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Is It An SS? 1970 4-Speed Chevrolet Nova

Usually, when you have a Chevrolet Nova as nice as this 1970 example, you’ll want to crow about it and sing its praises. You know, if it’s a Super Sport (SS) edition, say so, right? Well, this car looks the part and is equipped as such but nowhere in the listing is an SS provenance claimed. So, real, or not? Let’s investigate and figure it out. Calling Ontario, Oregon home, this compact muscle car is available, here on eBay for a current no reserve bid of $16,400 with fourteen bids tendered so far.

This Nova has all of the right SS tickets with its powertrain, wheels, fake hood vents, blackened grill and rear valance, both adorned with SS badging. The VIN is not disclosed but it doesn’t matter as that won’t reveal the inclusion of option RPO Z26 which is Super Sport equipment – only a genuine build sheet will verify this car’s born-with options. The listing is fairly light on details but the images do the talkin’ – I can’t find a thing wrong with the exterior. The seller states, “Repainted in Burgundy” (known officially as Black Cherry) so that may or may not be the original hue. My guess, based on the underhood detail, is that it is the original shade. The Magnum 500 wheels look great and they were a Nova SS option in ’70.

The Nova SS’ standard powerplant was a 300 HP, 350 CI V8 engine and that’s what looks like is in place. It’s disguised, however, with headers, an open-element air cleaner, and aftermarket valve covers. Interestingly, the original style Quadrajet carburetor and cast iron intake manifold are still on the job – Q-Jets often get the bum’s rush. Backing up the small block engine is a Muncie four-speed manual gearbox which channels power to a twelve-bolt differential – all correct for a Nova SS iteration. Upfront are power disc brakes – also standard equipment for a ’70 Nova SS.

Inside we find more typical Nova SS faire. The three-spoke foam steering wheel and black vinyl bucket seats were correct options. Instrumentation appears to be standard (warning lights) and there are auxiliary gauges attached beneath the dash. The lack of a center console is not an issue as it wasn’t included with the bucket seat option. So the interior is a bit austere but its condition is excellent – no attention is needed there.

So, this is a no-reserve auction which seems unusual for a car of this stature. While a Nova SS of this era doesn’t have the collectibility cachet of a Chevelle or a Camaro, it’s still a genuine and respected muscle car. Whether or not it’s a genuine Super Sport edition is of no concern on my part – this car looks great and is equipped right. But still, what’s your thought, the genuine article or a well-done tribute?


  1. Davey Boy

    “PERFECT” wouldn’t change a thing. My mother had a 70 RS 350 with a 3-speed on the floor. She would spin the tires in Reverse do a j style burnout in the first chirp second and third and everybody at her work thought she was driving a four-speed. That was a good looking car gold with the black rally stripes. Gold Nova style wheels with the Chrome center caps and chrome beauty rings. 60 series tires all the way around with white lettering. Sweet ride for the time just like this one. This one would be perfect. Take that car out and drive it every single day. Looks like it’s going to be a great price too.

    Like 19
  2. TomP

    This Nova is not original or correct, so the SS provenance is irrelevant.

    Like 10
  3. Nova Nut

    *Bucket seats were not exclusive to the 1970 Nova SS; you could get a Nova SS with a bench seat.
    *12 bolt rear ends were not exclusive to the 1970 Nova SS; you could get a Nova SS with a 10 bolt rear end.

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      I never said they were Nova Nut, I said those were the typical items found in a Nova SS.


      Like 8
  4. Frank Drackman

    We get it! can’t document SS status, could be a 6 Cyl with 3 on the Tree,
    That being said, looks pretty sharp!
    and again where’s the Tach? every Mini-van for the last 20 years has a Tach!
    I’ve hooked them up myself, not that difficult

    Like 4
    • Randy jones

      Some of the interior trim may reveal a ss car..if it’s a high horsepower motor..it would be a 12 bolt rearend. And that car does not show a 12 bolt by its stance..I would say it’s a non.ss car and dont.pay for something it’s not..probably not the correct motor too…but I like the car and color.and factory wheels..the car looks great…it’s a keeper..buy it…

      Like 2
      • David Michael Carroll

        The only thing I would change would be the guy in the dtiver’s seat.

        Like 6
    • Henry Davis Member

      If you got the console with gauges (Don’t know if they were part of the package in 70 or not) the gas gauge was moved from instrument cluster to console gauges and a tach was substituted in the hole where the gas gauge used to be. My 74SS is so equipped.

      Like 2
    • Paul Owen

      My 70 SS didn’t come with a tach. Was Automatic with buckets and console but no gauges. It was more go than show!

      Like 1
      • Henry Davis Member

        Huh? I thought the gauges were part of the console option! Show’s what I know!

        I DO know that one way to tell a 73-74 SS with automatic and console from factory is that there is no gear position indicator on the console beside the shift lever. They instead used a cable arrangement that goes to the gear position indicator on the dash where the automatic column shift indicator goes.

        Like 2
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        My ’70 SS didn’t have a factory tach either. Unlike this car, mine had the fake chrome louvers behind the front wheels.

        Like 0
    • david pancerev

      Tach was an option. Ditto console, etc.

      Like 0
  5. Art Engel

    I’m no expert but I think if you have a Canadian car, GM of Canada kept records whereas US built 70 Nova SS w/o the build sheet can be impossible to confirm. Nice looking car regardless.

    Like 4
    • KH

      I think you may be on to something. Good observation.

      Like 1
  6. David Omid

    It doesn’t matter what people say, but it’s a good looking car with powerful engine & I like it.

    Like 22
  7. Shawn P

    We all know it’s not a true SS, but it’s one hell of a nice car for a driver. At least it’s not another 1 of 285 of these cars were painted blue on Wednesdays by 2nd shift.

    Like 14
    • Henry Davis Member

      They used to say about Jaguars, back in the “Prince of Darkness” days, that you wanted to buy a car that was built Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before noon in order to get a good one. Workers were hung over on Mondays, drank a few pints with lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and started in on the weekend drinking early Friday.

      Like 2
      • Shawn P

        Somehow, that logic makes since!

        Like 2
  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Beautiful car. Who cares if it’s not an original “something”. All the right parts are there waiting to be driven.

    Like 20
  9. edward kas

    If you think it’s a clone and it’s too much money, then clone your own.

    Let’s all just enjoy it.

    Like 9
  10. ChevelleSS

    Not a Nova fan, never was, but this one has ‘something’ about it. Stance – mean. Color – subtle. Interior – clean and simple. Engine, well, yeah, some things to pick apart, sure but again, it’s clean and neat. Probably a blast to drive too. Gets a thumbs up from me!

    (OK, the Q-jet is fine, but a Holley 6210 would be better, easier to tune and mechanical secondaries with pump. Then hide it under a stock air cleaner with the lid flipped.)

    Like 3
    • edward kas

      I had a brown metallic 72 with a 307, fun and not slow. Just a good looking car for a kid.

      Like 2
  11. 59Poncho

    Nice looking car and very affordable compared to a Camaro.
    Always afraid of an ebayer with no feedback since joining in 2017?

    Like 2
  12. PL

    Who cares, she’d make a nice driver.

    Like 2
  13. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    10 out of 10 average people would never ask if it’s a clone. At a car show a few would. I love it!

    Like 3
  14. BrianT BrianT Member

    My college roommate had a 70 Nova, 350, 4 speed, bench seat, not a SS. That didn’t mean it wasn’t fast.

    Like 3
  15. FenderUnbender

    Same Nova, same pictures sold on BAT one year ago for $35k. I smell something fishy.

    Like 8
    • BrianT BrianT Member


      Like 1
      • FenderUnbender

        Yes it was, I reported it and they shut it down.

        Like 4
  16. Bama

    Doesn’t matter to me how it was born, it grew into the right stuff. I’d proudly own and drive it!

    Like 1
  17. Frank

    Having purchased new a 1971 Nova SS, I can say the following: All 68-71 SS came with 12 bolt rears if they built with posi.350 CID included 1968-1970 had 396/350 and 396/375( COPO). ?The 396 had larger capacity radiators. 1968- 1971 came with Muncie trans and Muncie shifters; M-20 wide or M-21 close ratio.The 200 1970 LT-1 were almost exclusively Yenko Deuces save for the few that went to Canada as non- Yenkos. In 1972, Chevy cheapened their act with 10 bolt rears, Saginaw trans/shifter and one piece high back buckets(option). The buckets in the pics were an option typically added to Custom Interior. The pictured buckets with headrests where the same as in GM intermediates of the era including Chevelle, GTO/Lemans, Buick Gran Sport, and Olds Cutlass/ 442, 350 Dr. Olds. The VIN here would coincide with the original block. Chevy didn’t opt non- SS with two barrel carbs. The suspension rear leafs and front coils were specific to the SS trim as was the steering box. Probably more, but that covers some areas. My buddies and I owned this generation new and can recall a lot even though we’re now in our 70s

    Like 1
    • Woody

      I bought a 68 Nova with 8000 miles on it in early 1969 It was built with a 327 275 hp, 12 bolt posi, and a Saginaw 4sp which I swapped ìmmediately for a 4 sp Muncie
      I drove it for about 3 years like that at which time I yanked the 327 and built an L88 427 for it. Swapped out the 3.55 gears and replaced with 4.10s The thing would run 11.5s all day long!
      Wish I still had it ! Fun times !

      Like 4
  18. Sven

    It would be more “unique” and “special” if it didn’t have glued on fake badges, it makes it like all the other fakes, now the real ones that are not badged fakes…seem way more special or at a minimum, factually are more unique.
    Of course, if you want to be like sheep, put the badges on a non ss, rs, z28 etc…might as well buy a camry if your not into standing out….fake cars……don’t cut it…..hot rod it, make it special thats fine but to just copy a factory model that it isnt……?????

    Like 0
  19. Chris Cornetto

    I bought a 70 SS with body damage to the passenger side in the mid 80s from the original owner. The car was light metallic blue with a blue interior. I am no expert and don’t care to be but the car I had was a 350/300 with a four speed and a 12 bolt posi. The car had disc brakes, power steering, multi leaf rear springs, bucket seats with headrests. The car had a little console that if memory serves me said Nova SS. There was a chrome vacuum gage atop of it that looked up at the driver. The car had the chrome panel between the tail lights, that I still have on a wall. The grille was badged and the dash over the glove box. I don’t recall any on the cars sides. The car had those wheels which are on a 68 SS Elcamino I still have. That car’s engine is still in another Chevy. The one thing about the engines I was told was the heads have the double humps like the 60s 327s but are machined for the newer alternators and bracketry. That vin on that car matched the engine. I was always told SS of that year all had the higher hp 350 as the base engine, disc brakes, and a 12 bolt with multi leaf rear springs. I used this knowledge to buy many of these when they passed through salvage sales ions back. Regardless of if it’s real or whatever. The bottom line is it is a damned nice, straight, car with the right driveline. Look what folks what for junk ones that aren’t worth the time to haul to the scrapyard, and this becomes a no brainer.

    Like 0

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