Low Mile Survivor: 1974 Chevrolet Nova

While this 1974 Chevrolet Nova’s owner has made some changes to improve its performance and comfort, he has done so with care and forward vision. He has retained all of the original components, which would allow the buyer to return the car to a factory-fresh state if desired. It is a remarkable survivor, and with a genuine 20,800 miles showing on its odometer, it should offer its next owner many years of enjoyable motoring. All good things must come to an end, so the owner has listed the Nova for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Splendora, Texas, and the owner has set the sale price at $24,000. However, it seems that he might also entertain the idea of a trade for the right vehicle. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring the Nova to us.

Finished in a shade called Sandstone, the Nova is a handsome machine. The paint is claimed to be original, and the owner describes its condition as 8½. That seems a fair assessment because there are no significant problems visible in the supplied photos. The paint shines consistently across the entire vehicle, while the panels look as straight as they would have the day that this classic rolled off the line. One of the few exterior flaws worth noting is what appears to be some form of mildew on the rear bumper filler. It’s a bit of a weird one, and it might need the attention of a professional to determine how to address the problem. It seems that the Nova has spent its life in Texas, which makes its rust-free status no great surprise. The owner has fitted a set of aftermarket alloy wheels, but he includes the original wheels and caps in the sale. The chrome and trim are in excellent condition, while I can’t spot any issues with the tinted glass.

The original owner ordered this Chevy with a 350ci V8, a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Being the 2-barrel version of the 350, this motor would have been producing 145hp. This was sufficient to send the Nova through the ¼ mile in around 18.1 seconds. The engine bay is another area of this classic where the owner has added his personal touch. As well as some cosmetic improvements courtesy of some splashes of chrome, he has bolted on an Edelbrock intake and a 4-barrel carburetor. You can be pretty confident that this will have liberated a few additional ponies, allowing it to make some substantial improvements over the performance figures that I have quoted. The owner has retained all of the original components that he has removed from the engine bay for potential buyers who might be concerned. He indicates that he will include these parts in the sale. While the owner doesn’t provide specifics on how the Nova runs or drives, he states that it has 20,800 genuine miles on the clock. Given the significant collection of documentation that he holds, I wouldn’t be surprised if he can verify this claim.

The owner describes the interior condition as being 10/10, which is a bold claim in a car of this age. However, it does present exceptionally well and seems to have no immediate needs. The dash and pad appear to be faultless, and there are no apparent problems with any of the upholstered surfaces. What can be seen of the floor-mats and the headliner seem to continue this spotless theme, and I can’t see anything that would require the buyer to start digging around in their wallet. The seat upholstery is a mystery to me, and I’m not sure that it is original. The owner includes the original sales documentation, and it indicates that the upholstery color should be Black vinyl. However, the trim code (753) on the paperwork doesn’t seem to match anything that I can find in any Nova resources. So that is a question that I might pass to our knowledgeable readers because it has me beat. The original AM radio is intact, but the owner has mounted a CD player under the dash. He has also shown some great foresight because he has mounted the speakers in boxes that sit on the back seat. That means that he hasn’t drilled any holes, and removing the entire stereo would be an easy task. Apart from the radio, the original owner also chose to order this Nova with air conditioning.

This 1974 Chevrolet Nova is not a muscle car, but it appears to be an immaculate survivor that would turn heads wherever it goes. This isn’t the cheapest Nova that you will find in today’s market, with its price being close to the maximum that you might expect to pay for a non-SS version. However, an in-person inspection might reveal that the asking price is justified. I always stress the importance of doing that before committing to buy any classic car. In this case, it might reveal a vehicle on which you would be happy to spend the money.


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  1. Brent

    The filler panel.for the rear bumper needs to be painted. Other than that, it looks good.

    Like 3
  2. Motorcityman Member

    24K for 145hp??
    Naw……MUCH more fun choices out there for that kind of money!

    Like 13
  3. John L

    Way overpriced, at least they didn’t try to pass it off as an SS.

    Like 10
  4. JCA

    …And how many ’74 Novas are included for $24K?

    Like 12
  5. Scott

    Bench seat just spoils the interior, needs buckets and a console.

    Like 1
    • Motorcityman Member

      What if u got a new girl friend?

      Like 5
      • JoeNYWF64

        Won’t work today – driver will either get pulled over for distracted driving, or, wait, forget that – gf will be on the phone next to the passenger door.

        Like 2
  6. John C.

    Bench seats were the way to go back in the day so the girlfriend could sit up next to me and I could smell her perfume and maybe put my hand “somewhere” lol!

    Like 2
  7. KC John

    I’m a big Nova fan but 24k seems like a stretch. Nice car and fun weekend cruiser but overpriced IMHO. I appreciate that current owner didn’t SS it. And keeping original parts is nice touch considering low miles.

    Like 1
  8. Mark

    I want to thank Barrett-Jackson and Mecum for making everyone believe they own a goldmine. This Nova is about $18k over priced.

    Like 4
  9. Tom

    24 grand for a ‘74 Nova? Never thought I’d see the day. Not saying it isn’t worth it, just never imagined car like this being worth money like that.
    Good luck with the sale!

    Like 1
  10. Mike Stephens Staff

    Wow, the rear bumper plastic filler piece on the 1973-74 Novas. It had the same type of discoloration as this one on my ’73 when it was originally green. The first time I painted the car a couple of days later I filled it up with gas, and we all know where the gas goes on a 70’s Nova. Yep, I over-filled and some came out and bubbled the paint on this filler piece. My solution was to just scrape the green off, sand and prime a little bit, and get a spray can of black Krylon for this piece. Problem solved! I really like the Nova for sale here, really nice shape and well cared for. Great to see such a nice survivor, and I wonder if the very optimistic seller will find an equally optimistic buyer….

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