This second-generation Chevy Nova might not have the iconic looks of the third gen, but this tasteful restomod offers some big surprises all its own.
This month’s Cool Car Find on Carsforsale.com is a 1967 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova Super Sport. That model year slots this particular example as a gen-two, one year prior to the better-known third generation that populates our collective car consciousness. It’s also decidedly not a stock example either, but these tasteful updates include an LS swap. Which should keep the muscle car faithful happy.
While some muscle cars, like the Mustang, were hits right out of the gate, others were already a few generations deep before meeting their moment with new performance-oriented designs. One such muscle car icon is the Chevy Nova which began its existence as the Chevrolet Chevy II. The Chevy II was GM’s answer to the success of the Ford Falcon.
The Chevy II came in a number of different body styles including a two-door sedan or hardtop, four-door sedan or station wagon, and, briefly, a two-door convertible (’62 and ’63 models). The Nova Super Sport package arrived in 1963 and added trimmings and visual embellishments for an additional $161.
The second generation of the Chevy Nova would be a short one, lasting for just the 1966 and ’67 model years. Body styles were trimmed back to four: a two-door sedan, two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and four-door station wagon. Engine options expanded and included a range from a small 2.5L inline-four to a 327 CID V8 first sold in the Chevy Chevelle. There were options for either a three- or four-speed manual transmission as well as the two-speed Powerglide automatic.
The Chevy II Nova Super Sport came standard with a 3.2L inline-six, but all engines, excepting the four-cylinder, could be optioned. Badging on the Super Sport didn’t include the Nova name in the ’66 model, reading instead just Chevy II SS. For 1967, this was changed to Nova SS. Other upgrades for the ’67 included improved safety features like an energy-absorbing steering column, better brakes, and front seatbelt anchors. Interior improvements included more soft touch materials on items like arm rests and sun visors. The Nova had not yet come into its own in the second generation, still playing second fiddle (in terms of sales and notoriety) to the Chevy Camaro. For a generational look at the Camaro, click here.
The subsequent third generation (1968-72 models) of the Chevy Nova gained both a more aggressive design and a healthy selection of V8 engines starting at 5.0L and culminating in a 6.6L V8. Again, body styles were cut, now down to the standard two-door coupe along with a hatchback and four-door sedan. The Nova Super Sport became a true performance trim in the generation, getting the 5.7L V8 as its standard engine option. In 1969, the Chevy II naming was dropped entirely in favor of the more evocative Nova.
As mentioned above, our Cool Car Find example is a second generation ’67 Chevy Nova SS. You’ll notice, this car features the 327 badging, meaning it came from the factory with the largest V8 available at the time. But that’s not the engine that sits under the hood today. Instead, this Nova SS has an LS1 swapped in. GM’s LS engines are very, very popular for engine swaps given their initial power, durability, and robustness that makes them ripe for aftermarket upgrading. (Read more about LS swaps here.)
The LS1 was the C5 Corvette’s signature engine and made an impressive 345 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition to the LS motor, this example has a few other upgrades that include a new four-speed automatic transmission and Brembo brakes. Plus, there’s a modern stereo complete with a CD player, and the car itself is in excellent condition top to bottom (check out those underside shots).
For a classic Nova with an LS twist, this blue SS is an enticing option for any muscle car collection.