You might have seen this car countless times in movies, or your uncle owned one in the '70s. But how well do you really know the Nova? Test your knowledge with these quick facts about the popular classic muscle car.
There are Five Generations of Chevy Nova
Did you know more than one model exists? Surprisingly, it started in the '60s with the first-generation Chevy II Nova, produced between 1962 to 1965. The first generation had the Chevy II Nova SS, a super sports car that launched in 1963, which was also the first console-shifted Nova.
Barely a year later, Chevy introduced the addition of a V8, also known as the 283 Nova. This model had the same console as the previous. Also, it obviously has better horsepower at 195hp with a weight of around 2,500 pounds. Another year later in 1965, Chevy introduced the 327 Nova. The second generation added aesthetic enhancements of the Chevy II Nova, available from 1966 to 1967.
Furthermore, the third generation Nova had many modifications and enhancements between 1968 to 1974. It was also the longest produced. With the fourth generation, Chevrolet attempted to follow stricter safety regulations, but it didn't sell well between 1975 to 1979. From 1985 to 1988, Chevy produced Nova's last generation.
The Chevy II Nova SS
The Chevy Nova SS that came out barely a year after the first generation Chevy II Nova stands as the only convertible model of the Chevy II Nova. Available for a short time, this served as the top choice of muscle cars in its era. Additionally, it continues to remain sought after today. The 1967 Nova SS coupe was the only model with a console-mounted shifter. The three-speed manual transmission was the standard transmission on all models, even the SS. These vehicles could either have a four-speed manual transmission or a Powerglide automatic transmission. Furthermore, the 65SS, 66SS, and 67SS all could order the floor shift and console, but the four-speed and PG were optional and had to be specially ordered. This model stands as the only model with this particular transmission choice as other models had column-mounted shifters.
Chevy Nova Not Selling Because of the Name?
Have you heard of the myth that the Chevy Nova had trouble selling to Spanish-speaking countries because of the name, "Nova?" Moreover, many believed that Spanish-speakers heard, "it didn't go well" or "no go," making the car seem unsatisfactory. Well, this myth is busted. Car fanatics debunked the old rumor by looking at moderately successful sales in Venezuela and Mexico. It turns out Spanish-speaking countries knew the difference between "Nova" and "no va."
No Other Car Inspired the Design
The name "Nova" which means "new" highlights the car's originality. In fact, during the years Chevrolet made the Nova, no other car appeared similar in its design. When Chevrolet lost to Ford in the competition for compact cars, Chevy needed to create something fresh and distinct. They thus decided to pursue an ingenious idea. In 1961, they introduced the world to the first generation of Chevy Nova. Additionally, it is one of the fastest developments of a new car in GM history, taking only 18 months to produce after designers initiated the work.
Chevy Had a Terrible Version of the Nova
With the 80s bringing consumers to smaller, more efficient cars, Chevrolet decided to collaborate with Toyota. They produced a front-wheel-drive compact car to badge as the Nova from 1985 to 1988. It totally disrespected the Nova name as the ugliest model in Nova history. Even people today rarely drive a version of it proudly.
Don Yenko, a muscle car expert and car-racer, redesigned a series from Chevy Nova's third generation. Named the Yenko SuperNova cars, a total of 37 of them exist. Twenty-eight of them had Chevy 427cid V8 engines, although they later changed them to 350cid V8 engines in 1970.
The Name "Nova"
Chevrolet did not put the name "Nova" on the cars until the end of the 1960s. Known as the Chevy II, the term "Nova" began describing the Chevy II's highest trim level.
Lastly, Chevy's success with the Nova led to the creation of the X-Body clones Oldsmobile Omega, Pontiac Ventura, and Buick Apollo. Put all the models together, and what do they spell?
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