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Garage Sleeper: 1970 Nova SS 396

1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 396 Front

The 1970 Chevy Nova may not have been the prettiest car in the Chevrolet lineup, but when paired with the right engine it became a true sleeper. This Nova SS is a two owner car and was hidden in a garage for years. The current owner worked on some of the mechanicals, but the car is otherwise original. The car is currently located in Mt. Eden, KY and is listed on eBay, where it has a current bid of $9,101 with the reserve unmet.

1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 396 Side

This car is going to need some work to get it back to its former sleeper glory. The mechanicals seem to have already been sorted by the current owner, but the body is in need of some attention. Both rear quarters need to be replace as does the trunk pan. The seller has new quarters for the car, but is selling them separately.

1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 396 Interior

The interior is completely original and it shows. The dash looks to be in good condition, but the same can’t be said for the seats. The seats are still covered in their original cloth covers, which appear to have seen better days. However, recovering these seats shouldn’t be too expensive or difficult, as parts are plentiful for Novas.

1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 396 Engine

Chevrolet’s SS title meant Super Sport, but on the Nova it should have meant Super Sleeper, as that’s what this car really was. The SS logos weren’t what gave this Nova it that status, it’s this big 396 V8 that’s rated at 350 hp that does it. The 396, which was actually a 402 in ’70, was one of the many engines offered with the Nova, but relatively few were shipped from Detroit with this big V8. 1970 was the last year that the Nova was offered with the 396.

1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 396 Rear

This Nova will make for a fun project car for anyone who wants to surprise some of the bigger muscle cars off the line. It’s going to need some body work, but given the recent increase in values for Nova SS’s, it will be worth the work. We just hope the reserve isn’t set too much higher.


  1. alexx

    i love novas…..thinking of selling my 29k I-ROC for one.

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  2. Bob

    A buddy of mine in high school had one of these, complete with “Grump Lump” on the hood. We did a lot of cruising in that puppy!

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  3. Jim Sommerville

    Yea that’s nice. I had one the exact color. mine was a 69 nova SS. It had a 350 engine. 300 HP. 411 Rearend. Had a Hurst Competition plus in it. Top speed was 97 MPH. Street Racing. It would beat those bog chryslers 440 and 383 six packs . No problem Red light to red light is was awsome. Usually a 35 mph kick down.

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  4. bill v

    i have a 1968 nova ss 396, 350hp. 1st yr they put the big block in a nova. 1st yr for body change,1968 to 1972. the 1968 was last yr for the key in the dash.

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  5. Bobby

    A friend had a silver (black int w/guages in console) 70 L78, m-21, 3.55’s. Charlie kept it maintained in pure stock form (except for the Cragars) and it was SO much fun to drive. He got married, sold it and moved on with his life. I watched the next 2 owners lower the value of the car. I had a chance to buy this car. If only I’d have known then what I know now…

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  6. pops toy

    I have a 1970nova. These are real nice cars. I have restored the car interior body is real nice the engine is a454 bored 6@ over make windows shake and really turn heads going down the high way. We are out small tonw called. Hurlock. Md. P. O. P. S

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  7. mark

    Very nice!! Big block power with a Turbo 400 trans, and correct wheels, very NICE!!!

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  8. gus renterias

    I have a friend who has a 1970 Nova. It’s been parked for over 35 yrs. in his drive way. He’s owned it since hw was in high school. Some one offered him $5000.00 for . I told him its worth more. The engine is not original, it used to have 350 ci. now its a 327 not running. Has muncie 4 speed, and its a original SS. body is strate small dings. no rust California car, what do you think its worth? he wants to sell it.

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  9. don dates

    I have a 1970 Nova that sat in a garage in Chicago for 25years, let me know if your interested in some pictures.

    Like 1
  10. Jeff V.

    Had a 70′ Nova SS350/300hp, 4spd, 12 bolt rear in HS. It was a showcar, gloss black with many goodies on the engine (was in auto-shop). Had yellow traction bars with the chrome pumpkin. It was lifted a little but the front was also so it sat level. Only faster car in hs was a kid with a 70 1/2 Z28 LT1 or this guy with a 67′ Firebird 400ho that was built.

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  11. Dt 1

    I love Novas especially if it’s an SS package

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  12. Eddie Surles

    I have a 70 nova that I am restoring it has a 350 850 hp auto in the floor fast car

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