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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Chevrolet Nova SS396
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Car: Chevrolet Nova SS 396

Year: 1970

What makes it special: The Chevrolet Nova was the top model in the Chevy II lineup through 1968 before the Chevy II nameplate was dropped. Nova was then the nameplate for the 1969 through 1979 models. The 1970 Chevrolet Nova continued as the entry-level Chevrolet and little changed in appearance compared to the 1969 version, the one distinction being a new egg crate-patterned grille. Like the 1969 model, the 1970 Chevrolet Nova was offered only as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan.

What made it famous: High-performance fans could take advantage of Nova's relatively light weight and the availability of the Super Sport package. It came with a 300-horsepower 350 cu in V8 or "big-block" 396. In reality, the 396 V8 displaced 402 cu in for 1970  due to a slight increase in bore diameter, but Chevrolet stuck with the familiar "396" designation. Hot Novas were therefore named SS 350 and SS 396 and were offered only with a 4-speed manual or floor-shifted Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions. The SS 396 could be ordered in 350 or 375 hp tune. The Nova SS models had a special hood with simulated air intakes, blackout grille and rear panel, and wide-oval tires on 7-inch wheels.

Why I would want one: It's got a simplistic 1970's body style, but can be had with a wide variety of features and options. Keep in mind that the same body style was available from the factory with an economy gas sipping 4 cylinder, so imagine what fun you can have when that same body is equipped with a factory big block, 375 hp 396 V8? I rest my case, your honor....

Fun fact: Chevrolet replaced by the Nova in 1980 with it's Citation that was introduced in the spring of 1979. The Nova nameplate returned in 1985, produced through 1988 as a NUMMI manufactured, subcompact model that was based on the front-wheel drive Japanese manufactured Toyota Sprinter.

( 1970 Chevrolet Nova SS 396 photo from photobucket.com )

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