One Owner: 1970 Chevrolet Nova SS 350

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As the muscle car movement of the 1960s moved forward, Detroit manufacturers found new success with compact performance cars. Because they were lighter than the mid-size competitors, they could move fast without needing monster engines. Such was the case with the Nova Super Sport. In 1970, it was offered with 350 or 396 cubic-inch V8 engines (the latter being in its last year). The seller says this ’70 Nova is a real deal SS, but the burden of proof lies on his/her shoulders. Without factory documentation, these are hard to tell from clones. From Menifee, California, this nice Citrus Green Metallic Chevy is available here on craigslist for $27,500. Our thanks to Tony Primo for yet another great tip!

Chevrolet built more than 307,000 Novas in 1970 (one of its best years), but only about 19,500 were badged as Super Sports. Deducting 5,500 copies with the 396 V8, that left some 14,000 with the 350 which was rated at 300 hp with a 4-barrel carburetor.  The seller’s one-owner car appears to be one and we’re told it’s numbers-matching, but the VIN only confirms that it’s a V8 coupe rather than an I-6 sedan.

Like the Chevelle Super Sport, you need a build sheet or an MSRP sticker to validate an SS in 1970. The seller doesn’t mention having either of those items. The body and paint appear practically flawless, though the shadows in the photos don’t do it justice. The interior is odd in that the door panels and rear seat indicate a standard Nova interior, yet the bench seat up front sports more lavish upholstery. If it was redone, why not tell us?

The engine has been tweaked so it may not be a survivor in the true sense of the word. We’re told it has a mild camshaft upgrade and headers are visible under the hood.  A TH-350 automatic is the probable transmission and the seller is unsure whether the mileage is 78,000 or 72,000 (the latter being the odometer reading). If this is a real SS, the asking price doesn’t sound unreasonable. What’s your take?

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  1. Mike76

    Too bad there’s no documentation to support the SS claim, though that may be why it is priced how it is. Looks to have all of the correct SS pieces – not that that is proof of anything. The front bench was recovered in something other than the correct material. The missing radio and faded carpet are the only other issues I see. In addition to the top end work it appears they swapped in an aluminum radiator as well. Not exactly a survivor but rather it looks to be a pretty clean and cared for blue plate California car in a not often seen exterior shade. If it presents in person as the pics would make you believe, I would imagine this Nova will not last all that long.

    Like 13
  2. HoA HoAMember

    Not sure if I’m alone, if certain posts rekindle lost memories for others, but this was as close to my grandpa Sams ’71 Nova as it’s going to get, minus like a whole column on the option sheet. After his ’48 Packard, that obviously my grandma had no influence on, his cars got more frugal, again, thanks to grandma. His last car I remember was a ’71 Nova, same color, poverty caps, bench seat, no carpet, but he did manage to weasel in a 350/ 2barrel, and automatic. I went with him to get the car new, and a big smile on my face when he accidentally lit the tires. I was just a punk kid with a $50 Volvo, so this car got some attention around school. With the 2 barrel, it ran out of steam quick, just as well, I don’t recall it the best handling car. Thanks BFs for helping me think of my grandpa again. :)

    Like 16
  3. Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

    Beautiful! Great stance!

    Like 3
  4. Glen

    Do I see rot at the bottom of the fenders? Did this one owner ever poke around for a build sheet?

    Like 0
  5. John scott

    Sorry, but I thought the Nova SS had bucket seats. Mine did, plus side mirrors aren’t like mine were. Looks like the front of the passenger door is damaged and not aligned

    Like 2
  6. Rick Cucci

    I’m not completely sure about it being a true SS. I owned a 1969 Nova SS and regret ever selling it. This appears to be a nice car and with documentation the price would be reasonable.

    Like 0
  7. Bobw

    The nose up stance is not normal. Saw the link, honestly thought it was a car sans motor

    Like 3
    • Rick Cucci

      Bobw, yes noticed that too. Back in my old hotrod days guys would swap out the front springs and shocks for El Camino units on Novas, Chevelle’s. Why I don’t know.

      Like 1

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