Introduced in 1962 model year, the Chevy Nova was initially known as the Chevy II. The Nova moniker was among the top finalists for the car’s name, but lost out as it did not start with the letter “C.” The car would wear the Chevy II nameplate through 1968, with the model’s top trim level named the Nova.
The Chevy II Nova was an economy car and direct competitor for the Ford Falcon. The first generation was replaced for the 1966 model year and the second generation lasted through 1967. For 1968, the previously compact Chevy II Nova received a full redesign and grew in size, looking much like a smaller version of the Chevelle. The wheelbase was lengthened to 111 inches, and overall length was just shy of the midsize Chevelle.
The 1968 Chevy II Nova was the first to introduce a separate subframe assembly that housed the powertrain and front suspension similar to GM’s full-framed, full-size cars. Chevy boasted fifteen different engine choices for the coupes, optional power steering and power brakes, air conditioning, headrests, and rear seat shoulder belts.
Our feature 1968 Chevy II Nova, resplendent in Matador Red, has been the subject of a comprehensive rotisserie restoration. It is one of only 1,274 equipped with the optional L79 327 cubic-inch Small Block producing 350 horsepower, backed by the numbers-matching four-speed manual transmission and matching twelve-bolt rear end. The L79 features the correct Air Injection Reactor pump, original carb, and distributor. Optional equipment includes power steering, power disc brakes, and push-button AM radio. Painted steel wheels wear dog dish hubcaps and are shod in reproduction bias-ply redline tires.
The Chevy II Nova has a glossy finish in its factory Matador Red hue. Front and rear bumpers appear to have been either re-plated or replaced when the car was restored. Panel gaps are consistent with build quality of the period. Stainless trim is well polished and gleams in the sun. Glass and weatherstrip both present as new.
Inside the Chevy II Nova, the black interior is pristine. The black vinyl bench shows no signs of wrinkling or creasing. Carpets are all colorfast and wear-free. The original AM radio is still fitted in the dash. The interior appears showroom fresh, save for two small auxiliary gauges just beneath the dash.
The engine compartment of the Chevy II Nova is spotless as one would expect from a quality restoration. Finishes and components all appear correct, as if this slick little sleeper was fresh from the assembly line. The eagle-eyed will spot the correct battery.
This Chevy II Nova comes with a partial build sheet, correct jack and spare, and a full restoration photo album. It will cross the auction block next week at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.