Original Big Block: 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS 396

UPDATE 10/11/2019 – The auction for this Nova reached a little over $20k, but didn’t meet the seller’s reserve. They’ve relisted it here on eBay, but this time with a BIN of $39,500.

FROM 10/09/2019 – This 1969 Nova SS 396 is a car that ticks a lot of boxes for its next owner. It still features its original engine, and apart from a single minute bubble, it is completely rust-free. It has attracted plenty of attention since being listed for sale here on eBay, with 100 people currently watching the auction. It is located in Harwood, Maryland, and spirited bidding has pushed the price to $19,200. However, the reserve hasn’t been met at this point.

At some unknown point in the past, the Nova has undergone a repaint in its original Rallye Green, and while the paint is beginning to show its age in a couple of spots, it still presents extremely well. Rust seems to be limited to a tiny bubble in the bottom corner of the passenger door. The seller provides a number of photos of the vehicle’s underside, and it looks remarkably clean. The black vinyl top presents extremely nicely, and there appear to be no issues with the external chrome, trim, or the glass.

Opening the hood brings us to the business end of proceedings with the Nova. Sitting there is the original L34 396ci big-block V8, pushing out a healthy 350hp. The car was originally equipped with a close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission, but at some point, a different 4-speed of either 1970 or 1971 vintage has been substituted. It isn’t clear when or why this has happened, but it could conceivably be a warranty replacement. The power is then sent to the original 3.55 Posi rear end, while the Nova also features power front disc brakes. This combination resulted in a car that was pretty potent when new, with a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds, and a ¼ mile being demolished in 14.4 seconds. The seller doesn’t provide a lot of information on how well the Nova runs and drives, but he does reveal that the engine, transmission, and rear end have all been recently inspected, and the car has also received a number of new front-end parts and hoses.

The interior trim of the Nova is said to all be original, and it is in fantastic condition. There is a small crack in the dash pad, but a replacement is included in the sale. The rest of the upholstered surface, along with the headliner and carpet, all appear to be in great condition, with no real signs of wear or tears. The addition of a Sunpro Super Tach II is a nice touch, and the only item that doesn’t function inside the Nova is the original factory radio.

I have always liked the styling of the 1969 Nova, and this car has the muscle to back up those good looks. It is a very original car, and these are highly sought today. The bidding on this car has been quite spirited to this point, and it will be interesting to see just how high this gets before the reserve is met. I will be interested to see whether any of our readers decide to join the bidding party because I really would love to see the car bought by an enthusiast who will cherish and protect this muscular classic.

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Comments

  1. slickb

    HEHE you can get in a lot of trouble with one of these :)
    I personally don’t need another ride to get me in more trouble so I hope the new owner has fun

    19
    • christopher swift

      Back in college days I had a classmate who relied on a guy from his hometown for rides. And that guy had one of these, although it was a lot plainer.
      The driver was having fun, passenger mostly nervous. A great car, no frills muscle.

      1
  2. Gaspumpchas

    slickb, ain’t it the truth!! Nice nova and looks unmolested, love the green. Good luck to the new owner!!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    11
  3. 71FXSuperGlide

    ‘Poverty’ hub caps, 4 speed, and big block goodness. That combo does it for me.

    Nice.

    35
    • Chris M.

      Every damn time! Timeless look.

      17
  4. Tom Member

    What a great car! It would be better without that aftermarket body side molding. I see so many GM cars with this from that era. I don’t think it was a factory item? I would imagine aftermarket or dealer added? I know my Dad’s Ziebart shop installed these back in the day but like I said, not sure what it is about late 60’s and early 70’s GM cars but so many have them…. I feel like they could have been a factory item. Anyone know if they were a GM option?

    2
    • CCFisher

      Based on a brochure image, that looks like a factory-installed body side molding.

      7
    • Bob

      I have a ’69 Nova SS 396 and previously owned a ’69 Nova SS 350. Both came with side moldings from the factory. My 396 also has factory rocker moldings

      1
    • SquareLeft

      The side trim is factory. It was part of the ZJ5 “Exterior Decor Package” (6th line down on the build sheet). It was a very popular option that helped ward off door dings.

      8
  5. Will Fox

    Being a Chevy, isn’t it “instantly” worth $75K just for that?! (eye roll)

    9
    • Frank Sumatra

      You are thinking of the German car normally found in a crusher that is worth $75-100K

      15
      • Will Fox

        Frank, “bow-tie” fans always think nothing is worth what a Chevy is. They think a comparable Ford or MoPar is worth half that of a Chevy. (Sorry; I don’t speak bow-tie.)

        4
    • Barry

      The only reason I drive a chevy is to add dignity to the streets and bring joy to all.

      18
  6. Mark

    Red stripe tiger paws.

    My dad had a 62 Chevy Biscayne and he had to buy new tires about 1967. He opted for tiger paws white stripe. I wanted red stripe.

    I remember the tire installer gave me some of the wrapping paper with the paw prints.

    Back in the days when tires were wrapped in paper to ship them.

    Memories from age 7.

    28
    • Dave

      U.S. Royal, later became Uniroyal, made Tiger Paws, IIRC.

      4
  7. GuernseyPagoda

    I wonder if they would consider a Trade? Seriously, we got it………

    4
  8. Ethan

    My dad had a 74 that was that same color, but no vinyl top.

    3
  9. jerry z

    I had a 70 SS with a 350/auto and it was a blast to drive! Too many cars and too little money, oh well!

    4
  10. 68custom

    sweet ride bet the reserve is alot higher like in the 50.000 dollar range. still love it though!

    4
  11. JOHN

    I was never a fan of the color, but… because you rarely see the Nova or the Camaro for that matter I do like it, they stand out from the rest!

    7
  12. JoeNYWF64

    Shouldn’t this car be faster? It is lighter than a high 13’s sd-455 firebird & has higher compression & a higher numerical rear end than the bird. & no egr.
    Odd most novas i saw had the black taxi bench seat – few were ordered with blue,gold, dark green, etc. interiors, much less with bucket seats.
    I sure would have ordered power steering on this car(heavy big block!) instead of a vinyl roof, radio or carpeting.
    Could u get a 396 in a non ss nova?

    1
    • SquareLeft

      I’ll try to field a few answers:
      1. The quarter-mile time looks about right for a 396/350. In stock form, the Novas were hurt by their poor weight distribution and the puny E70/14 tires on the SS cars.
      2. As hard as it is to believe, the black vinyl interior cost $6.35 extra. Not specifying this got you a ‘colored’ cloth interior.
      3. Power steering would have been a good idea, but very few big-block Novas got it. Carpeting wasn’t an option – whether you got carpet or rubber mats depended on which interior option you chose. This car appears to have had ‘deluxe’ seat covers and new carpet installed – it would have come from the factory with rubber mats.
      4. The vinyl top is either aftermarket or dealer-installed. It’s not listed on the build sheet. If it were factory, it would be RPO C08 “Vinyl Roof Cover/Black” and would have added an additional $80 or so.
      5. The 250 HP 350 was the most powerful engine you could get in ’69 without buying the SS option.

      14
      • charles Flowers

        Dang, you know a LOT about this stuff.

        8
      • Will Fox

        FACTORY vinyl tops would normally have a color-coordinated molding at the base (in this case, black); where aftermarket tops would have a stainless or chrome molding.

    • Troy s

      Yeah, but in a burn out contest this Nova would win by a mile, even the power shift to second would scare some people half to death…

      2
  13. PeteMcGee

    This car ought to pull the skin off the pudding!

    5
  14. Johnmloghry Member

    This car looks just like the one I bought new in 69 at Brooks-Biddle Chevrolet in Bothel, Washington except mine had the rally sport wheels.
    God bless America

    5
  15. Woody

    This is a ground-pounder and love the vinyl top! Local guy in my area has owned one of these since he was young and looks great like this does but in a “butternut” yellow……

    3
  16. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    Why are the master cylinders always left to “weather” in bare metal,no finish? I know brake fluid and paint are enemies,but damn, seems all of them are left to rust.
    I Love this car!

    1
  17. 38ChevyCoupe Guy

    Bill,not sure who you are referring to ass a jackass,but I suggest you go back to bed and wake up on the right side. Nobody wants your ignorant 2 cents. Obviously you are illiterate and can’t read that comments must not contain profanity. Must suck to be you.

    2
  18. jerry z

    Car relisted and now the true price is revealed, $40K. WOW! Still a nice car though.

    1
  19. Troy s

    Plenty to like about this hard case Nova here, big block power, 4 on the floor, any lower of gears and it becomes loads of fun trying to launch…well, slicks or cheaters would surely help if it was set up right.
    Cheap muscle for years as many of us remember, like all these types of cars those days are long gone. Sweet.

    2
  20. Morley Member

    This was mine about six weeks after I bought it,

    14
  21. ACZ

    These were the perfect example of overkill. They were great.

    1
  22. Chris Londish

    A Tremec TKO 600 5spd and you have a real hot highway runner, my kinda wheels

    1
  23. Rolf Poncho

    Nice ride a must have for me!

    1
  24. 41PlymouthCoupefan

    I had a one owner 1973 with a 350 that I loved, the light green, not my choice, but have to be honest, for the price there’s so, so many better investments

    1
  25. JOHN

    Will Fox, I believe you have it backwards… factory vinyl tops have stainless steel moldings, with cast end caps or corners. Aftermarket have the color matched. No aftermarket vinyl top installer or company would have the ability to match the factory body lines, curves and corners required for perfect fit. I’m sure there are exceptions, but again, the overwhelming majority were stainless steel/cast. Pretty sure the Cougar and Torino in some models were color keyed, but the same year Mustangs weren’t. This car likely has a dealer-installed top, or the aftermarket went to GM to get the OEM specific trim pieces.

    1
  26. Patrick Farmer

    Wasn’t it National Lampoon that wrote about a girlfriend that was a 27 years old divorcee’, very voluptuous, has false teeth, can’t get enough of you, that loves your beer and owns a 1969 Nova SS with a 396 and a stick that she wants you to race? Yeah, that just about sums it up. Umm Humm.

    1
  27. Patrick Farmer

    Stimulating. Very stimulating. You want to sell something stimulating? You hire someone that everyone knows, that understands what it means to be truly stimulated. For Mr. Coffee, they choose Joe DiMaggio, A guy that played pro ball,won the pennant, married the number one boner maker in the history of human life, Marilyn Monroe, then had to go through all that Hollywood B.S. until she died. This guy knows what it means to be stimulated and this 1969 Nova is stimulating in the wheelhouse of Joe DiMaggio.

  28. Patrick Farmer

    I would put 307 emblems on the front, go out and murder the stupid on the street. Just hand them their butt.

    1
    • JOHN

      Nah, just put the 350 emblems on unless you delete the hood ornamentation, grille and tail panel, then you could put the 307 emblems on it! I dated a girl with a brand new 70 Hugger Orange, white bucket seats, console shifter, rally wheels with whitewalls. I’d love to have that car today to clone into an SS

  29. Kelly Waldrop

    Maybe for an L78.

  30. David Ulrey

    Even at 59 I must be too old and too poor for many of the current prices I often see. Maybe they are current market prices, idk. I don’t think people should just give away sweet cars like this Nova but so many seem to be roughly twice the price they ought to be. Maybe it’s the current cost of parts and labor?

    1
  31. Del

    Hagerty says fair condition at 53 grand and good at 76 grand.

    Roof not original and the car has been repainted several times. Paint looks lumpy in areas.

    Tranny replacement strange.

    Have to see and drive before deciding

  32. Gary

    A 70 bumper, 70-72 quarters, cowl calling for plain jane interior and NO vinyl top just to name a few issues.Looks to have been around the world a few times. Still worth around 25-30

  33. Bob C.

    Growing up, a girl living across the street from me had a boyfriend with one of these. Same color, same dog dish hubcaps, and a 396. No vinyl roof and his was a column shift automatic. Eventually he built it up with cragar mags and glass packs and a slapstick. I liked it better when he first bought it, too much junk.

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