1972 Chevrolet Nova (The Nova)

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Bought the car in 1997 for $350 from a co-worker’s brother. Their grandmother was the original owner. I Drove the thing home on the freeway – bad idea. The car was changing lanes without permission due to mismatched front tires and worn steering components. Bought at first because of the low price, this car became the keeper over my other Nova, as there was a little less body work to do (once the door was replaced) and the manual trans was a nice novelty. Also there was just something about that vinyl top… Overall it was a great buy, and was quite drivable after minor repairs and some fresh tires. The car was just a useful extra vehicle until the decision was made to thin out the collection. I swapped the already freshened-up front clip (V8 included) from my other Nova to this one and sold the result to my younger brother, who went on to rework that whole car. The only other thing to mention is the Saginaw 4-speed that I tried out for a while….not much better, still a “granny tranny”. The clutch pedal still awaits a possible muncie or even a Tremec, but the TH350 was an easy score so I took that for the meantime.


355 cubic inch engine, TH350 transmission, factory 10 bolt limited slip rear with 3.08 gears. Paint is 1998 Plymouth Prowler Yellow. Wheels are 17” units from Coy’s with Falken Ziex 215/40z’s up front and 255/40z’s in the rear.

Factory Options

The Nova had an L22 250 inline six with 1bb carb and an M11 Saginaw 3-speed manual trans, floor shifted. The rear was (and still is) a 3.08:1 limited slip held there by monoleaf springs. Orig. exterior color was gold but had been repainted once in a tan hue, interior was the sandalwood shade. The vinyl top was not factory installed, but the black vinyl floor covering was. There were the side molding package, all tinted glass, and the deluxe ralleye wheels, as well. Notable inside was a bench front seat, 3 point seat belts, and an AM radio. Door edge guards and a windshield antenna round out the short options list on this one.


Shaved side body molding, changed interior to all black with bucket seats(some grey vinyl on those), air shocks in the rear, custom trunk houses the relocated Optima battery, 12” subwoofers in a hidden sealed enclosure, side panels for the flush-mounted amplifiers, all carpeted in black. The vinyl top was a leathery affair (that had been painted brown with a brush, it seemed), so it was replaced with a factory black Levant grain unit. Under the hood went the 355, in front of a smoothed aluminum-covered firewall. The inner fenderwells were removed to show off the painted and detailed subframe and suspension components. An aluminum Griffin radiator went in up front, and keeps things cool even with an unshrouded flex fan in place. The engine has a 650 Carter AFB bolted to its Edelbrock Performer intake manifold. The heads are mild 76cc iron models with some roller-tip rockers and are topped with some smooth aluminum valve covers. Chevy “X” rods, 11:1 forged aluminum pistons, chromoly pushrods, Clevite 77 bearings, double roller timing set, Melling HP oil pump, and a lumpy Elgin pro-stock cam are the highlights inside the mill. A set of Flowtech headers send gasses through a 2 1/2” Flowmaster American Thunder system with “H” pipe and 40-series mufflers. The transmission is currently a TH350 with a B&M shift kit installed.


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  • Owner:
    Carl Elliott

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