Have It Your Way: 1969 Chevrolet Nova

The Chevrolet Nova, which started life as the Chevy II, is about as ubiquitous a car from the ’60s and ‘70s as you will find. And today, it is rare to find one in original condition, they are often sought out, regardless of their original model/equipment, and modified for performance. And that’s what we have here, a 1969 coupe, located in Manahawkin, New Jersey and available here on eBay, current bid of $7,300.

The Chevy II, introduced in 1962 was the four-cylinder version of Chevrolet’s new compact car. It was created to compete with Ford’s Falcon and Plymouth’s Valiant. Chevrolet already had an air cooled, rear engine compact, the Corvair, introduced in 1960 but it wasn’t traditional and thus the drive to have a traditional car in that segment brought the Chevy II into existence. The Nova was a Chevy II with a six-cylinder engine and after the 1968 model year, the Chevy II designation was dropped. As with other Chevrolet models, there was a Super Sport (SS) version introduced in 1963 but it was strictly an appearance package until 1968 when it became a performance-oriented model.

So, what constitutes performance? In 1968 it was a standard 350 CI engine pushing out 295 HP, essentially the same thing for this 1969 Nova except that the power was raised to 300 HP. There were also 396 CI engines wringing out 350 or 375 HP in both of these model years but that’s another story. This Nova, however, did not start life as an SS, the front fender marker lights, sans an adjoining engine size badge, tells me that this Nova originally housed an in-line six-cylinder motor. The seller indicates that this Nova is motivated by a 1970 vintage 350 CI engine that has been modified and is backed up by a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 automatic transmission, essentially what a genuine SS would have had on board. Of note is the included twelve bolt differential. The twelve bolt is a nice addition as it was Chevrolet’s go-to differential for performance or big engine variants. Curiously, in 1969, a Nova SS with a 350 engine and a Powerglide automatic transmission would have had the standard ten bolt differential while every other transmission version would have been upgraded to the twelve.

Moving on to the interior, we find a typical black vinyl arrangement showing expected wear. The seller states that the driver’s side portion of the front bench seat is torn but the back seat is sound. The rubber floor mat is correct for this model Nova.

The Nova was known as the “X” body which was really the same as the Camaro/Firebird “F” body except the wheel base was three inches longer. It is a combination of unibody construction with a front sub-frame that supports the engine and front suspension. The seller states that the passenger side floor pan will need to be replaced but he has a replacement pan included with the sale. The rest of the underside appears to be sound.

I’m not sure if this Nova has been domiciled in New Jersey its entire life if so, I’d expect rust but the body is pretty clean in that respect. The seller does state that this car needs some quarter panel work so that would be an item to inspect further.

As of this writing, there are 24 bids for this Nova so it’s getting attention and it appears to be a good start to building a popular muscle car the way you would want it. So, what do you think, are you a purist and would only want a genuine SS or would you be willing to build your own from a lesser model like this?


  1. Arthell64 Member

    I always like the optional fake vents on the front fenders and the chrome around the side windows on the 68-70 nova. Looks like a decent nova.

    Like 3
  2. PaulG

    Jim, Starting in ’65 you could get a 327-4speed Nova, followed by the amazing L-79 in 66-67.
    Big block engines came along in this second generation of Nova, but most agree that the L-79 car’s are extremely desirable.

    Like 8
    • Ohio Rick

      It was damn near impossible to order an L-79 in 1967. You had to “know someone” to get the order approved. I tried…but no luck.

      Like 2
  3. Al

    love that it’s a column shift and it has a hurst shifter sticker on the window. lol

    Like 4
    • LARRY

      Lol.. if I recall, those window stickers were good for another 15 or 20 horsepower…the more stickers the more horsepower…didn’t matter if it was a peg leg 305 in need of a tune up 🤣

      Like 2
  4. TimM

    Not in to bad shape for New Jersey!!! Most cars from there look like termites holding hands!!!

    Like 4
  5. jerry z

    Nice seeing an original paint car or it seems that way, to show all good and bad points. This car doesn’t have many bad points!

    Like 2
  6. Matt Toni

    I love when they include the $150 sheet metal panel that will cost 2500 to replace

    Like 4
    • Tort Member

      I would do it myself like many others that love to work on classic cars.

      Like 3
  7. pugsy

    Excellent car. I want it…….man, this site can get a guy in trouble.

    Like 8
  8. Paul

    Chevy ll ‘s were mostly 6
    cylinders, the four was a rarely chosen option.
    My first car was a Chevy ll 300 with the six, and until recently I had an Acadian Invader with the six cylinder as well, both 230 cu. in. and 1962.
    The ’62’s had 4 bolt wheels with 13″ tires soon after ,63 ?, they went to 5 bolt 14″.

    Like 1
  9. John

    Dealer emblem on trunk is from Rice Chevrolet Long Island

    Like 1
  10. Comet

    Some quarter panel work needed indeed.

    Like 1
  11. Dustin McGuire

    Did 69’ Novas ever come as a hardtop or were they all coupes you know with that “pillar” between front and back window? I’ve never seen one but always wondered

  12. Stevieg Member

    Never available as a hard top in this body, just as a pillar’d coupe.
    I really like the originality of the body & interior. I would finish the body work & paint it, restore the interior & then use it as is. Neat little car!

    Like 1
    • pugsy

      I like the pillars for sealing the windows better for wind noise. Since I always install aftermarket AC, I don’t drive with the windows down anyways.

      Like 1

    I bought new in 72 a gold with black stripe 350 automatic. I could make this into my Rally

  14. Roy Blankenship

    No one mentioned this is a factory AC car (missing the compressor).

    • pugsy

      Compressor is in the trunk.

  15. Louis Chen

    An old girlfriend had the ’69 the 2 dr. Nova with a ROCKET 350 V-8 with 4 bbl. carb. It was a screamer with THRUSH side pipes! She bought this car because her Dad was stationed in Frankfurt, W. Germany and it reminded her family’s first car the Opel Kadette! Too bad this car rusted out after 6 years! It was a good car, simple to repair except the MPG was terrible. They don’t make cars like those anymore….

  16. JoeNYWF64

    Rear defogger, vinyl roof, pedal dressup, a/c – but no power steering? odd
    Just realized I don’t think i ever saw power windows in a ’68-74 nova. Again, odd.

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