Last of the Super Sports! 1976 Chevrolet Nova SS

The Chevy II/Nova enjoyed a long run as a rear-wheel-drive compact car, from 1962 to 1979. The nameplate returned in the 1980s, but as a rebadged Japanese import. The 1976 model year would be the last for the Super Sport package on the Nova, which had become more show than go at that point. With a 350 cubic inch V8, this ’76 Nova was the top-of-the-line car, excluding the luxury Concours. Located in Conover, North Carolina, this SS is available here on craigslist for $24,500. Thanks for the cool tip, Rocco B.!

With the Chevy II part of the name having been dropped in 1969), the fourth generation of the Nova began in 1975. Sales remained strong due to the shift to smaller, more efficient cars because of rising gasoline prices after the OPEC oil embargo in 1973. Any of Chevy’s engines could be had in the ’76 Nova SS up through 350 CI. By then, the $187 SS package was a sporty upgrade to the base Nova. This includes a distinctive black diamond-mesh grille, a heavy-duty suspension, a four-spoke sports steering wheel, and Rally wheels. Sales of the SS were down to 7,416 units (a mere two percent of overall Nova production), which was the lowest point since 1971, so Chevy pulled the plug for 1977.

At 75,000 miles, this Nova SS looks like a super nice original or a recent restoration. Since no mention is made of the latter, we assume the former. This car has the 350 V8 that produced 165 hp (4-barrel) and is paired with a 4-speed manual, which found its way into only 2,317 units in 1976, making this a rare find 46 years later. The engine isn’t stock as a mild camshaft upgrade has been made. A new Flowmaster dual exhaust system should make it sound pretty sweet!

The blue paint and white accents present quite well as does the interior, suggesting a car that was pampered more than street raced. While we’re not told if the car has changed hands multiple times, its original paperwork survives and should confirm this as a real-deal SS. The earlier model Rally wheels and tires are said to be new, and the spare tire is original from Day One. Factory A/C was one of the options ordered, so you should be able to tool around in both style and comfort in this automobile. The seller says he/she might consider trading for a Chevelle or Camaro, vintage not specified.

This comes across as a well-preserved turnkey vehicle, but its pricing is starting to encroach into third-generation territory (1968-74), but SS cars from that era are now fetching twice the money the seller is asking. So, does that make this car a bargain or just a pricey Nova?

Comments

  1. Big C

    I had a chance to buy one of these back in the mid-80’s, 350 with the 4 speed. I think the asking price was $1700, and it was mint. I told the salesman I’d think about it. Trying to play the game. Immediately called when I got home. It was gone. Live and learn…

    Like 21
  2. Rw

    Used to hate this back in the day,I dig them now.

    Like 20
  3. David Zornig

    Chevy also has a Nova Shark model in `76.
    All were black with gold striping etc. as I recall.
    But is may have regional to the Midwest only.

    Like 3
    • Shawn

      The Shark was a midwest only dealer package. A group of dealers decided to get together and piggyback on the success of a little movie called Jaws, so the Shark was born. While it was a stripe, sticker, and wheel package, most dealers did the conversion on an already well equipped car, so the Shark was never a slouch when it came to options. They were a cool package that looked great and near impossible to find these days.

      Like 6
  4. nlpnt

    Chevy didn’t discontinue this package for ’77, they renamed it Rally Nova. Other than the name and annual changes shared with other Novas the ’77-79 Rally Nova was identical to the ’76 SS. The most noticeable change was that ’79s had the same square-light chrome grille as all other ’79 Novas perhaps to prime things for the Citation X-11 which also didn’t get a distinct grille.

    Like 5
    • Shawn

      The 77-79 trim was actually Nova Rally. The Rally Nova was only 71-72, which was a semi-SS insurance beater. I always thought it was odd they reversed the name like that, but who knows what their reasoning was.

      Like 1
  5. Stan

    Cool Chevrolet 😎 🆒️ 4 on the floor 👍

    Like 7
  6. KC John Member

    $24500? Wow, I had no idea. Seems ambitious to me

    Like 10
  7. erik johnston

    In 1983 i worked (changed oil!!) But an older guy would bring his 76 nova non ss. green and green. But it was a 4spd- and i could be wrong,but i belive a consol w/factory guages like a 68 or 69 camaro. The guy that owned it liked me because i loved his car-always wanted me to service it. He bought it through the place he retired from, chevrolet. It special ordered it so it was a copo car. That console w/ guages always stood out.

  8. gbvette62

    These were a lot better car than most people realize. My first job out of college came with a car, a 75 Nova 4 door LN (“Luxury Nova”). The LN was Chevrolet’s idea of a poor man’s baby Bimmer, with a 350 4bbl, upgraded cloth interior with bucket seats (in a 4 door!), upgraded suspension, and an overall “European look” compared to other Nova’s. The car drove and handled great, I actually autocrossed it a few times with some success! For 76 the LN became the Concourse, and gained a lot of shiny trim for a more American “luxury” look, but underneath they remained the same.

    This is a good looking car. I don’t quite understand the “360” badges all over the engine, and I think I’d prefer a more stock look under the hood, but it’s still a nice car. I’m sort of conflicted over the wheels too, I love that style rally and the low rise 67 center caps, but I almost think the stock 76 six hole rally’s might look better on it. Also, it’s a shame the console looks like it was cut to put a Hurst shifter in it.

    Like 2
  9. Jim Harper

    Nice car I like everything but the price! I think he is asking $10K too much!

    Like 3
  10. Troy

    I had a 77 with the 307 engine sold it to soon that was the last decent Chevrolet I owned

    Like 1
  11. 19sixty5 Member

    I was never a fan of this body style, but they have grown on me over the years. I think the early style Rally Wheels really help the appearance of this car.

    Like 2
  12. tom hofstad

    Did not return as an import. It was made by Nummi, the Toyota and GM partnership in Fremont California in an old GM factory. It is now the Tesla factory.

    Like 2
  13. EBZ06

    Knowing I had missed the SS, I ordered a sweet 77 2-door Coupe from the factory, ticking off every box that would have made it one. 350; Rochester 4BBL; Buckets; console; F41 suspension; Turbo Hydra Matic; Rally Wheels; RWL Radials and A/C. Black with minimal chrome accents and a Firethorn Red Interior. A year later, I bought a 76 SS Grille from National Nostalgic Nova and made the tribute complete. Best damn car I ever owned—for 23 years. With 50K miles on it, still looking brand new, I wound up selling it to a guy that wouldn’t leave me alone. Named my price, got it, and bought a Vette. I still miss that car (so I bought another – a ’69)

    Like 5
  14. Rocco Russo

    I had a 73 and a 78. The 78 I believe was the Rally Nova. 350 V8 with a 4 speed. Ended up replacing the motor with a 350 4 bolt main, hopped up cam, Vette aluminum intake, and an Edelbrock 4 barrel also put a Hurst short-throw spring-loaded shifter in it. Went the header route then after they rusted out had a new exhaust system done all the way out the back. The car ran great and sounded even better. Out screwing around one night doing burnouts, the final one it hooked up hard and grenaded the transmission. Sold it shortly after that. Mine was red with black interior and a bench seat.

    Like 1
  15. CenturyTurboCoupe

    I bought a 1976 SS black in and out last fall off the original owner. $25,000 CDN. So the price is right on this one. The one I bought and another I seen for sale in 2000 are the only stock and unmolested Nova SS’s I have ever seen. Super hard to find in Ontario in this condition. Mine even has the stock converter and perpendicular mounted muffer still. But for some reason I seem to find cars minus G80 option. Who would think to order a SS with an open differential with 165 net horse??!!

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