Untouched Survivor: 1966 Chevy Nova 283

Survivors are were it’s at these days, but finding a classic that hasn’t ever been rebuilt or repainted is truly a rarity. Quite often cars that are called survivors have actually been restored years ago or at the least been repainted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for keeping a classic on the road even at the cost of originality, but if you’re going to market your car as an untouched survivor, it better be all original. The seller of this Chevy Nova, here on eBay, claims it’s an all original car with just 55k miles, but I’m struggling to believe it. I can believe the mileage, but the paint and chrome both just look way too nice to be original, but then again anything is possible.

At first glance, this Nova looks like it might just be a real deal survivor, but take a closer look at a few things start to look off. For one, the paint and chrome look too bright for a car that has seen 55k miles. There aren’t any visible scratches, chips or dings. It could be that the photos make it look better than it really is, which is possible, but it seems unlikely that this car managed to avoid any kind of damage for the time it was still on the road. And while the interior looks like it could be original, it looks like someone tried to repair some cracks in the dash cap. It isn’t a huge issue, but it suggests that this car may have been restored at some point not that long ago.

The 283 V8 engine is said to run great, but there’s no word on whether it’s the L32 or L77. With the dealer installed AC, having the extra 25 horsepower of the L77 would be a nice bonus, but isn’t probably a huge issue. What might be an issue is the black spray paint on the underside of the hood and the new wiring that someone ran. I could live with the paint work had they at least taped off the hood insulation prior to painting it. The wiring would be easy enough to clean up in a weekend, but it definitely doesn’t help make the seller’s case for originality.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful car and having a 283 in a Nova sounds like fun. I just wish the seller offered more information in their ad, especially what their definition is of a survivor is. Just saying it’s original is a bit vague and could mean that it just hasn’t ever been customized, but once you state that it’s an original survivor, it gets more complicated. It looks like a great car, but with bidding already to $26k and an unmet reserve, they probably need to offer a bit more information on what all has been done to it over the years. So what do you think, is it really a survivor or just unmodified?


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  1. Steve R

    Thie same car was posted last weekend.

    Consensus was its factory AC.

    Steve R

  2. jaymes

    nice engine respray!

  3. OA5599

    This would make a nice sleeper.

  4. rdc

    Doors look to be slightly different shade. Obviously, engine and chassis have been cleaned up and some of it painted. Nice looking car but has been covered up?


    Wowww beautiful. I had an SS version, but mine was a beater. Had a 283 2 barrel with 3 on the tree. Put a THRUSH muffler on it… just made it louder, not any quicker. Had a “friend” sell me a 4 speed for it… but the synchros were bad… That ultimately was the end of the car. Ohhh, to relive those days, of the plentiful 60’s cars.
    This car is at 26K and the reserve is not met… Not sure what you folks think… what 30K to buy it? AC and power steering? I can see my wife in it as is. If it were for me, I would probably do dumb things to it like tubbing it, nice 383 etc etc

    • Steve R

      The dealer has it on their website for $37,000.

      Steve R

  6. Pontiac Randy

    Too bad it is from Lakeland Florida, home of deceptive classics, My buddy in Davenport may look at it this weekend, but you should be aware that summer in Central Fla is the worst time of year and if this is a Summer Car, buyer beware!

    • rdc

      What is a summer car in Florida? Why is that important?

  7. 8banger Dave Member

    I suppose “original” could mean “original looking”…

  8. Pontiac Randy

    Dan also has about 6 web pages in Lakeland, Over marketing I guess!

  9. Billy Bob

    I knew immediately this car was offered by the Lakeland, FL dealer. He always enhances his photos making the cars appear better than they really are. 37K for a Nova?

  10. TriPowerVette

    What do I think? Seriously? A stinking Nova with add-on air for $26,000+. And the reserve isn’t met?

    There was a very pretty girl I wanted to date. I had come to her house to pick her up for our first date, in my 1969 Corvette. I had to leave the hard top home, because she wouldn’t go, unless she could bring her friend, and I had to have a date for the friend.

    When we arrived, she was apparently having words with another guy. They parted (not amicably, apparently), and she came and got in – straddling the shifter (she only weighed 95 pounds), then her friend just had to sit square on my friend’s lap. As the four of us drove off, the guy in the driveway just looked miffed as he got in to his Chevy II and drove off in the other direction. We had the best time that night – being vigilant for cops.

    I can get a NICE c3 for that kind of money. Less. Hell; I can get a Z06 and a super slice of change. Wouldn’t be able to get 4 friends into it, though. I was younger then.

    If gentlemen prefer blondes, ladies absolutely prefer Corvettes. Even Camaros.

    I have a similar story about one of my Porsches. Some other time.

    Who has nearly 30,000 bux for a low-end econobox with the second smallest v8 Chevy ever put into anything? And the reserve isn’t met? Pleeeeaaaasssseee!

    Now look what you’ve done… my butt is tired.

    • glen

      Sorry, I’m stuck at “straddling the shifter”, I’ll have to read the rest again.

      • TriPowerVette

        +glen – LOL

      • KB


    • Tort Member

      Why don’t you tell us about your original 65 Cobra and your new 8 second Camaro you just bought!

    • LAB3

      Funny, in all my 55 years and never having owned a Corvette I still get the wives and daughters of those with them approaching me for companionship. Women want confident men, those that go for the gold often find out rather quickly how a machine is just a cover story.

      • TriPowerVette

        +Lab3 – Many, many machines. Wish I had had the money to keep them all. My wife of 35 years actually cried when I sold the ’61 E-Type.

        Your success was not due to car-guys and their cars, but due to losers who don’t know how to (or care to) treat a car or a lady. Simple as that.

    • Tard

      Put on your racing gloves, hawaiian shirt, and oakley m-frames and try not to get dirty. Corvette guys were crying because they paid so much to get there doors blown off by the budget friendly stock 66 nova L79’s. Corvettes, porsches, ferraris, etc are for the guys that think they have money and can buy a womans heart. Call a tow truck when you get a flat tire.


    The only people that drove a Nova back in the day were Grannys and Nerds. A later 396 Nova could be cool but they were rare. For this kind of money, there must be a lot of Nerds that want to relive their younger years. Will someone please look under the seat for a lost pocket-protector?

    • Pontiac Randy

      And a half
      dozen Bick Pens!? LOL!


        And a slide rule!

    • Ohio Rick

      Obviously you’ve never driven a L79 Chevy II. Definitely not a nerdy car!

  12. skibum2

    Sorry, odometer says it has been over once…

  13. RicK

    Don’t think those Rally wheels are original equipment – pretty sure you had to wait until ’67 before they were offered on a Nova.

  14. Rick Reynolds

    Ohio Rick, the L79 indeed.
    350 hp, 4 speed, 12 bolt, and less than 3000 pounds. Cheap thrills.
    The 66 and 67 coupes bring the money, and have for decades.

  15. Paul Windish

    The Rally’s do look to be 67’s and I’m thinking the paint is not original. The entire car looks way too good for an original.

  16. Rick Reynolds

    If memory serves, the nicest wheel treatment on the 66 and 67 was the stamped SS wheel cover. No ralley wheel option on the Nova till 68.

  17. Troy S

    Maybe nerdy when new, didn’t take long for the motorheads to realize the potential of a lightweight Nova and a tweaked small block. SS 396 Nova’s were pretty hairy, an then there were those who were brave enough to drop a 427 under the hood. Crazy.

  18. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Straddling the shiftier is why most of us prefer a stick…like she does…..

  19. Chuck

    This is a magnificent looking car! I’m having a hard time trying to believe this is an original survivor she looks to clean and perfect. I’m not saying that the owner is trying to pull the wool over our eyes! This is just one of those one in a million finds! Like they say it’s only original once! I’d do anything to have this absolutely beautiful car in my garage! Everything about this car screams BUY ME BUY ME!!!!!!!

  20. TriPowerVette

    What is wrong with everyone? Some of you are waxing nostalgic about L79’s, 396’s, and for gosh sakes 427’s!


    The car before us is a Beige on Beige, bench seat, automatic on the column, tiny block with hang on air! For $30 friggin’ thousand dollars!

    • NovaCaineLover

      Beige on beige is actually my favorite color combo! When I park it in front of my beige house and yard no one can steal it cuz it blends in so well, like a lizard on a rock… You don’t want us to bid on this cute little cream puff, because you want it for yourself… nice try. We all secretly want this car because it screams cool, fast, chic magnet and good tastes.

      Like 1

    Finally we are back to the crux. TriPower states the real issue here.
    $30 friggin’ thousand dollars! Think what else you can buy for that!


    Wow, I must be a Nerd. I think this car is great, I thought they were great when new, and when I had one in 1971. For those that are bashing it… nobody asked you to buy it.
    I don’t particularly care for too many Mustangs, but lots of folks do. I think that is great. Variety, is what makes our hobby fun. I don’t think bashing folks is what this site is about. I don’t care if somebody has a clean YUGO, It can be as much fun in it’s own way.
    Is $30k a lot of money? Yeah it is, It will buy a nice Honda accord, or a new Nissan Altima. If that happens to be what you like, go for it. I remember picking on a friend for buying a 63 Chevy Impala ragtop for $750. That was a kings ransom in those days. So I guess it’s all relative

  23. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    99% of the time, “dealership” and “survivor” don’t go together.

    Buying it from the original (or 2nd) owner with documentation, in rattier condition, that’s a different story.

  24. Tim W

    Good Lord am I sick of that stupid Patagonia responsible fleece ad bringing me back to the top of the page!!! Who’s idea was this? Took me 5 minutes to read the comments. Please make it stop……..

  25. Kevin

    I am the purchaser of this auto for $25,500.00 and I can tell you it is a very original car. there has been very few touch ups.I have all paperwork on this car going back to A Gladis van####### in Texas she bought it in 66 for 3200.00
    she owned it until 2013. She still lives at the same address and is 95 years old.
    there is lots of evidence of this being actual mileage.
    interior is 100% original. 1 upper rear quarter was touched up with laquer paint
    oil pan has been painted thinking rear main seal was changed.
    overall could be one of the most nicest original cars out there.

    Like 1
  26. Rick Reynolds

    Congrats Kevin. So few of these survive, unhacked. Prepare to draw a crowd.

    • Kevin

      thank you

  27. G

    This was my first car. I bought it for $899 in 1969. It already had a rust spot at the seam below the driver’s side door and the seat was propped up with a block of wood. I didn’t care because it ran well, although it went through mufflers and hoses like crazy. I kept it until it was ten years old, then bought myself a new Toyota.

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