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Original and Solid: 1972 Chevrolet Nova

This very original 1972 Chevrolet Nova is on its third owner but is now on the search for a fourth. It is a solid car that is showing some scars, but returning it to a pristine state doesn’t look like it will be a big job. It is located in Carson City, Nevada, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has been steady, but not overwhelming. This has pushed it along to $9,900. With the reserve now met, that next owner is just around the corner.

Happily, for the next owner, rust doesn’t appear to be an issue. There is some pitting in the lower trunk floor, and also some evidence of pinhole repair in the same area, but the rest of the car appears to be solid. That isn’t to say the car is perfect. The largely original Cream Yellow paint is really showing its age, and the Nova also sports its share of dings. The worst of these is on the passenger side door, continuing onto the quarter panel. However, this is definitely repairable without any major effort. The owner also says that there is some evidence of other minor repairs in various spots around the car, but he does note that these are of a minor nature.

The entire drive-train in this Nova is original, meaning you get a numbers-matching 350ci V8, TH350 transmission, 10-bolt rear end, power steering, and power front disc brakes. The result is a car that produces a reasonable 165hp. The Nova doesn’t provide neck-snapping performance, but nor is it a slouch either. The owner states that the car has been well maintained, and it starts first time, every time. It doesn’t smoke or leak, and he claims that he would be more than comfortable to drive it from one side of the country to the other without hesitation. It looks like the next owner won’t be faced with splashing a heap of cash on this car’s mechanical components…unless they really want to, of course.

Don’t be phased by the tattered driver’s seat, the cracked wheel, the missing factory radio, or the crack in the dash pad, because that seems to be about as far as the bad news extends with the interior of the Nova. While we can’t see the original, black headliner, The owner says that this is faultless. The passenger seat, rear seat, trim, and the carpet all appear to be in pretty impressive condition. The cracked dash pad looks like it could be repaired, as it really hasn’t deteriorated terribly. A new cover on the driver’s seat and replace the wheel, and the interior of the Nova should present very nicely.

When I look at this Nova I can see why they were a firm favorite to stick a big set of wheels on and customize, because they have a tough style that adapts well to that look. This one is a solid and original example, and I’d love to see it returned to its best. Still, if someone decided to follow a different path with what is essentially a blank canvas project car, I could fully understand that. What would you do with it?


  1. Arthell64

    This is about as solid as they come. Hope whoever buys it leaves it original.

    Like 14
  2. LARRY

    Mild cam..holly carb and headers. That’s all I would do

    Like 8
    • Supernova72

      Have this same car in Red but bench seat. Even with the low compression motor it ran a 13.75ET with mild cam headers 4 bbl 3.42 gears. They don’t weigh much at 3250 lbs. Put rally wheels on mine

      Like 4
      • Jon Savage

        It is unfortunate that a lot of incredible cars from this era had less than incredible colors.

        Like 0
    • Supernova72

      My 1972 Nova. Put rally’s on it and the usual bolt on performance parts. Like this one 350 car with TH 350. 13.75 before rebuild of motor.

      Like 0
    • Billy Vince

      That’s exactly what I did to my 72 Rallye Nova 350 three speed, yep, three on the floor, oh how I longed for that 4th gear… 18 yrs old fresh into the 3rd Marine Air Wing, I have some smoking photos of this ride !

      Like 0
  3. PatrickM

    For a car that is 47 years old, this isn’t too bad. I see some rust issues and some body damage, notably, the right side door. Nice to see some underside pics, even if they do show some paint and probable rust issues. And, of course, the seats will need some attention. All this being said, I feel the asking price is too high. $5,000.00 tops for me. I know it’s a Nova, but with all the work needed….

    Like 6
    • Tom Member

      http://www.cars-on-line.com. You can buy a 72 Nova DONE and done pretty well for $25-30K. Like PatrickM said, with all the work…..what …..redoing everything……50-70K? With that investment and the original 10K in the car MIGHT be worth half of what is invested. I am a fan of restoration and “don’t crush em, restore em” but IN MY OPINION, fix it up a little, DO what LARRY said above and enjoy the car. Too bad it color combo is well, not my favorite.

      Like 3
      • Scott

        $50-70k?? What? I have no idea how you’d get that much work into this car- unless you turned it into a 9 second drag car or pro touring car.

        Like 1
    • Steve R

      It’s an auction the bidders set its value. The owner isn’t asking $9,000+, so far that’s what the bidders think it’s worth.

      Steve R

      Like 5
  4. HoA Rube Goldberg Member

    My grandfather bought a new ’71 very similar to this, only green, natch. His was even more basic than this, poverty caps, rubber mat, bench seat, but had the same 350, 2 barrel, 3 speed auto. The 2 barrel limited it’s oomph, but it sure could smoke the back tire. These were so popular, most were either drag raced or wrapped around a tree. Cool to see a stock one again.

    Like 5
  5. Stevieg

    My paternal grandmother had one VERY similar to this one. Same year, same yellow, same wheel covers, I know it was a V-8, but not sure if it was a 350 or a 307. Automatic, air, black bench seat interior with a black vinyl top & chrome around the side window frames. I, as a kid, thought it was a cool car, and I still do!. I often wonder what happened to it after my Dad’s dad killed my Dad’s Mom. Dad’s dad, when the murder went down, had a red 1971 LTD convertible with the white bucket seat interior & white top. He was a gear head, old hot fodder. I am certain it had the 429.

    Like 4
  6. Lance Platt

    The Nova was one of the cleanest designed American cars of all time. “Not too big, not too small” in size with enough options to satisfy everyone. The hard part now is to find a good example with V-8, automatic, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning in good condition. The color is fine with me.

    Like 3
  7. PRA4SNW

    “This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.”

    Like 0
    • BigBlocksRock

      Bought a used one for $600 in ’84, same color identical to this one, minus the molding down the side.
      250 straight 6 & a powerslide. Put close to a 100k on it never let me down. One of the most reliable cars I’ve ever owned.

      Like 1
  8. Karl

    Heck of a nice Nova would be a reasonable candidate for fixing up. I would modernize the interior with buckets I would look seriously at a nice LS in the 450 hp range the 10 bolt would be ok but needs limited slip installed, go through the trans stiffen up the converter fix necessary rust issues and paint. Heck of a nice ride

    Like 0
  9. Little_Cars

    You’d think after this many years, that front seat would have been stitched or at least covered with a cheap seatcover to keep the seams and tears from getting bigger. Otherwise, make sure the latch on the passenger side door hasn’t been boogered up and drive the damn thing.

    Like 0
  10. mikestuff

    I’ve shared pictures of my 1972 Nova on BF before. I loved the car, had the rare sliding vinyl sunroof and the 350/automatic. It had overheating problems from day one but I still liked it. It had rally wheels which were $80 for 4, and I had a rush in and change the FM radio to include an 8track player.


    Like 1
  11. Green

    I use to have a 74 Nova body style just like that one but sky blue six cylinder.i think that my younger brother use to borrow it to go to the store in but I knew that he was going to take it to Charlotte NC every time for the weekend.see he was dating my sister n law at the the time.but it was a very good car to drive and was a looker.i kept my car all original.and to tell the truth that six cylinder was tough and good on gas.ir was a 300 I put a 259 head on it and I was in high heaven trouble free.my uncle gave me the car.he bought it for his step daughter and she hated it.well I have always been the sleeper guy on cars and it was a great car for me.i have had many people in my family bought Novas.Even my aunt Christine had a gold six cylinder also see one man it was a joy to drive..I miss her as she has passed on and these iconic cars.

    Like 0
  12. stillrunners

    Is it funny it doesnt have A/C or is that the cooler side of Nevada ? Nice car….

    Like 0
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I bought one new in 69. Mine was forest green with black vinyl top, bench seat in black vinyl rally wheels and 396 with 4 speed. I ran the dog out it before trading for a 69 Firebird 400 which was a much better car.
    God bless America

    Like 0
    • Karl

      Johnm you truly have GREAT taste in cars the Nova sounded great and I am going to own a old fire bird with a 400 some day! Definitely in my favorites category

      Like 0
    • Little_Cars

      I guess a 1969 Firebird would be an upgrade to this Nova but only if you chose a mid-trim grade or higher as you did. For some of us, a family that owned THREE 69 Firebirds at one time–the base models had just as many quality/reliability issues along with a Nova I suspect. After inheriting my dad’s Firebird I couldn’t believe how much better the doors sounded on the 74 Nova I owned right before it. Those side windows were a pain to keep sealed and the doors eventually sounded like gravel in an empty beer can. The interior materials were about the same between the two. But tin worm took the lives of many a Firebird before these Novas saw the first bit of bubbling.

      Like 0
  14. PatrickM

    Listing no longer available. Last bid= $8,750.00. I hope, for the sake of all, it sold agreeably.

    Like 0
  15. Will

    Novas are the only cars I am aware of that even survivors like this one are labeled “a blank canvas”. Novas are way overused as muscle cars when they were not ( with some very rare exceptions) muscle cars originally. Nova survivors that have not been molested are hard to find. Keep it original. If it were anything other than a Nova no one would change it.

    Like 0
  16. Bill W

    Hmm, no air, and it has an in-line block heater…. for a Nevada car, that doesn’t add up.

    Like 1
  17. Ted

    Why is it you guys down south are fixated on A/C? That has always amazed me as a car guy, people bought stuff new and did or didn’t buy options because they could or couldn’t afford them. Does it really make a difference when you go to buy a car if it doesn’t have A/C?

    Look at some of the weirdly optioned cars we’ve seen, lot of them don’t make sense right?

    It’s like I can’t fathom why anyone would ever have ordered A/C up here as there’s really only a week or two each year it actually would be useful. As usual just my 2 cents……

    I missed this one or I’d have bought it, and then chucked that tan interior over the closest embankment.

    Like 0
  18. Little_Cars

    Ted, why wouldn’t we be fixated on AC down here? This has been a summer of sweltering +100 degree days. As Barn Finds edge toward the late 60s-80s and beyond there is no reason not to expect that even an entry level vehicle will be fitted with air. Now of course sellers typically claim all sorts of things when the air doesn’t work especially the older the car gets. Modern Vintage Aire retrofitted is the way to go. IIRC I think 1968-69 was the first time my Dad actually went onto a dealer parking lot specifically looking for a AC sedan for the family and he had his pick of everything from a used Thunderbird sedan, Fairlane, Galaxie 500 or Country Squire. We voted for the Galaxie sedan as our first air conditioned car.

    Like 0

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