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History of the Chevy Nova

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As far as collector cars go, the Chevy Nova is up there with some of the greatest. Originally known as the Chevy II, this classic vintage car had a prosperous run throughout Chevy’s history. It was also a leading competitor in the American pony car wars throughout the 60s and 70s when manufacturers fought to produce the fastest and most powerful muscle cars. 

What Year Did the Chevy Nova Come Out?

Falling behind and eager to produce a car that could compete with all the others on the market at the time, such as the Ford Falcon, Chevy released the Chevy II in 1962. 

The design and approval for this Chevy model resulted in one of the speediest car productions ever—only 18 months from concept to manufacturing—as Chevy was desperate to be in the running with all the other leading muscle cars. And what they ended up with was a compact, budget-friendly version of a muscle car that offered smooth driving and was highly appealing to many people. 

1st Gen: 1962 to 1965

The first generation ran from 1962 to 1965, with the model gaining the Nova name in 1963 with the release of the Chevy II Nova 400. This sportier package put more emphasis on design than performance, with new trim, added bucket seats, a snazzier steering wheel, and new instruments that gave it a more ritzy appearance. 

In ‘64, Chevy introduced more power to the Nova with a new 283-cubic-inch V-8 engine and a 230 cu-in straight six Turbo-Thrift option, giving it a much-needed performance boost to earn it the label of a muscle car. However, the upgrades failed to garner the attention that Chevy needed, and Nova sales took a nosedive. 

2nd Gen: 1966 to 1967

The second generation of the Chevy Nova was short and sweet, lasting only from 1966 to 1967. Not much changed with this generation, however, save for minor cosmetic tweaks and a simple performance boost with a 327 cu-in V-8 engine. 

3rd Gen: 1968 to 1972

From 1968 to 1972, the model saw its third generation, which introduced a complete redesign of the Chevy II Nova. The new design was based on the Chevy Camaro and was outfitted with a standard 350-cubic-inch V-8 engine. Subsequent models continued to see engine upgrades for better performance, which led to the generation’s most powerful model—the Yenko Nova—which has a 427 cu-in eight-cylinder engine that generated a maximum of 425 hp. 

1969 was when Chevy officially replaced the Chevy II name with Chevy Nova, and from then on, the model was often only referred to solely as the Nova. 

4th Gen: 1973 to 1974

1973 brought with it new federal regulations on emissions, which resulted in Chevy downgrading to make the performance car a simpler, more functional car again with less horsepower. Safety regulations also resulted in body changes to the Nova, such as bigger, sturdier bumpers, seat belts, and new taillights. 

Overall, the fourth generation came and went quickly, with this era marking the end of muscle cars due to safety being prioritized over performance. 

5th Gen: 1975 to 1979

In 1975, the Nova saw extensive changes to keep in line with new regulations. Style changes included a boxier shape, and catalytic converters were added to combat emissions. This era of models also got upgraded disc brakes and steel-belted radial tires. 

To meet demands for smaller, classier cars, Chevy introduced the Luxury Nova, which came with larger, comfier seats, sound insulation, and numerous other updates to mimic European luxury car excellence. 

By 1977, Nova sales started to plummet as newer Chevy releases took the spotlight, and the fifth generation finally ended in 1979. 

6th Gen: 1985 to 1988

In 1985, Chevy and General Motors teamed up to bring the Nova back with a newer, subcompact version. This model was built on the same platform as the Toyota Corolla and featured front-wheel drive with a 1.6-liter, 98 cubic-inch four-cylinder engine. 

The following years saw minor changes to the Nova and a sportier version with four-wheel drive that was released in 1988 — but that was the last year that the Nova name ever appeared on a new vehicle as production on the Nova stopped, and Chevy went in a different direction. 

How Many Chevy Novas Were Made?

As there were many different versions of the Nova produced between 1962 and 1988, there is no knowing how many were made exactly. But some resources on the internet try to guesstimate. 

  • For the 1962 models, the estimate is 326,607
  • 1963: 334,816
  • 1964: 191,691
  • 1965: 113,700
  • 1966: 177,485
  • 1967: 105,858
  • 1968: 200,970
  • 1969: 269,988
  • 1970: 254,242
  • 1971: 194,878
  • 1972: 349,733
  • 1973: 369,511
  • 1974: 390,537
  • 1975: 272,982
  • 1976: 334,728
  • 1977: 365,264
  • 1978: 288,109
  • 1979: 97,721

How Much Does a Chevy Nova Cost?

This is another question that is hard to answer, as it depends on the model and the condition it’s in. However, some sources put the average for a Chevy Nova at around $43,000. 

How Much is a 1967 Chevy Nova Worth?

Again, this depends on the condition of the vehicle. But data from auction sites points to the following valuations for the 1967 Chevy Nova series:

  • Perfect condition: $51,700 – $297,000
  • Excellent condition: $36,300 – $51,700
  • Good condition: $25,300 – $36,300
  • Fair condition: $5,600 – $25,300

Are Chevy Novas Good Cars?

Chevy Novas are excellent sports cars, even by today’s standards. They are an ideal muscle car project, too, as the cost to restore them is relatively low. But when it comes down to it, whether or not this classic vehicle is considered good depends on personal opinion and what you put into the restoration if you have one. 

Protect Your Vintage Vehicle with Classic Auto Insurance

Whether you’ve got a Chevy Nova in your possession or are a collector of other classic vehicles, you’ll need the right kind of insurance to protect your piece of history. At Classic Auto Insurance, we offer excellent coverage on classic, vintage, sport, and luxury cars and work with each client individually to determine the worth of their particular vehicle to find a plan best suited to their needs. 

If you need insurance for your classic car, you can request a quote here today. We are also available by phone at 888-901-1338. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our policies and are ready to help you take the next steps toward preserving your prized vehicle. 

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