Original Hot Hatch: 1973 Chevrolet Nova SS

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While not the most exotic of unicorns, an SS Nova with the hatchback body isn’t exactly the most common muscle car you can find. This is the sort of car where I’ll gladly entertain discussions about how the specific configuration makes it a one-of-? car, or what have you, as there cannot be many SS cars running around with the three-door body. Find this unusual Nova here on eBay with bidding over $2,900 and the reserve unmet.

There is a pair of these Nova hatchbacks in the large Georgia collection we’ve listed here as a Barn Finds Exclusive, and I’ve been intrigued by this small-volume version of the classic Nova. While the hatchback continues to fight an uphill battle in the U.S. among CUV-hungry consumers, the General saw it fitting to not only build a Nova SS, but to slap the rear liftgate onto one. Much like how enthusiasts today get excited by hot-rod wagons, I have to believe the original owner liked his oddball.

Is a Nova SS an unusual car? No, but I’m guessing most shoppers would opt for the tradition coupe body if they wanted one. The hatchback wasn’t exactly popular among U.S. shoppers in the 70s, especially ones that would consider a Nova SS as a new car purchase. This one looks reasonably sound, with a complete interior and the 350 paired to an automatic transmission.

The seller says the side stripes are original, and that it’s a true Super Sport with factory air. It still runs, drives, and stops, and has a few rust spots to contend with. The vinyl roof was removed and the roof treated with a sealant to prevent further rusting. Overall, this is a unique car in a field of thousands of Novas still on the road, and I can’t see it losing value given the notoriety and genuine SS configuration.

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  1. ChebbyMember

    Pretty cool find….some of that lime and scale remover might really brighten up the white paint.

    Like 5
  2. Jeffrey Spencer

    I had one in 1979. It was a hot car. I had put air shocks on the rear, flared the fenders to fit 60s in the rear, and 78s on the front with chromed moon rims. I had a Jensen stereo installed, with the thin triaxials mounted in the peg-board roof liner.

    Open the hatchback, flip the speakers to the rear and party at the beach. Folded down the rear seat and slept in the back a few times when exploring Big Sur.

    Like 15
  3. hurley cumbee

    i know this car very well, bought brand new 30 miles from my home car is/was for sale locally for 6500 cash money great car wish i could save it!

    Like 8
  4. Dustin Lisner

    I don’t mind this car but i wouldn’t consider owning any post 1972 Nova they just don’t look right to me, here is my fathers original 69 SS 396.

    Like 13
    • Supernova72

      That hood does not look original. I have a 72 as well.

      Like 1
  5. EJB

    My Dad had a 73 Nova Custom hatch. Bought it new. One of my earliest memories was going to pick it up at the dealership.

    Someone told him a hatch was rare and he now thinks he sold his 401k in the 80s. I tried to tell him that it may have more value than a regular Nova rare does not equal a retirement plan.

    I do have a soft spot in my heart for Novas now though.

    Like 8
  6. Don Ross

    Anyone remember the “camper” option?

    Like 9
    • no Juan

      I do, my cousin bought one 10 years ago, tent was still new unused condition , similar idea as the Aztec

      Like 5
  7. Frank Sumatra

    VW GTI was the original “Hot Hatch”

    Like 0
    • novab

      Except this is a 1973 , and the GTI first year was 1974

      Like 1
      • Ike Onick

        No kidding? So you think the GM product qualifies as a “Hot Hatch”? Hmmm.

        Like 0

    I had a 1973 Pontiac Ventura Sprint (350 / AT) with the hatchback and I had the tent attachment. It was great for camping and traveling and only took about 10 minutes to set up. The hatchback also was able to help us fit 14 kids in the car (SR year @ HS) as it had air shocks. This is a picture of someone else’s car, but mine was identical. (Green / Wheels / Hatch / Stripe) Last I had the car, I sold it in Moorhead MN at the very end of 1975. Great car and I wonder where it ended up

    Like 6
  9. OrangeKrate

    I didn’t even know these were a thing till I watched Logan Lucky. Then I kinda wanted one.

    Like 0
  10. Karl

    I know everyone seems to like the 68-72 Novas , but the 73-74 models always have been my favorites. The larger bumpers gave the car a beefier look in my opinion, especially when they were jacked up in the back (like many were back in the day)

    Like 2
  11. sluggo

    I too prefer the 68-72 and hated the styling of the 73 and up although the 76-77s kind of grew on me for a potent street machine. I think the hatch was a cool idea by itself, and would consider one if they had been available. It, to me was the styling changes of the 73 that killed it for me.
    I had a 1972 Rally Nova, which are kinda interesting on their own but I had no idea at the time the significance of them. Wish I had kept mine. I did all the typical hotrodding poorly executed ideas in late 70s and early 80s with mine. Jacked up the back with spring shackles and air shocks, Even ran the Hi-jackers rabbit stickers in the quarter windows, Ran 60s/70s 14″s but at one point ran M50/14s which rubbed of course with even a 110 pound girlfriend in the car,,let alone her friends. Pioneer cassette deck, crappy power booster with EQ, and Pioneer 6x9s in boxes in the back. (I was rockin!) Over the years ran several engine/trans combos even a 454 and Muncie 4 speed for a while which was exciting, But it was best with a small block and auto trans with a shift kit and B&M star shifter. These are VERY potent muscle cars when set up right, As I said, Wished I had never sold mine. (I had a 63 & 64 Nova SS cars and thought they were cooler-more valuable but the 72 was a much better car. Hindsight is 20/20)
    Many of these got made into circle track cars and were popular for that,, which is where many of these ended up I suspect.
    Been there, done that, wrecked it.
    (Y’know,, THIS could get restyled a bit with 68-72 parts,, just an idea…)

    Like 3
  12. Cattoo

    My friend had a ‘74 350 auto trans that he warmed up a little bit. Car was quick enough for some spirited drives around town. It sat a bit lower than stock and was maroon with white stripes. Wanna say black interior and well worn high back bucket seats. Fun car.

    Like 1
  13. Still crazy

    I had a 73 with a warmed up small block 4sp. That was the drinking car. Hatchback no trunk to put the beer in. It was dark blue with white interior. Jacked up all the way around to make the 10 in cragers not rub. I painted the underside white. It was fast. LT1 70 vet mtr in it. It was the early 80s. Unfortunately ☹️ I destroyed it. But I’ve never had a car that fun. PS. The state had my license more than I did.

    Like 2
  14. Elgin Ball

    Bought one brand new in 1973. I ordered it and it came in early, so it was 3 months before I could drive it. It was white with black stripes just like this one. Sure wish I had her back. I gave 3600.00 for her.

    Like 0
  15. Charles Ward

    I had two SS Hatchbacks…
    ’73 glossy black SS Nova Hatchback with turquoise blue pinstripe
    ’74 blue SS Hatchback with the factory rally stripes and factory four speed

    Like 0
  16. Ethan Jones

    My dad’s first car was a 1973 SS Nova Hatchback. It was bucket seats 350 motor and 4 speed manual. Had a set of slot mags on it. He had a small black pin stripe painted down each side of the car. Would love to find one like his or one like this one and make a replica of his and give it to him. Is this one still for sale?? Thanks

    Like 0
  17. Ethan Jones

    Oh forgot to say this the last he heard of where my dad’s 73 Nova ended up at was some guy had it in Chattanooga TN and I believe he made a drag car out of it. My dad is from and still lives in Tellico Plains TN.

    Like 0

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