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Chevrolet Nova

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The Chevrolet Nova, or Chevy II, was an American compact car introduced by General Motors in 1962. The original Chevy II was of unibody construction, powered by an OHV inline four or six-cylinder engine (and V8s later), and available in two- and four-door sedan configurations as well as convertible and station wagon versions. After the rear-engine Chevrolet Corvair was handily outsold by the conventional Ford Falcon in 1960, Chevrolet began work on a more conventional compact car that would eventually become the Chevy II. The Chevy II/Nova continued on throughout the 1960s and 70s with great success until it was supplanted by the front wheel drive Citation in 1980. The Nova name would reappear briefly again in 1985 as a twin to (of all things) the Toyota Corolla. The "Toyolet" Nova was discontinued after 1988, replaced by the Geo Prizm.

1962 Chevrolet II
Chevy II/Nova
Chevrolet
Production: 1962-1965
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
2-Door Convertible
5-Door Wagon
Length: 153"
157.4" (wagon)
Width: 70.8"
Height: 55"
Wheelbase: 110"
Weight: 2800-3100 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
2-Speed Automatic, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 2.5L (153 cid) I4 (1962-1965)
3.2L (194 cid) I6 (1962-1965)
3.8L (230 cid) I6 (1964-1965)
4.7L (283 cid) V8 (1964-1965)
5.3L (327 cid) V8 (1965)
Power: 90-300 hp
Similar: N/A
Platform: X

First Generation (1962-1965)Edit

Three different levels of this car were made - the baseline Chevy II 100, the mid-grade Chevy II 300 and the top-line Chevy II Nova 400. Their was also the sport-oriented Chevy II Nova Super Sport (SS), available on the 2-door coupe or convertible. Available powerplants included the standard 2.5L (153 cid) I4 and optional the 3.2L (194 cid) I6 (standard on the SS). Bodystyles included a 2-door sedan and hardtop, 4-door sedan, 5-door wagon (with an optional rear-facing 3rd seat) and a 2-door convertible. Unlike its Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant and Ford Falcon competition, no V8s were initially offered, but Chevrolet 283 and 327 cid V8s were offered in some areas as dealer-installed options, up to and including the fuel injected version available in the Chevrolet Corvette. Transmissions were a column or floor 3-speed manual, floor-shift 4-speed manual or 2-speed Powerglide automatic. SSs could have bucket seats with a floor console-shift.

For 1963, grilles and taillights were slightly revised but otherwise were largely unchanged. All bodystyles and engine choices remained the same. For 1964, the Chevy II's first factory V8 option was introduced - a "Turbo-Fire" 195 hp 4.7L (283 cid) V8 with a 2-bbl carb, or a 225 hp 4-bbl version. A larger I6 was also offered, the "Turbo-Thrift" 3.8L (230 cid). Other drivetrain choices remained the same. The convertible was dropped, and the SS was also dropped at the beginning of this year, but it was reinstated mid-year due to high popular demand. The 300 series trim level was discontinued, leaving the 100 and 400 levels. In 1965, the grille was redesigned and the parking lights were relocated from directly below the headlights to the bumper. Taillights were revised also. The 5.3L (327 cid) V8 debuted this year (also called "Turbo Fire") with 250 and 300 horsepower versions. Other drivetrain choices remained the same as before. There would be a restyled Nova for 1966.


Chevrolet-nova 66
Chevy II/Nova
Chevrolet
Production: 1966-1967
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
5-Door Wagon
Length: 154.7"
157.4" (wagon)
Width: 71.3"
Height: 55.4"
Wheelbase: 110"
Weight: 2800-3100 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
2-Speed Automatic, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 2.5L (153 cid) I4 (1966-1967)
3.2L (194 cid) I6 (1966-1967)
3.8L (230 cid) I6 (1966-1967)
4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1967)
4.7L (283 cid) V8 (1966-1967)
5.3L (327 cid) V8 (1966-1967)
Power: 90-350 hp
Similar: N/A
Platform: X

Second Generation (1966-1967)Edit

The second generation Novas would be short-lived, only going 2 model years. 1966 Novas saw a significant restyling, based in part on the Super Nova concept car. In general, external proportions were squared up but dimensions and features changed little. Wheelbase remained the same at 110". Trim choices were still the 100 and 400. Engine options still included the basic 153 I4, 194 and 230 I6s, the 195 hp and 225 hp 283s and 275 hp (up 25 from '65) and 350 hp (up 50 from '65) 327 V8s. V8 models got special lower fender badges behind the front wheels. Transmission choices remained the column or floor-shift 3-speed manual, floor-shift 4-speed and 2-speed Powerglide automatics. The 327/350 engine was manual-shift only (3- or 4-speed) and was not available on the 100 series or wagon. Inside, there was a new dashboard that strongly resembled the larger Chevelle's (also all-new this year) and revised seat designs, but the Chevy II line during this time was still very spartan. The 90 hp 153 I4 was only offered in the base Chevy II 100 series models, with the 120-horsepower 194 I6 standard on the Nova and Nova SS lines. The SS could still have bucket seats with a console floor shift.

Not many changes for 1967, but a 155 hp 4.1L (250 cid) I6 became available in all models except the 100. The 350 hp L79 327 V8 was unfortunately dropped this year, but other drivetrain choices remained the same as the previous year's. There would be an all-new Chevy II/Nova for 1968.

Main Competitors 1962-1967Edit






477
Chevy II/Nova
Chevrolet
Production: 1968-1974
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
3-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
Length:
Width:
Height:
Wheelbase:
Weight: 3000-3400 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
2-Speed Automatic, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 2.5L (153 cid) I4 (1968-1970)
4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1968-1974)
5.0L (307 cid) V8 (1968-1973)
5.7L (350 cid) V8 (1968-1974)
6.5L (396 cid) cid V8 (1968-1970)
7.0L (427 cid) V8 (1970)
Power: 90-425 hp
Similar: Buick Apollo
Oldsmobile Omega
Pontiac Ventura
Platform: X

Third generation (1968–1974)Edit

An extensive redesign came in 1968, when the station wagon and two door hardtop bodystyles were discontinued. This body style continued (with a minor restyle in 1973) through 1974. One notable change was the front subframe assembly — as compared with Ford, Chrysler and AMC, in whose cars the entire front suspension was integrated with the bodyshell, a separate subframe housing the powertrain and front suspension (similar to the front part of the frame of GM's full-size, full-framed vehicles) replaced the earlier style. Although the front subframe design was a Chevy II-exclusive design, the Camaro introduced a year earlier was the first to incorporate such a design; the redesigned Chevy II was pushed a year back to 1968 instead of 1967. 1968 was the final year that the Chevy II nameplate was used, although all 1968 models were "Chevy II Novas" with one single trim line.

The 90 hp 153 I4 carried over from the previous generation as standard on the baseline model. Far more popular were the 140 hp 230 I6 and 155 hp 250 I6 and the new 200 hp 5.0L (307 cid) V8, which replaced the 283 offered in previous generations. At mid-year a semi-automatic transmission based on the Powerglide called Torque-Drive was introduced as a low-cost option for shiftless motoring for both the four and six-cylinder engines. The two-speed Powerglide was still the only fully-automatic gearbox available with most engines as the more desirable three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic was only available with the largest V8 engines. An interesting engine option was the 5.3L (327 cid) V8 rated at 350 hp (RPO code L79).

The SS was transformed from a trim package to a performance option for 1968 and now included a "Turbo Fire" 295 hp 5.7L (350 cid) V8 engine along with front disc brakes, heavy-duty suspension and other performance hardware. Optional engines included two versions of the big-block 6.5L (396 cid) V8 rated at 350 and 375 hp. Both 396 engines were offered with a choice of transmissions including the M-21 close-ratio four-speed manual, the M-22 heavy-duty "Rock Crusher" four-speed manual, or the three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 for those who preferred automatic shifting. SSs (and lesser coupes) could have a console with optional auxiliary gauges very similar to the contemporary Camaro design.

1969Edit

The Chevy II nameplate was retired and the car became the "Chevy Nova" for this year (some sources referred to it as the Chevrolet Chevy Nova - perhaps the decision to drop the Chevy II moniker was a last-minute decision for 1969). Like other 1969 GM vehicles, locking steering columns were incorporated along with column ignitions. Simulated vents were added below the Nova script, which was relocated to the front fender instead of the rear quarter panel. The 350-4 that came standard with the SS option was revised with a five-hp increase to 300 while a 350-2 rated at 255 hp was a new option on non-SS models. A new Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 three-speed automatic was made available for non-SS Novas with six-cylinder and V8 engines.

1970Edit

Basically a carryover from 1969; the side markers and taillight lenses were wider and positioned slightly differently, which placed the reverse lights in the middle of the taillight lens instead of the inward portion. This was the final year for the SS396. All other engines were carried over including the seldom-ordered four-cylinder which was in its final year. The car finally became simply the Chevrolet Nova this year after two years of transitional nameplates (Chevy II Nova in 1968 and Chevrolet Chevy Nova in 1969).

Approximately 177 COPO Novas were ordered, with 175 converted by Yenko Chevrolet (the other two were sold in Canada). These had the mighty LT1 (350 cid) V8 engine

A beater 1970 Nova coupe is prominently featured in the movie Beverly Hills Cop.

1971Edit

1971 Novas were similar to the previous year but with the loss of the simulated fender vents and the discontinuation of the 396 motor for the SS with the L48 350-4 taking its place. 1971 also saw the introduction of the Rally Nova, a trim level that only lasted two years and was marketed as sort of a budget-SS. The Rally package included black or white stripes that ran the length of the car and around the back, a Rally Nova sticker on the driver's side of the hood, and Rally wheels.

The 250 I6 was now the standard Nova powerplant with the demise of the 153 I4 and 230 I6 engines. The 307 and 350 V8s were carried over from 1970 and all engines featured lowered compression ratios to enable the use of unleaded gasoline as a result of a GM corporate mandate that took effect with the 1971 model year.

After 1971, other GM divisions began rebadging the Nova as their new entry-level vehicle, such as the Pontiac Ventura II (once a trim option for full-size Pontiacs to 1970), Oldsmobile Omega (1973) and the Buick Apollo (mid-1973). Interestingly, the intials of the four model names spelled out the acronym NOVA (Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo.)

1972Edit

A virtual rerun of 1971, the 1972 Nova received only minor trim changes and both the Rally Nova and SS options carried over. At mid-year a manual canvas sunroof option became available on two-door models. Also, the optional Strato bucket seats available on coupes switched from the previous low-back design with adjustable headrests to the high back units with built-in headrests introduced the previous year on Camaros and Vegas. Standard engine was still the 250 I6 with either a 3- or 4-speed manual or 2- or 3-speed automatics. The 307 and 350 V8s remained optional. There would be a restyled Nova for 1973.

1973Edit

The 1973 model year introduced a new hatchback bodystyle based on the 2-door coupe, as well as a front and rear restyling and a modified rear side window shape, plus a revised rear suspension adapted from the second-generation Camaro with multi-leaf springs replacing the mono-leaf springs used on Novas since the original 1966 model. Front vent windows disappeared, and instrumentation remained the same as before. A luxury-themed Custom became part of the model lineup which included upgraded upholstery, full carpeting, more exterior trim and available on all bodystyles. By this time, six-cylinder and V8 engines were de rigeur for American compact cars, with the 115 hp 307, 145 hp 350-2 and 175 hp 350-4 V8s as options (standard on the SS). The 100 hp 250 cid I6 was still standard on the rest and still had the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission as an option, which was in its final year.

1974Edit

For 1974, the powerglide was replaced by a lightweight version of the three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 already offered with the 350 V8, which was now the only V8 offered this year. The SS option was still available but became more of a sporty trim package than a performance offering and now offered with any Nova engine, much like the 1963-67 Nova SS. The 250 I6 remained standard, and transmission choices, with the exception of the 2-speed Powerglide, remained the same as well. The 350-4 got a 10 hp boost to 185. There would be an all-new Nova for 1975.

77rally
Chevrolet Nova
Chevrolet
Production: 1975-1979
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
3-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
Length: 196.7"
Width: 72.2"
Height: 54.3"
Wheelbase: 111"
Weight: 3000-3400 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1975-1979)
4.3L (262 cid) V8 (1975)
5.0L (305 cid) V8 (1976-1979)
5.7L (350 cid) V8 (1975-1978)
Power: 110-170 hp
Similar: Buick Skylark
Cadillac Seville
Oldsmobile Omega
Pontiac Ventura/Phoenix
Platform: X

Fourth generation (1975–1979)Edit

A completely redesigned Nova was introduced in 1975. Bodystyles were still the 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedans. Base coupes, including the hatchback, had fixed side windows (or optional flip-out windows) and simulated vertical vents on the B-pillar (sedans would have simulated horizontal vents at the bottom of the C-pillar). The new Nova still rode the same 111" wheelbase as before. Engines this year were the standard 105 hp 250 cid I6 carried over from the previous generations, a new 110 hp 4.3L (262 cid) 2bbl V8, a 145 hp 350-2 and 155 hp 350-4 V8 were optional. All models now had catalytic converters requiring unleaded gasoline. V8 models had metric engine callouts above the front side-marker lights. The front suspension and subframe assembly was similar to the one used in the second-generation GM F-body (Camaro, Firebird), whereas the rear axle and suspension were carried over from the 1968-74 generation.

The Nova lineup now ranged from the base, Custom, and the luxury-themed LN ("Luxury Nova"). The Nova SS continued for 1975 and got a unique grille and requisite badges. Dashboards and other controls were virtually identical in layout compared to the previous generation. Power windows and locks were now an option for the first time in the Nova line. A high-performance 9C1 police version of the Nova was introduced for the 1975 model year, making it the first compact car certified for police duty in the U.S. Most were initially purchased by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1976.

The LN was replaced with the Nova Concours in 1976, and the Custom model was gone (temporarily). The grille was changed slightly, and the short-lived 262 V8 was replaced by the new 140 hp 5.0L (305 cid) 2bbl V8 and was standard on the Concours. The 165 hp 350-4 V8 remained the top engine option, the 350-2 was dropped. V8 models no longer had the metric callouts above the front side marker lights like the previous year. Transmissions included the 3-speed manual standard with the I6, with a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic optional on all engines. 1977 Concours models got a new 3-taillight lens scheme very similar to the larger Impala with a Cadillac-esque front clip that included chrome squared-off headlight bezels and a more elegant-looking vertically-barred grille with extra chrome trim. The SS was dropped, but it would continue as the Nova Rally, which was basically the same sporty-themed idea. Nova Rallys got a special unique grille that sported horizontal turn signals. Other models also got a slightly revised grille and all got a new dashboard with round gauges and an 80 MPH speedo.

1978 Novas continued with little change, other than the Custom model returning as the base model. The 2-door, 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan bodystyles, and Concours and Rally models, were still available. Intermittent wipers were a new option this year. By now, however, the Nova was starting to fall out of favor with much of the buying public, largely due to increased competition from the new Ford Fairmont and even Chevrolet's own Malibu, which was an all-new downsized model for 1978. Even though 1979 was a final abbreviated model year, the front end was nonetheless revised again with square headlights and a new horizontally-barred grille for the short run. All drivetrain, transmission and trim choices remained. The luxury-themed Concours model and 9C1 police package, however, were dropped. Production ended on December 22, 1978. The Nova was replaced by the all-new front wheel drive Citation for 1980. The Nova name, however, would reappear again in 1985 on an unrelated model.


156392062X01LZZZZZZ
Chevrolet Nova
Chevrolet
Production: 1985-1988
Class: Compact
Body Style: 4-Door Sedan
5-Door Sedan
Length:
Width:
Height:
Wheelbase:
Weight: 2500-2700 lbs
Transmissions: 5-Speed Manual, FWD
3-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engines: 1.6L (97 cid) I4
Power:
Similar: Toyota Corolla
Platform: S

1985-1988 NovaEdit

In 1985 the Nova name was applied to a rebadged Toyota Corolla and was produced at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, as an historic first joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. It shared the Corolla's drivetrain and running gear, and was available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback (just like the Corolla). It differed from the Corolla mainly with slightly different front-end styling. It also shared many interior parts, such as audio systems, with other GM's offerings whereas the Corolla did not. The Corolla had been redesigned for 1988, but the Nova continued to use the old platform for its last year. The Nova would be replaced by the Geo Prizm, which was also a twin to the Corolla.

Main Competitors 1985-1988Edit



PhotosEdit

Main Competitors 1968-1979Edit

The urban legendEdit

Chevrolet-Nova- (1)

A popular urban legend asserts that the Nova sold poorly in Mexico and other Latin American countries because the phrase no va, literally translated, means "does not go" in Spanish. In reality, however, the Spanish language no va and nova are as different as the English no table and notable, or therapist and the rapist. [1] The word nova exists in Spanish with the same meaning as in English. Also, the Spanish word for 'new' (nuevo or nueva) is cognate to nova, which originally meant "new" in Latin. Finally, as NOVA was a brand of gasoline sold for many years by PEMEX in Mexico, the largest of all Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, it is clear that this urban legend, while perhaps entertaining, is nonetheless utterly baseless.

See AlsoEdit

CHEVROLET

General Motors Company


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