Two Many Doors? 1969 Chevrolet Nova Survivor

This 1969 Chevrolet Nova appears to be a true survivor. While some people in the car collecting community loathe most four-door cars, they can still be really cool if done right. Have you ever seen a shoe-box Chevy with the rear door handles shaved? I think this car has the potential to be just as cool. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $3,350 and when the bidding settles, you can guarantee it will be the fraction of the price of a similar 2-door. Located in Waterloo, Illinois, the ad states it was owned by the same family for over 50 years and it was always garaged. Let’s check out more of this great car!

The engine is a straight-six and it appears that it only has 81,000 miles on the odometer. The seller says it drives very well with no unusual noises. If this was my project, I would probably drop an LS engine in it or better yet, a 572 crate motor. How about you?

There are only some close-up photos of the interior, but it looks like it’s in great shape. You can easily fit five of your friends on the two bench seats. The upholstery and headliner look amazing and you wouldn’t have to do any work to it if you didn’t want to.

There is a spot of rust near one of the wheel wells, but overall, it looks pretty solid. These 4-door cars do look a little awkward, but they still have a ton of style and character. There are a few YouTube videos of a 4-door Nova named “Sweet Pea” that is an absolute sleeper. This car runs 10-second quarter miles and will pull the front tires off the ground! That’s my thought, how about you?

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Comments

  1. dirtyharry

    What is interesting is how the seller got his monies worth from this ride. I assume 50 years ago, about $2500 new. That works out to about $50 a year or roughly $4 a month. That is an economy car. Before you dump all over the six, does anyone remember they offered a four banger between 68-70?

    Like 9
    • Wendell

      I had a 70 with a four speed and the 4 banger

      Like 2
  2. Keith

    This Nova would make a great sleeper if you can get past the two extra doors. I’m very surprised that this Nova has very little rust, nice condition.

    Like 6
  3. Dusty Stalz

    I’m no purist but I think changing the engine in this would be a disservice to the car. It made it this far, leave it alone.

    Like 46
    • CapNemo CapNemo

      Right on.

      Like 12
    • Keith

      “If this was my project, I would probably drop an LS engine in it or better yet, a 572 crate motor” Heck yeah! Epic sleeper!

      Like 2
    • rpol35

      I have to agree with you Dusty!

      A four-door Nova with a six cylinder/Powerglide drive-train just isn’t desirable from a collectability perspective but it does have survivor value for what it is.

      There are too many ratty two door models still available that would be better candidates for a hoonmobile.

      Like 9
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      Exactly! Other than maintenance, if there’s nothing wrong with the car, why do any modifications to it? Enjoy it as it is. 🙂

      Like 9
    • David

      I am the new proud owner of this 69 Nova. This car is everything they advertised & more. It drives so nice and I’m keeping it all original. Btw….I now owned two 1969’s Nova’s, a 2 dr & this four door.

      Like 2
      • JoeNYWF64

        I’m not sure how you get at spark plug #1 & maybe even #2, with that a/c compressor in the way. A ’75 nova could be even worse with huge hei distributor.
        My friend just bought a rebuilt cardone distributor for this motor. Beware! Turns out the center shaft is slightly narrower than the correct one inside his 30 yr old distributor. & the pertronix black plastic magnet wheel
        https://pertronix.com/pertronix-1162a-ignitor-delco-6-cyl-with-vacuum-advance.html
        fits too loose, & uselessly on the center shaft! & i’v heard of some import HEI distributors
        with wrong grade steel gears that can damage the motor.
        Not sure how many distributor rebuilders there are left today. I assume yours has the original distributor. Good luck findin good points.

    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I’d keep it as original as it left the dealer. The only upgrade I’d have done to it would be to upgrade the braking system, give it disc brakes for the front wheels if it didn’t come with. Otherwise, I’d leave it as it is.

  4. JoeNYWF64

    I bet mostly millenials are betting on this car cause it’s a 4 door. Hope they are aware of the crank windows, grease fittings, manual drum brakes, & points & condenser, else the winner will be very upset. lol

    Like 7
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I grew up with cars that had manual (crank) windows. Most cars I’ve driven had front-disc, rear-drum brakes.

    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I imagine anyone under the age of 30 would wonder “What the hell is this?” or “How the hell does this work?” I have nephews who would probably be at a loss as to how to drive this thing. :)

  5. Skorzeny

    My favorite car is a 4 door so I love this. It has the wrong engine and transmission unfortunately.

  6. Ben T Spanner

    Sweet pea should be green. Let’s see; a four door, 6 banger el cheapo econo car. If you are going to invest time, money and storage space; get something that you will enjoy every time you look at it, and drive it.
    Buy the best example of what you really want. Don’t buy and 4 door and shave the rear handles. What’s next a fake floor shift and a glue on hood scoop? People will look at you, but for the reasons you think.

    Like 5
    • Lion

      Your right, Ben, when I met my wife she was driving a green ’68 4door Nova with the six/automatic. She drove that car to work every day in the prairie heat and winters until one day in 1979 I backed it out of the driveway and when rolling down the window it dropped into the door. Sold it to a friends kid who wrecked it (drove it to death then kicked in the dash, jumped on the hood, that crap). We bought a new LTD that lasted 4 years and traded it on an ’83 Chevette that is still going strong. This car should remain stock !

      Like 2
    • Harry

      Six can stay, ‘glide must go. Good parts from Clifford, modern trans and brakes, suspension upgrades.

      FIRST stop, of course, a tire shop!

  7. JW454

    I had a 1968 2 door the same color. It also had the 6 cyl with a power glide. It was a great little car. I sold it and and went with a 1970 Monte Carlo. While the M/C was a very nice car I still missed my little Chevy II.

    Like 3
  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking Nova. It’s nice to see an original survivor. If I didn’t already have a car of my own, I’d keep the car as stock as possible. Upgrading only a few things to make it safer to drive. I’d leave the stock straight six engine under the hood.

    Like 3
  9. Coventrycat

    If you need two doors to be cool, then you never were cool to begin with.

    Like 9
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. Most of the cars I’ve driven have been 4 door sedans.

      Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      I would’nt have gone to seen American Graffiti if Milner, Falfa or even the Toad/Steve was drivin a 4 door. They wouldn’t have picked up anybody – girls would have thought they were broke & drivin da old man’s car. lol
      My friends all laffed at me IN THE 60s, drivin mom’s 4 door falcon – couldn’t WAIT to get MY OWN 2 door – not falcon. lol
      Today, i’m laffin at all the people tryin to look cool in 4 doors
      especially where the roof is too high/too much empty space over their heads, & it looks like a 12 yr old is driving.
      I challenge you to find me a tv commercial or mag ad FROM THE 60s for YOUNG/SINGLE people where they are drivin 4 doors.
      Nope.

      • Lion

        How about a 4door hard top Joe? espscially from the ’50s . Still lots of roof but no post.

        Like 1
  10. Car Nut Tacoma

    Two doors are nice, but with four doors, you can get people into the back seat more conveniently.

    Like 2
  11. TimM

    Looks like it’s in really nice condition but to many doors!! Would be a good chance for a younger generation person to get into the hobby at a reasonable price though!!!

    Like 1
  12. jimmy the orphan

    This is a Nova Quattro port. Sorry no usb ports. You must steer and brake all by your self. Paint the valve cover.JIMMY

    Like 1
  13. HECTOR RIVERA JR.

    I had a 1971 two door Nova with the six cylinder 250 ci engine and three on the tree manual transmission . It was still peppy for a six. I would keep the six, install fuel injection and go with a 5 speed manual.

    Like 2
  14. Barry Traylor

    I always swore I’d never own a four door car, until I had a grandchild to get in and out a car seat.

    Like 4
  15. Ken Carney

    By all means leave it as it is. A great
    original car beats a souped up version any day of the week. The 6 cylinder
    Powerglide driveline was almost indestructible! Novas like this one were
    easy to fix and cheap to keep. This one
    would.be a great car for Mom to drive
    while we get her ’01 Buick LeSabre redone. I would, however, increase the
    stopping power by adding disc brakes up
    front. And, if you must have power ports
    for your GPS or other devices, there are
    shops like Tunes & Tint in Lakeland that
    can install and conceal these for you at
    fairly reasonable prices. My advice: just
    drive and enjoy as is. They’re only original once!

    Like 2
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. If it came with a V8 engine, then I’d leave the V8 engine alone. But if it came with the straight 6, I’d leave it alone.

      Like 1
  16. CanuckCarGuy

    I like these in a 4 door…the car naturally sits low, and the longer look of the body works nicely IMHO. I drive and keep this beauty just as it is.

    Like 4
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      So would I. My favourite cars have always been 4 door sedans and station wagons.

  17. 64 Bonneville

    This is how the majority of cars were bought back in the day. Although I do like a modified or “resto-rod”, the original usually wins out with me. Unmodified or unbutchered is worth more to me, personally.

    Like 2
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I’ve never liked heavily modified cars. Other than perhaps installing a new sound system.

  18. Poncho

    Car sold for $3800. Almost $4k for a 4 door 6cyl. family/grocery getter. To put into perspective, I bought a 1995 Corvette convertible, 300 hp LT1, automatic, that just needs 2 front tires, a new top, and a good detailing for $5k. Ok, so my car has 125,000 miles, but everything is there and works, has been driven and maintained. Comparably I shouldn’t need to worry about failing fuel and brake lines, jacked up fuel system from old stale gas…etc. So ask yourself, would you rather spend $4k on a 6 cyl. four door with about 40,000 fewer miles or something that has been maintained and driven with a little more mileage, but more power on tap and the top goes down for another grand? I don’t mind doing some maintenance and some good cleaning and detailing rather than sheet metal replacement and body and paint work. Think I’d rather skip the sleeper approach and go with the in your face route, for the money. Don’t know about you. Think about what your money can buy before spending the money, is what I’m saying.

    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I’d pay $4500 for the car if everything on the car works like it should. If it has a V8 engine, I might pay close to $5000 for the car.

      • Poncho

        Wow! The way things have been, as far as prices, is if this had a V8 it would probably have gone for more than $5k. Once again, $5k for a 4 door nova or $5k for a 1995 Corvette Convertible, LT1 300hp car? Keep the sleeper…I’m going for the top down fun!

  19. Car Nut Tacoma

    Since when does a car have to have two doors to be cool, let alone a V8 engine? I believe that you can be just as cool in a 4 door sedan with a straight 6 engine or even a station wagon with a straight 6. I’d buy either one.

    • Poncho

      Have at it then. Perhaps my impression of cool comes from the TV series ‘Happy Days’ and “The Fonz” and the movie “American Graffiti.” I don’t think that John Milner and Arthur Fonzarelli thought being seen in a station wagon was ‘cool’. Use whatever barometer you want for cool factor, my point is what do you get for your money? IF you want to spend 4 or 5 grand on an old low tech four door or wagon or perhaps buy something newer and easy to get parts for, then throw in top down fun with horsepower…well to me is pretty easy. I grew up in a drag racing and cruising crowd. There was the old formula…More horsepower to less weight equals more fun. I kinda stuck to the pony cars and own a 1969 Firebird 400 4 speed convertible amongst others. That’s fun to drive!

      • Harry

        Most guys in my day went with whatever car would get them from zero to laid the fastest 😁

  20. Poncho

    I heard that.
    Then there is the nicer the car, the better looking the girl too. At least that’s what I noticed.

  21. Car Nut Tacoma

    I believe that two door sedans or two door coupe and hardtops are nice if you have children under 5 yrs old whom you don’t want to have open the door to get out of the car whilst you drive. But if your youngest child is older than 5 yrs. old, he or she should be fine with four doors.

  22. Poncho

    About everyone that I talked to about the cars they used to have sold their 2 door cars because they started a family. I get it. My Mother in law cried when they traded their 1969 Camaro RS Convertible in for a family friendly car after the second child came. The reason they said was they needed two child seats in the back. Either the Camaro or the Corvair had to go. I am pretty sure the 2 door cars had seats that flipped forward so if the child was big enough to get out on their own, no 4 door would be needed. Regret is 20/20 hindsight.

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