Sunburnt Survivor: 1973 Chevrolet Nova

The seller of this 1973 Nova definitely picked the right picture to start off with! While this is certainly a nice car, it is in need of some repairs that aren’t quite apparent until you look more closely at some of the pictures. I’m a sucker for survivors, and even though this car requires some repairs, none of them involve rust. This is a New Mexico car and in some places it shows! You’ll see what I mean as you read on. Find this orange beauty here on Craigslist with 49,000 original miles and a fair but optimistic asking price of $6,500. Thanks go to Pat L. for sending this in!

Under the hood sits a standard Chevrolet 350 with a 2-barrel carburetor hooked up to an automatic transmission. Though it isn’t directly stated whether or not this car runs, it is implied in that the seller states that all of the gauges work. That, and the $6,500 price tag tell me it runs! It doesn’t have any oil leaks, nor does it have air conditioning. I’m no expert, but whoever bought this car new must’ve been a madman not to spring for A/C in New Mexico!

I have one word for this interior: yuck. When people talk about how ugly they thought Novas were back in the day, I never could understand. If most Novas came equipped with this interior coupled with the orange exterior, I now see the light. Though this back seat is in decent shape, for 49,000 the entire interior is a bit rough. The seller doesn’t directly picture the front seats, but the dash and package tray are both pretty well done for and according to the picture below, so are the front seats. The seller claims this car was garaged, and it may have been, but when it was out of the garage it certainly spent a lot of time in the sun!

From this angle, it looks like the front seats are not in the best condition. Based on dash and package tray condition, this is not surprising! However, this Nova is unmolested, mostly original, and a one-owner vehicle that comes with a functional factory 8-track player, maintenance records, and owner’s manual. Though it will need a little bit of work to be cherry, this Nova is an excellent candidate for a quick project or a first car for a younger person looking to get into the hobby. Would you try to keep it mostly original? Or fix it up into the Nova you’ve always wanted?


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  1. Kenneth Neal-Rosario

    A near twin to my first car. Same colors outside, but mine was a hatchback with a canopy vinyl top in white. I had black and white houndstooth on the inside. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. glen

    That New Yorker is more car for less money, way better deal.

  3. JW

    If it runs / shifts / stops I would redo the interior then drive the wheels off it.

    • Poppapork

      Why punish yourself like that?

  4. jw454

    The 8 track player may be functional but, it’s not original. It looks like an aftermarket Audiovox unit to me.

    • RS

      Agree – back in the day many of us would buy a car and then replace the factory stereo with one that slipped in place of the original. When we started doing that, instead of mounting an 8 track under the dash, we referred to them as ‘in-dashers’. Get a pair of Mindblower amplified 6×9’s in the rear panel and you were set.

  5. RS

    I can’t believe that totally plain rear seat is original.

  6. Chebby

    Why do I keep getting security-blocked errors when I try to post pictures?

    • Eric Z

      Good question, same happend to me a few days ago!

    • JW

      Me too !!!

  7. Alan

    February this year I bought All original 1976 Pontiac Ventura landau coupe. Light blue color with cloth blue interior. Belevie it or Not it got 121 original miles Not typo! Yes 121 miles from new! Car was stored from new. I do have All verifications. I beleive its lowest mileage Nova / Ventura in existence! Has 260 2B Olds V8 auto trans , tilt steering , factory AM radio , Optional Rally Tuned Suspension , Power Brakes , Power Steering , manual windows. Has No AC oh yes asking price was 13K I got it for 12K Not bad!

  8. Rock On Member

    Post some pictures of it Alan. Would love to see it.

  9. jaymes

    taxi cab seats, cant be original, tooo plain

  10. Rustytech Member

    When these were introduced they were such a let down from the 68 to 72 models we thought they’d never be worth anything. Lately though the prices have been rising steadily especially for the SS trim package ( even minus the big blocks and high hp. ). The only Nova I ever saw with plain seats like that was a 4 door city police car.

  11. David Ulrey

    Makes me really miss my Omega. Same colors. Olds 350, 4v carb, dual exhaust and fresh interior. It wasn’t very old at the time, maybe 10 years old. Boy that thing would haul butt!!!! :)

  12. Michael Dawson

    Base Novas of this vintage sported some pretty bland-looking seat upholstery, but I’m pretty sure the factory offerings weren’t as bad as this. Has to be a plain-Jane aftermarket seat cover we’re seeing here.

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