The 1963-1967 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova SS was the company's answer to Ford's compact Falcon model. Continue reading to learn more about the introduction of the 1963-1967 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova SS.
Ford's compact Falcon had Chevrolet worried. The rear-engined Corvair, though technically innovative, lagged in universal appeal. Chevrolet needed something new -- but not so different -- to compete in the growing compact category. So, the boxy little Chevy II dashed into the 1962 lineup to fill the void.
At first, it didn't look like much: just basic ho-hum transportation to rival the Falcon and Valiant, as well as the rising number of imports. Chevrolet billed its unibody senior compact as "the thrift car," though insisting that its "no-nonsense styling ... will catch glances years away from the showroom."
Sedans and wagons came in basic 100 and midrange 300 series. The luxury Nova 400 line added a sport coupe (hardtop) and convertible.
Either a 153-cid Super-Thrift four-cylinder engine or 194-cid six provided the power. Single-leaf rear springs were claimed to eliminate the "inherent harshness found in multi-leaf springs." Giving a hint of things to come, front bucket seats were available on the Nova 400 two-door.
Chevrolet's first four-cylinder powerplant since 1928 isn't what cemented Chevy II's spot in the automotive annals. Neither did the practical six. No, what did the trick was the Super Sport option introduced for 1963 -- plus the potential for V-8 power.
Installation of V-8s was underway during 1962, but only at individual dealerships, using over-the-counter parts. When an early 360-bhp conversion by Bill Thomas dashed to 60 mph in a stunning 5.2 seconds, more than a few performance fans took note.
Mild restyling with a bolder aluminum grille for 1963 was accompanied by the availability of a $161 Super Sport package, claimed to deliver "Nova 400 glamor with a sports car flourish" when installed on sport coupes and convertibles.
It required larger (14-inch) tires and included a four-gauge instrument cluster, front bucket seats, silver-striped body moldings -- but the ordinary six-cylinder engine. Ford dropped a V-8 into its Falcon this year. Could Chevrolet not follow suit?
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