Future SS Clone? 1970 Chevrolet Nova

The Chevy Nova was in its ninth year of production in 1970, having dropped the Chevy II prefix the year before. Most of the examples you see today are restored Super Sports or clones of the same cars. But back in the day, the most often purchased Nova was the 2-door coupe with an inline-6 engine, such as the seller’s car. While it would be great to see this Chevy brought back to like-new condition, the reality is that someone will probably buy it to drop in a 350 or 396 V8. Located east of San Bernardino, California, this Nova runs well but needs a cosmetic tune-up. It’s available here on craigslist for $10,500.  Our thanks again to Pat L. for another great tip!

Chevrolet built 307,280 Nova’s in 1970, its second-best production year up to that point. Of that number, 116,735 I-6 coupes were built with either an automatic transmission or a 3-speed manual. As noted by the gear shift pattern, the seller’s car has the TH-350 Turbo-Hydramatic which would accompany V8s more often than six-bangers. Other than the transmission, vinyl top, and side molding trim, this Nova was probably a Plain Jane when it left the factory.

From what we can tell, the body of this Nova is mostly good with a bit of rust in the corner of one of the doors. The vinyl top has been stripped away and what remains appears may be just surface rust. There is a big dent in the quarter panel below the side window on the driver’s side, but the trunk floor is squeaky clean. It doesn’t appear as though any sheet metal replacement will be needed in the car’s restoration.

The interior is less tidy, with duct tape holding together parts of the cloth seats. And holes for speakers appear to have been cut out of the doors. The quasi-racing steering wheel looks out of place, perhaps the owner’s way of thinking it would go faster. Some mechanical work has been done, such as converting the front brakes to discs (another signal to a coming SS clone; it looks like power assist was added, too), HEI ignition, fuel pump, and sending unit. The tires are also new all-around. At 73,000 miles, this Chevy looks like it has a decent foundation to build on, regardless of the direction you take.


  1. Dan

    That would seem to be all the money in the world for that example to this graying enthusiast… I remember not that long ago when that specimen woulda been $650.00 and drag it home.

    Like 10
    • Rixx56 Member

      Up thru the mid 70s we were still buying
      running vehicles like this (and better) for
      $25-$100. Maybe it needed wheel cyls. or
      something minor, then sold again…

      Like 7
  2. Rw

    The internet and TV car shows are the blame for today’s prices.

    Like 10
    • Mikey P

      I think the blame could be on rich dudes that were never car enthusiasts at all but have the cash to buy a Hemi Cuda to show off to their buddies!

      Like 1
  3. Shawn

    You’re spot on Russ that this will become a 396/427/454 SS clone. Even better yet, don’t stop at the SS badges, add some Yenko S/C stripes to take the clone goodness up to max levels!

    Like 2
  4. John C.

    You can’t mistake a true Cali car, the sun bakes the paint off the body down to a rust finish and the heat eats up the top of the back seat. I brought 2 cars here to Pa. from Cali, both had the same symptoms.

    Like 4
  5. Psychofish2

    73,000 miles.

    Insert laugh track

    With that wear on the seat and engine dirt and grime?

    There’s a mark born every minute

    Like 4
  6. Ed Casala

    I understand stuff cost’s money and everything car related for older cars is going to cost more. How long ago was it that you could basically not give this car away. But, WTF on the price man! Good luck, but damn.

    Like 3
  7. Cobra Steve

    Thanks for the memory trip! Dad had a ’70 identical to this with the small, 230 cid six and three-on-the-tree. Bought it from a travelling salesman with nearly 100K on the clock and the original clutch (highway miles), and I believe Dad drove it another 100K before a garbage truck wiped it out.

    Great, simple car but too light in the a$$ end. Distinctly remember driving it one winter over a bridge near Chicago at about 50 mph and the car slid sideways across the bridge which was covered with ice. Not a thing I could do but hang on for the ride but luckily I finally got some traction on the snow and straightened her out and escaped unscathed. Had to change my shorts, though….

    Like 8
  8. dean thrush

    Looks like Eddie Murphy forgot to drive his nova back to Detroit.

    Like 5
  9. Danny

    That’s right Dean laugh all you want, next week that price will be cheap while you are on the sideline, complaining about the next car price.

    Like 2

    Sure looks like there’s Bondo in the rear quarters , being a CA. car I would have thought the body would be more solid. The vinyl top lower corners aren’t shown either, which is a rust prone area ,and maybe why it isnt shown . Its a 2 door 70 Nova , so it has that going for it, but I dont think its going to sell at that price

  11. Pugsy

    It’ll sell at that. The body is in extremely good condition. The fella that realizes it will scoop it up and have an easy restoration.

    Like 3
    • bone

      I’m not so sure about the extremely good condition of the body ; it does look like there is Bondo in the quarters and the rockers and theres even a hole in the door. The car has also had a cheapo paint job at one time . This car could have a lot more hidden rust damage due to water leaks in back window corners , leading to rot in the trunk pan and rear wheel wells. It will sell, but with the work it needs and it being a six banger , I think the seller is going to have to lower the price.

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Rare Cali car there – most are not aware or care that California was among the first to get folks to sell that clunker for scrap…..lots of good ones got lost.

    Like 1

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