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One Family 1974 Chevy Nova hatchback!

This 1974 Chevy Nova, submitted by reader Rocco B., would make a nice restoration candidate. It isn’t an SS or a Yenko model but it does have a 350 V8 and should have a 4-barrel carb.  This one is slightly unique because it is a hatchback, but nearly 400,000 Novas were produced in 1974 so I wouldn’t call it rare (80,000 2 door hatchbacks were produced that year). Find it near Chicago here on Craigslist for $5500.

With Pep Boys wheel covers and rattle can blue paint, you’d better check this one out carefully if you decide to look at it.  The body looks surprisingly solid. Hopefully it’s not a bondo buggy! The rear bumper really intrigues me: for 1973, the Nova received bumpers that could handle a 2.5 mph bump. For 1974 the bumpers were designed to absorb a 5 mph bump and were spaced 2 inches farther from the body. But the rear bumper on this car is larger than any I’ve ever seen! I think it may just be an optical illusion with the shadows and blue paint but if not, that is one fantastic intermediate parcel shelf to help with loading heavy items into the trunk!  And speaking of the trunk, this is a hatchback which is somewhat more rare than the traditional trunk.

Chrome valve covers dress up the 350 under the hood that was good for between 145 horsepower in 1974. This engine is backed by a 3 speed automatic (Turbo-hydramatic 350) transmission. The seller seems ambitious to sell this car since it is listed on the Los Angeles Craigslist! Maybe he wants someone to fly in and drive it home. Or maybe send a shipping company to come get it, sight unseen. Hopefully there aren’t any serious rust issues underneath. We’re told the the interior is in great shape but there aren’t any pictures to judge. Do you think it is worth $5,500?


  1. Dave Mc

    I suppose you could suck the bumpers in a bit with some messing around. I always thought that they were butt ugly.

  2. Larry Q

    That bumper is a traction aid

    • Dave Mc

      Lol, something to hook a chain to?

  3. Miguel

    Have hatchback Novas really taken off to this degree? $5500.00 for a hatchback in this condition seems kind of high.

  4. Rock On Member

    No Miguel, snow, salt and time have reduced the number of Novas available for sale. This is not a lot of money to get into the old car hobby.

    • Miguel

      While that may be, the value for Novas come from being a car people can hop up, if that is the correct term.

      This is a hatchback model which does not have the structural integrity that the hard tops do to handle high horsepower.

      I am not sure I have seen a hatchback with a big engine. I don’t believe they made one from the factory either.

  5. Rock On Member

    I’m sure that you can hop up this car with enough horsepower to soil your pants without twisting the body to pieces.

  6. Mike

    They were dogs. I wouldn’t want one if they were giving it away. Too many smog restrictions and lack of any horsepower. They also didn’t look anywhere near as nice as their predecessors

    • That AMC guy

      It’s surprising what a poor job GM did with the hatchback conversion, and even more surprising how much better a job that tiny AMC did with the Hornet Hatchback.

    • VinceZ

      I kindly disagree with not looking nice. And my wife’s car sports a TPI 350 which is a quick easy swap and moves out quite nicely.

      • That AMC Guy

        Main problem with the hatchbacks is they look like GM just took a pair of sheet-metal shears to the back of a 2-door sedan. In fact that’s pretty much a quote from a review back in the day. (They do look just fine up front!)

  7. TJP

    I can smell the perfume, BS, and rattle can paint emanating through my monitor. lets not overlook the fact that it’s in the north central rust belt, 1/2 the price would probably be too much ;)

  8. Gary Day

    It doesn’t have to be a hatch back to twist the body.
    I have a 74 gto with a pretty stout built engine and I tweaked my quarter panel at the drags this year.

  9. Rock On Member

    Try welding in some subframe connectors.

  10. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Should be a four barrel ?

  11. Troy s

    Gotta lose those hub caps, yuckola! It’s not a bad looking car, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, not every Nova was a fire breathing street machine, I’d say most never were, originally. I always wondered what a low torque-high horsepower engine would be like in one of these, say a late 60’s Z28 302 engine?
    I really never know what the value of these once cheap rides should be nowadays as I remember them being so affordable at one time or another, especially when we get into the mid-seventies cars.⛽

  12. Joseph Wayne Haddock

    Was always my favorite body of the 74 nova.

  13. BigBlocksRock!

    68-72 best looking novas IMO. Owned 1 from each year in my life. Have a 69 with a BB now. Love it! $5500 might be a bit much for a 74 in that condition.

  14. kenzo

    Had a 74 Olds Omega hatchback. Dark green with black interior. Mine was a 350 also with the 3 speed auto. great car. Sold it when the family grew. The hatch body was more that a 2 door with the back cut open. All the GM hatchbacks had under chrome back window rust problems. There are patch panels available as I had mine done. Wish I had it back now. If this is solid body and undercarriage and not a bondo baby I’d go 5500 but no more

  15. T Mel

    “it’s not a Yenko or a…” Yenko?! …umm no, it’s not.. since..well you know, since those Yenko Novas were long gone by ’74. It’s also not a Model T, so, you know, that’s cool too.

  16. chad

    “…All the GM hatchbacks had …”
    I had the Olds…was it an “Omega”?
    Didn’t need any hopping up, 350 wuz fine!

  17. John Member

    Yup decent cars, they had a problem of popping loose the hatch window from the stickum W/body racking. Also had 4dr W/350 Intercepter package when on the PD, great cars, fast, and W/350/4 Barrell never carboned up when idling.

  18. Brett B Johnson

    That is not the correct bumper for a 74 Nova Hatchback! I owned a Corvette Blue 74 Nova Hatchback (half black vinyl top) with a 4 bolt main 350 and my bumper was not near that big and it flowed with the car unlike the one seen on this car. I want that car back bad now. Out of all the vehicles I have had in the last 33 years I miss it the most!

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