The Chevrolet Nova was an economy car that, in 1962 convertible
form, had style. See more pictures of Chevrolet Novas.
Into the breach stormed a front-engine compact with conventional good looks, low prices, and a nice array of sedan, hardtop, and convertible body styles. It was called the Chevrolet Chevy II. That name doubled as the label for the new car's entry-level models, while sportier versions proudly wore the Nova badge.
Sales of the thrifty four- and six-cylinder cars were strong from the start, and for 1963, Novas could be ordered with Chevy's hot Super Sport package. By 1968, the Chevy II name had been shed altogether and the entire lineup operated under the Chevrolet Nova banner.
That was also the year Chevrolet redesigned its compact car, giving it curvaceous new styling. By 1969, the Corvair was history, Nova was Chevrolet's smallest car, and Nova buyers could order a 375-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8 to create a muscle car revered to this day.
By the early 1970s, the Chevrolet Vega had slipped in under Nova as Chevy's smallest offering, but the basic 1968 design served Nova well, finally being phased out during the 1979 model year.
The Nova name, however, would resurface for 1986 on a modern, front-wheel-drive subcompact built in California from a design shared with Toyota. Nova had come a long way, but it always represented sensible value and, occasionally, serious fun, as you'll see in the pages that follow.
Nova's longest-running body style spanned
1968-1979. This is a 1974 hatchback.
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