SS Aspirations: 1969 Chevrolet Nova

Here’s one from the “looks can be deceiving” department. It is a sort of reverse sleeper but this 1969 Chevrolet Nova shows very nicely, nevertheless. Finding standard Chevy models dolled up as the performance variant “SS” version is not unusual so let’s take a look at this attempt. This car is located in San Francisco, California and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $9,400, 34 bids tendered as of this writing.

When the SS version of the Nova was introduced in 1963, it was a trim package with full instrumentation, unique wheel covers, a center console, and bucket seats. The SS nomenclature could be bestowed on a two-door hardtop or convertible and power was courtesy of an in-line, six-cylinder engine; there was no V8 available yet. But once the 283 CI V8 made its debut in the ’64 Nova SS, a V8 engine was still not an SS requirement, just an option. In 1968, however, a 295 HP, 350 CI, V8 engine did become the standard SS powerplant and that trend continued through 1972, with ’73 seeing the return of any available engine for SS guise. Big-block engines in the form of 350 or 375 HP, 396 CI V8s were SS options in ’68, ’69, and ’70.

This ’69 Nova has done a fair job of representing that year’s SS offering, it has a blacked-out grille, faux SS hood vents, “350” engine fender badges, black beltline molding, black rear valance panel with SS emblem, a nice stance, and rally wheels, which were an option in ’69 though not in that size or offset or with those ’67 vintage center caps. The Butternut Yellow finish is still presentable and the body is well aligned with no sign of rust. Of note, this Nova, at one time, featured a black vinyl top but it has been removed. The steel roof panel is no worse for wear and gives no indication of rust which is frequently a problem with roof panels that have been hidden in obscurity under a vinyl covering. This Chevy looks good!

So what’s cooking under the hood? A 155 gross HP, 250 CI, in-line six, as opposed to a 300 HP, 350 CI, V8 that was the stock in trade for a ’69 Nova SS. The seller advises that this is the original, 106K mile engine and, (the) car runs great transmission shifts nice and smooth car rides good”.  Angling behind the six-banger, is a two-speed, Powerglide, automatic transmission, a gearbox that was actually still available in a real ’69 SS Nova – available but not widely chosen.

The listing references “leather seats” but I was not aware that one could purchase leather duct tape. It’s probably just a case of selecting the wrong interior material from eBay’s pick-list. The images of the bucket seat interior, again standard in a ’69 Nova SS, are minimal but the front seat appears to have patched seat covers overlaying the original vinyl upholstery and the seller admits as much. He also indicates that the dash pad is cracked and the headliner needs to be replaced. What can be seen of the door cards looks reasonable, and the seller states that they are original, along with the carpet. Of note, the seller claims that the front floor pans have been replaced. The underside image doesn’t highlight replacement pieces but the floors and subframe look solid.

There will be various opinions surrounding this car and all are encouraged. I wouldn’t call it a poser, it’s just more about the show and less about the go, and if that appeals to you, here’s your opportunity. What I do find astounding is the current bid, it seems pretty out there for just skin deep performance; what’s your thought on that topic?

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Comments

  1. 370zpp

    Deathproof candidate.

    Like 2
  2. Steve R

    Vinyl is the new leather.

    I would have left the SS emblems and hood louvre’s off, these cars stand on their own merit, there is no need to dress them up as something they aren’t.

    This looks like a good car for someone that doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for a desirable car from that era.

    Potential bidders should find out where the car is located, the background doesn’t look like San Francisco and the area code shows for Carson City Nevada.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  3. Jeff

    Anyone here think this specimen will go over 10K?

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      Yes, closer to $11,000.

      Steve R

    • Phlathead Phil

      Prolly. Plenty of Phools bin let out of skools deez days.

      However, still a better deal den dat un we sawz a few dayz ago pher $49 large!

      Mah Gawdz!

      Like 1
  4. Chas358 Chas358 Member

    No apparent rust.

    Like 1
  5. bikefixr

    I might bid on this. I have always wanted to find a clean ’69 and give it the “what if?” What if Chevy had extended the Z/28 option to the Nova? I want to trim it and built it out just like a Z/28 Camaro. 4sp, 302 solid lifter, lowered, sway bars, rear discs, console w/gauges, stock underhood look …it’s all available after market now and it’s not a clone, it’s an experiment. License plate will say: WHAT IF Hmmm…yeah, this looks like a great candidate.

    Like 6
    • Pugsy

      Now, that sounds like a plan.

      Like 1
  6. HECTOR RIVERA JR

    I used to have a 1971 Nova with the 250 CI six cylinder engine and three on the tree manual transmission. That 250 was still peppy. I sold it when I got orders to Okinawa and the transportation folks at Fort Bragg, NC said I couldn’t ship it or my 1967 Chevelle to Okinawa. Turns out they were wrong. I sold both at a lost due to the bad information given out by Fort Bragg TMO.

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