated on a SAE net basis. Apparently, these cars were peppy enough to impress the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as they placed the largest order at the time for compact-sized police cars. While total Nova production for 1976 would be about 334,700 cars, the SS was 7,400 or just two percent overall. Thanks, Nova Resource, for this info.

The seller of this 1976 Nova SS doesn’t take full advantage of his eBay listing with a limited number of photos and minimal background information. It’s described as a two-owner car that comes with a fair amount of documentation. Mileage is reported as less than 62,000 and the overall condition of the automobile is quite good. The exterior is painted in Firethorn Poly (original?) and is flanked by a black interior. The only noticeable issues with the paint are some flaking on the black-painted window trim and the driver’s seat is worn in a couple of places.

The transmission selected to accompany the 350 was the 4-speed manual, which the seller tells us only went into about 2,300 of the 7,400 SS models for 1976. The dual exhaust system looks new as two shiny mufflers appear forward of the gas tank. The wheels look great and the raised-letter tires appears to have lots of tread left on them. This Nova looks like a car that you could get into and drive anywhere on a moment’s notice.

This vintage of the Nova doesn’t attract collectors like the 1968-72 cars do, so the prices seem to be in used car territory. NADA pegs $12,000 as top end for a Nova, so add a few bucks for the SS option and the condition of the car and maybe it goes a little higher. We’re wondering what the reserve must be because the bidding has already exceeded NADA prices.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Nice car, 4 speed is a plus, plain dash, no “gages” though. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 5
  2. Jack Wolfe II

    My parents had one they bought new . Orange and white but with a 6 cylinder automatic . Interior was a black and tan plaid fabric .

    Like 1
  3. Miguel

    This car was sold in Mexico in limited numbers but it had the name Malibu Rallye on the grille.

    The car came with a 350 and a 4 speed and a special set of wheels.

    They are hard to come by, but not worth a whole lot here in Mexico.

    Maybe it would be worth it to send one north if this car is at $13,000 with the reserve not met.

    Here is a picture of one I found that was available 4 years ago.

    Like 17
    • Mike

      Rumour has it that the name Nova was a marketing blunder by GM as it meant “No go” in Spanish… Could be why they were named differently… Beautiful car in your pic

      Like 3
      • Miguel

        No. The car was named Nova in Mexico, it is just this special model that had the Malibu name on it.

        Also, the word Nova means Nova. If you separate it, then it means no go, but that never really got around here.

        Like 8
      • Phlathead Phil

        I believe the name. “Nova” was short for ‘Novation’ which means new. Nothing new under the sun, ya know?

      • Bill D
  4. Mike

    Beautiful, thanks for the clarification, Miguel… Forgive me, it’s early and I’m still on my first coffee lol

    Like 2
  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    This is way cooler than the Nova Concours four speed sedan from last week

    Like 2
  6. jokacz

    I will never understand the attraction some have for 68-74 Novas. They are one of the ugliest cars ever created. 66-67 2 door coupes were the pinnacle of the design and should have ended there. At least this car is better looking than a 68-74. Stick a big engine in it, it ain’t collectable anyway.

    Like 4
    • 454RAT Member

      Yeah, those old 68 to 70, L-78 Nova’s I rode in when they were new were no fun at all. Your trip was always over almost before it started; if you know what I mean. And you were always shaking when you got out of the car. Not just ugly, but unhealthy too. Who cares how they looked?????? If you ever see one ”cheap”, let me know. Since you don’t like them, help a brother who does.

  7. JoeBob396

    A nice Nova, but for $13k, why aren’t there pictures of the engine bay? Especially if the reserve is still unmet.

    Like 4
  8. Rustytech Member

    I had a 75 with the 350 and 4sp. It lacked the S trim and bucket seats, but was pretty fast and was a fun driver. I’m be interested at $10 to $12k, but this is too high already and with 2 days left will likely go higher. I’m out.

    Like 1
  9. Glenn Schwass Member

    I looked at a non ss version of this but decided against it since the dealer was too pushy.
    A third of them seemed to break rear springs and would ride sideways down the road…

    Like 2
    • jokacz

      Are you sure it was only a third? Every one I ever saw went down the road sideways.

  10. CCFisher

    2300 4-speeds out of 7400 SS seemed high to me, so I researched it. According to https://novaresource.org/production.htm, there were 2317 4-speeds across all Nova production, not just SS, so a 4-speed SS is likely far more rare than the seller realizes.

  11. Steve Bush Member

    Miguel, how are the Mexican versions of American made cars different from the ones sold in the US? Also, how difficult is it for a Mexican citizen to buy a car in the US and get it licensed in Mexico?

    • Miguel

      Steve, there are a lot of differences because the Mexican versions were made in Mexico.

      As of right now I am not sure about how to import a car.

      Before there were parameters and you had to pay a lot of taxes, but I think the border is closed for those things right now.

      If you send me your email address to mine at — I will give you the website I maintain that shows Mexican cars and some information about them.

      If you look at a 1983 Mustang Coupe, you will see a Capri front end with Mustang Fenders. The cars had the 302 V8 with an automatic or stick. No 4 or 6 cylinder cars were sold in Mexico. No V8 coupes were made in the US until 1987.

      If you want to see the site I have, just let me know.

      Thanks

  12. EBZ06

    I bought a Black ’77, new. No SS, didn’t care for the Rally, so I optioned it out with a 350-4bbl, Auto, Console, Gauges, Firethorn interior, Buckets, F-41, RWL tires, Sport mirrors, Tinted glass, added Koni shocks. Kept that car in the shape I bought it in for 24 years. To this day, the best car I’ve ever known.
    Earlier this year I bought a 69 350 SS. But frankly, I wish I had still had that ’77.

  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $13,300 with Reserve Not Met.

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