AJ's Car of the Day: 1970 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport ( SS 396 )

Car: Chevrolet Nova Super Sport ( SS 396 )

Year: 1970

What makes it special: Although it was basically a carryover from 1969, 1970 marked the final year for the Nova SS 396 V8. In actuality, the engine was by this point a 402 cu. in. V8.

What made it famous:  For 1970, optional engines included two versions of the big-block 396 cu in V8: one rated at 350 hp, and a 375 hp version. Both offered with a choice of transmissions including the M-21 close-ratio 4-speed manual, the heavy-duty M-22 "Rock Crusher" 4-speed, or the 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission.

Why I would want one: The Nova is one of the few car models that I have never owned. Plus, given the fact that its body was light enough to accept everything under the hood from a seldom ordered 153 cu in inline 4-cylinder engine to a 396 V8, it has to be quite a performer with a big-block.

Fun fact: The car finally became just the Chevrolet Nova for 1970 after two years of transitional nameplates (Chevy II Nova in 1968 and Chevrolet Chevy Nova in 1969). It was one of the smallest muscle cars ever fielded by Detroit. The Nova model sported the SS badge until 1972.