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Cars > Challenges > “Carlotta” Vs “the nova”


CorvairJim’s Profile Photo


Norristown, Pennsylvania
United States

78nova_rally’s Profile Photo


Bluffton, Indiana
United States


1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Station Wagon


1978 Chevrolet Nova rally custom

“the nova”

Photo of: 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle
Photo of: 1978 Chevrolet Nova

Head to Head


About “Carlotta”

(DISCLAIMER: I owned this car in the mid-80's. This is not a picture of the actual car! I found this one and the ones in it's album online. It's amazing how similar this one is to the real thing, though. MIne was in better shape, had Chevy Rally wheels instead of Cragar S/S, and had a custom sport stripe that I painted down the bottom of the doors and around the wheelwells.)

"Carlotta", or "Carly" as we called her, came along when we were expecting our third child. "Beauregard", our Ex-Police Unmarked '76 Buick LeSabre was running just fine but was real hard on gas - about 10 mpg. We decided we wanted a car that 1) wasn't as thirsty, 2) had an all-vinyl interior in case our oldest continued to get car sick on long drives, and 3) a station wagon would be convenient for the size of our family. This car came in to the used car lot where I was working at the time, and I worked a deal where I traded the LeSabre straight up for the wagon. The Buick had nearly 140,000 miles by that time and the Chevelle had just under 100,000. It's transmission had been rebuilt and it had all-new dual exhausts and air shocks within the year. The 4-barrel 400 ran like a top and idled nicely, with a nice bass rumble from those new duals. This is the only car I've owned that I've had down a dragstrip (Maple Grove), about a year after we bought her. How does 14.22 at 99mph sound? 0-60 of just about 5 flat? Not bad for a big ol' wagon that was driven daily and gave us nearly 20mpg highway!

This wagon was a great car... until my ex messed it up. Within two months of getting her license, she had managed to dent or otherwise mess up every panel except the hood, roof, hatch, and right front fender (... and a kid on a bike ran into that one while I was driving!). She tore the right quarter panel open by hooking it on the bumper of a parked pickup truck while pulling out of a parking space. She flattened the left one parallel parking on the left side of the one-way street we lived on at the time by running the length of it against a phone pole parking by the "Touch" system. She dented the back bumper backing into a light standard in a parking lot - HARD, tore the rub strip half off the front cap, and dropped the right rear wheel into a drainage culvert snapping the bottom of the shock clean off and bending the shock mount on the axle double! In just two months, she ruined what was a very special car - at least it was to me.

About “the nova”

Got the car from my great grandmother who owned it from 1980 til 2002, during that time it mainly sat at the bottom of a mountain in west virginia before bringing it back to Indiana, and it started right up. Since then I have put in a 1970 355 chevy, not sure about hp or torque as i havent had it dynoed yet. I need to do the body work, and paint it, and some interior stuff and she'll be flying down the road once again.


Specs for “Carlotta”

400 cid Chevy small block
4-barrel Holley carb
Turbo 400 with shift kit (unknown torque converter)
Dual Exhaust with crossover

I'd guess the horsepower would have been in the 300-330 range from the car's weight and preformance, with enough torque to spin the 245-60R15's

0-60 - 6 seconds
1/4 mile - 14.66@92mph
Top Speed - something over an indicated 115 mph (I ran out of guts before the car did... )

Specs for “the nova”

chevy 355 not sure about other specs


Factory Options for “Carlotta”

4-Barrel 400 V-8 (A 2-barrel 350 was standard)
Turbo-Hydramatic 400 Automatic Transmission
AM/FM radio
Luggage Rack
Air Conditioning
Dual Sport Mirrors (Driver's side remote)
Chevelle SS Instrument Panel

Factory Options for “the nova”

rally sport package, custom package, hidden antenna, floor console, power brakes and steering,


Mods for “Carlotta”

True Dual Exhaust with crossover
Air Shocks
Low-Restriction Moroso Air Cleaner
Pioneer AM/FM/Cassette Stereo
Window Tint
Custom Sport Striping
15" Chevy Rally Wheels
Two Child Seats!

Mods for “the nova”

it has a 355, with an edelbrock single plain intake, 600 cfm edelbrock carb, msd distributer, bigger cam, double roller timing chain, electric fan from a 97 lumina, pistons with 2 valve reliefs, 64cc powerpack camel hump heads, hedders of an old S10, and dual purple hornies glasspack mufflers. Not sure on how much horsepower or torque, but if anyone is sporting a similar setup and knows theirs let me know as there are no dynos near my house. I also has air shocks in the rear to help the stance.


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Points for Carlotta Total Votes Points for the nova
33 10 17


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Cars > Challenges > “Carlotta” Vs “the nova”

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