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Green Ghost: 1962 Chevrolet Nova

031416 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Nova 1

The photos aren’t the best here, they’re a little ghosted and blurry, but this car sure looks sharp. This 1962 Chevrolet Nova is listed on Craigslist in Coon Rapids, MN. The photos are a little ghosted but this car sure doesn’t look that scary. Neither is the asking price of $4,800.

031416 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Nova 5

I’m partial to 1962 vehicles because that’s when I was made, too. This 1962 Nova would have been the top of the line model for the Chevy II in its first year of production. This may be my favorite body style of any Chevrolet; ever. This particular car was found in a barn where it had been sitting for quite a few years. It supposedly has some rust in the normal places for these cars; the corners of the trunk and front fenders. This car comes with an extra set of front fenders, so there ya go. I think this two-door hardtop (or Sport Coupe) body style is super cool.

031416 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Nova 3

Yes, it’s an automatic, but you’re going to change the entire drivetrain anyway. And, this isn’t just any automatic; it’s Chevy’s famous/infamous “two-speed-slip-and-slide”, as we used to call them. Of course, it’s better known as the Powerglide. The interior looks good and the seller says that the interior and glass are in good condition. I think that this may have been a red car originally. I have no clue why the color was changed, it seems like people usually paint green cars red, not the other way around.

031416 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Nova 2

There’s the red. This is one instance where I would prefer a red car over this metallic, goblin green, but that’s just me. I doubt if the new owner will keep the small wheels, but they look pretty good here. Go too oversized and it starts to look a little donky, but again, that’s just my opinion.

031416 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Nova 4

Here’s the ticker. There is no mention as to which one of the available three 6-cylinders this one is, just that it ran when the current owner got the car and changed oil, filled the radiator, and hooked up a temporary gas can and lines. He assumed, probably correctly, that the original lines and tank would have to be flushed out and didn’t want to risk gumming everything up. The seller also mentions that there is a Moroso small block V8 racing pan included that gives him the impression that the former owner must have been planning on doing an engine swap. It sure looks clean in this engine compartment! A 327 with a 4-speed would be great in this car, that shouldn’t be too hard to find and install. This is one great green go-getter! This would be a super fun project with the vast amount of parts that are available. Are you a fan of these early Chevy II/Novas or does this one scare you away?


  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Well, to be clear, Scotty, you were probably “made” in ’61, ( I know, too much info) but this is a great find. I believe, the V-8 would require a front suspension change ( didn’t the V-8 Nova’s have 5 bolt wheels?) and the 6 would be just fine, for me. Funny thing about the “Powerglide”. We used to laugh at any car that had that, but the joke was on us, as it’s the transmission of choice for drag racing now. IDK, I really like a green car ( and not that “P” green like ’70’s Ford’s or grandma’s stove) I’d leave this car just the way it is, ( repaint the trunk, of course) as so many were resto-modded, it’s very unusual to find a stock one. My trusted source, Wikipedia, claims for ’62, they made 3 series ( 100, 300, & 400, a 200 was discontinued immediately,,, could this be a 200? If so, it’s not a Nova. Nova’s were only available in the “400” series) and only 2 engines were offered, a 153, 4 cylinder, or the 194, 6, which I’m sure this is. Great find. Not many like this around. If you are looking for a Chevy ll, can’t go wrong here.

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    • Avatar photo Rando

      I’ve always wondered why the Powerglide gets no love. I knew drag racers use a version. I had a Vega that the PO had put a ‘glide in and it worked fine. the oil blower motor was another story….

      I love this car. not fond of the green or the 4 spoke Keystones (the 4 spoke part). But it could be made into a really nice driver I would think, even with the 6 and some speed parts. How fast you rreally need to go? Not that fast for me.

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  2. Avatar photo JW

    I had one of these as a work car back in the early 70’s but in white with red interior. On the way home from work a drunk crossed the center line turning in to his driveway right in front of me and I hit him head on at 45 mph. His Lincoln barely had a scratch but that little Nova’s front drivers fender was now on the passengerside. Luckily me and my coworker only had a couple scratches from the broken glass. I actually like the more boxy 65 to 67 models.

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  3. Avatar photo Mike H.

    You know, if people would just learn to wipe the fingerprints off the lens on their cell-phone camera these pictures would improve exponentially.

    I am certainly NOT a GM guy, but the motor looks like the GM 250 (4.2L) from the 70’s.

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    • Avatar photo Mark

      I converted several of these, and no suspension changes are required, but certainly advised, as 5 lug brings larger brakes.

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  4. Avatar photo Terry J

    My car. I’ve had several 1st gen Dueces. 4 bolt wheels until ’64 I think, then all had 5. The real reason the Powerglide is so sought after isn’t it’s toughness (it is) but it has less parasitic losses than other trannys. Ford C4 is next in efficiency. Check yourself, but the PG takes only about 24 h.p. to run. The C4 about 27 h.p. The Ford C6 takes around 57 h.p. and the Turbo 400 about the same. Big difference. The ’62 194 6 cyl was the all new generation 6. The full sized ’62 cars & trucks were still running the ancient 235 6 banger . The 194 became the 230/250/292. Also they whacked off 2 cylinders and it was the 151 4 banger which was the base engine for the Chevy 2 . V8 Chevy 2s used a front sump oil pan and the engine block had a unique boss cast into it for the clutch linkage bell crank mount. :-) Terry J

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    • Avatar photo Doug Towsley

      TerryJ is largely correct. I have had a few of these. I have some period advertising with the “Thrifty 4 or the Satiny 6!” 62 & 63 had 4 lug wheels, The power steering on my 63 Nova SS was weird “Assist” with a hydraulic cylinder pushing on the centerlink where most cars have a PS steering box. Mine leaked like a sieve. Terry and others are also correct. Base mdls were Chevy II and the NOVA SS was a step up. Orginally conceived as a modular platform for a base economy car, with easy to repair and replace parts (Not a real frame) It didnt sell well and morphed into performance cars with V8s and 283s appeared in 64 (I also had a 64 SS. A rear sump pan will work, but not ALL pans well clear the centerlink. on several engines some careful work with a body hammer and dolly cleared the problem, but i had other oil pans that cleared just fine with a V8. But i pulled the straight 6 out of my 63 and put it in my 72 Nova for a while and had to source a different sump pan for that. (Just FYI)
      The 194 is correct but common to find later engines swapped in.

      I ran a corvette 327 in mine with both a Muncie and a T400 w/ shift kit. It is also correct the early V8 283s had a unique Casting feature for the ball that locates the cross shaft clutch linkage which i learned the hard way. I have the custom fabbed adapter, All the linkages and the original foot pedal assy for a 64 Nova SS if someone wants them to go 4 speed in a Nova with a non original V8, although today MOST people would just fab in a Hydraulic clutch. But ill sell mine for the right person.

      I also knew a guy and used to hang out with him a little who ran one of these Novas as a dragster up in Idaho at Firebird raceway. Changing plugs on these with the V8s can be a challenge. Forget it if the exhaust is hot.

      Theres a local guy with one of these Novas with the 6 and works nights at a local gas station. I see him often and brings back a lot of memories every time i see his. Driven slow with the 6 and mostly stock is a nice car, But most were hotrodded

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  5. Avatar photo Rando

    When I helped on a local 6 cyl race car, the hot ticket was the 230 block with the 194 head. Higher compression, I think it was. Of course a cam helped too and there were some mystery grinds around. We were supposed to be limited to no port/polish, one bbl carb, headers, roller rockers. Ya right…

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  6. Avatar photo Ed P

    As it sits, it looks like a fun car to own and drive. The six is easy on gas. The new front fenders sound like a good deal, but replacement is not needed immediately. The car will need a repaint eventually. Should the trunk match the car or the other way around?

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  7. Avatar photo Chebby

    Wow, perfect St Paddy’s day cruiser. Even the wheels look like 4-leaf clovers.

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  8. Avatar photo stillrunners

    Like it -like the price….have owed 63-64SS and a 65 all hardtops….just like the look the SS appeared in 63 with a 6cyl and then the V/8 cmae in 64….my 64SS was one I wish I’d kept instead of trying to help a young kid out….he flipped it in the 80’s and I found out about that when a ticket showed up in my mail box – hell….they never transferred the title which was my trusting bad !

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  9. Avatar photo Terry J

    My ’62 (in ’66) was the 194 6, 3 speed,3.08 posi 10 bolt. Ordered some “Slotted Steel Chromies” in 4 bolt 14″ from JC Whitney and ran GYear Polyglass tires. A year later Dad and I put in a 283. Learned about the pan and clutch bell crank the hard way. A year after that Arnie rolled his ‘Vette with the 365hp 327 so guess what I did? Scary fast, but not being the savvy engineer I became, stayed with the 3 speed/10 bolt. Then began a series of never ending blown trannys and rear ends. Musta replaced each 3-4 times. If I had run a Power Glide, it would have worked out much better. After a weekend of hard running I often had to have the front end aligned. That 327 was just hard on that little Chevy 2(remember the famous Duntov 30/30 solid lifter cam?) . I don’t recall what now, but GM made some improvements in the front end between the ’62 and ’63 model year. :-) Terry J

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    • Avatar photo Norm Wrensch

      I had a Nova SS convertable with an 11:1 283 three 2bl’s 3.70 gears and a Munice 4 spd. Was quite fast. The rear end was not a 10 bolt in the early ones. It was actually the same as the full size 58-64, but with 4 bolt wheels and a little narrower. I should of kept that one. They didn’t handle very well either, thats how I messed mine up once. just couldn’t keep it on the road.

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  10. Avatar photo Terry J

    Yup Tried an Offenhauser triple carb set up on my 327 . Never could get it to run right. Finally put on a Pals old WCFB and it ran like gangbusters. What we called the 10 bolt (since it had 10 bolts) was used in all their (Chevy) cars back in the day. I scrounged the countryside since I had a habit of blowing them up. One differential came out of a rolled ’59 Biscayne. Fortunately it was still upside down. Pull the axles out about 3″, and the diff would drop right out. Got so I could do it like a pit crew at the races. The 3.70s were my favorite ratio. OK on the road, good on the street. :-) Terry J

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