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My 1974 Nova Custom

4587 Views 55 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  62 NovaWagon
Ever since I saw this car I wanted to get it. Its been sitting at the local junkyard since early 90s, and a small forest grew around it since. Many people have tried to buy it, but I got lucky and finally struck a deal with the guy for 300$, but I ended up working it off (sanded down a Willys Jeep). I just cant take it home for about a month until the new title arrives. Theres another junked Nova just 2 cars down that has a hood and other various parts I need. I will be focusing completely on body work before I even consider the drivetrain. It definately needs a new quarter panel on the passenger side, but I think I can patch everything else. Ill try and get more pics later on.

How its been sitting all these years. Plenty of trees to cut down. I actually cleared a bunch out before this picture.

We actually drug it out using my BMW. I dont think thats actually what the tow hook was really meant for! :D

Needs a bath!

Lets hear what you think!

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Does it still have the meter inside? I see they removed the Taxi sign from the roof! :D

Only kidding you. Assuming the rusty fender is the only thing wrong with it it is a great buy.

Big Dave
Sweet! 73/4's are the coolest:yes:, good luck with her:thumbsup:
Another rises from the DEAD!!!!! Sweet deal, looks like you got yourself a project, good luck and keep posting. Later.
What a find! Looks like most of it's intact, just rust to contend with.

Which engine are you thinking about running in it once you get the body sorted out?

Also wanted to pass along this site I came across a while back:

They have a huge Nova catalog with lots of misc. parts like weatherstrip, trim, turn signal lens, etc. They don't cover all of the 70s models in there but most of them.
I managed to get the front wheel unfrozen and we rolled it out of the trees to get a better look at it. I didnt get anymore pics yet but I will for sure tomorrow.

I think I will be running a nicely built 383 in it. Transmission I havent decided on yet. I would love to run a 700r4. There is a B&M floor shifter in it right now that fits the TH350 and 400 trannys, so I would have to swap that out for one that works with OD if I did go that route.

my first car was a 74' hatchback, I loved that car. R.I.P.:(

I like it good luck on the build,
Well, 13 years later I can finally post in this thread again. Wow, that’s a flashback! I had ended up “selling” the Nova, but the deal never really finished. I was cleaning out some paperwork, and ended up running across the title! I made a local post looking to track the car down, and actually got a reply from someone who knew where it was. Fortunately, I was able to get ahold of the person who had it. He admitted that he was never going to get to it, so I gave him the couple hundred bucks back that he had paid for it and brought it back home! Unfortunately, this happened in the dead middle of winter, but the car came home looking not much different than it had 13 years ago!

When I initially found it, it was almost completely buried in snow. We were able to clear nearby with a skid steer, and hand shovel out the rest.

Finally out!

Loaded up on the slideback!

Made it home safely!

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Now that summer is finally peeking in, I decided to give the car its first bath in at least 27 years.



As for current plans? This will definitely not be a fast build, but I want to get it back on the road, and eventually restored. I have a Vortec 454 and 4L80E on the stand that I would like to drop in.
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That car seems to like to hide in hard to get places :rolleyes:
So what is the new the new plan?
Opps, replied at the same time. Where in Alaska are you? My wife is flying to Fairbanks tomorrow to visit her mom.
It certainly does. Hopefully this time I can keep it accessible. I can only drag it out of hiding so many times in my life 😅

I‘m split between Anchorage and Willow, the car is out at the Willow shop/cabin right now.
I edited the original post to re-host the pictures with a better quality to a new hosting site, and added in a few I didn't post originally.
So I also neglected to mention that this car went through one of the worst fires this state has seen. You can see in the newest recovery pictures, that the foliage and everything around the car burnt, including the house on the property. But what does this car do? Nothing, just sits there like a champ and literally repels the fire. Apparently, Novas are fire retardant. However, minor fire damage on the turn signal lens. It’s probably totaled.

Today I worked on getting the car off the grass and into the actual driveway. Sounds like a pretty easy job, but the tires were fighting me, and I’ve gone through my collection of good 5x4.75 rollers. Had to make do with the drivers rear, it had a small, clean slice that a tire plug just wouldn’t handle. The fix? Superglue it. I wish I was kidding. It’s holding 30 psi. Well, time to add that to the off road kit!

Finally on 4 wheels that hold air for an unspecified period of time.

And she’s out of the yard!

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Alright, so while the long term plan is a restoration and to drop in a Vortec 454/4L80E, there’s really not much keeping this thing off the road in the meantime. I say that like it just needs fresh gas, but really it could be driving again with fairly minimal effort. Mostly everything is intact, including the driveshaft, crossmember, and motor mounts. With a new gas tank, brakes, engine, and transmission, this could be a drivable car.

With that said, I bit the bullet and ordered parts. I got a Tanks, Inc fuel tank, new straps, and mounting hardware off eBay. I ordered a new Right Stuff 11” booster/master/prop valve combo, Leeds disc brake starter kit (cheaper to source rotors/calipers locally), Ridetech subframe bushing kit, and a Classic tube brake line kit from Summit. On my way back to town, I’ll be buying half of Napa’s inventory with new rotors, calipers, pads, bearings and seals, drums, shoes, shoe hardware, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, axle bearings and seals, pitman arm, idler arm, inner and outer tie rod ends, adjusters, and engine and transmission mounts. I also have a line on a correct TH350 with a 6” tailhousing.

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Looks like you're off to a good start.
Thank you!

Here‘s about 50% of the Napa haul, everything else they had to order. Total order was front calipers, front rotors w/bearings and seals, front hoses, rear drums, rear shoes, spring kit and adjuster kits, wheel cylinders, rear hose, axle bearings and seals, axle housing gasket, inner and outer tie rod ends, tie rod adjusting sleeves, idler arm, pitman arm, motor mounts, and transmission mount. Should keep me busy for about a day.

Next, I picked up a TH350 with a 6” tail shaft, with the dust cover, dipstick, and vacuum line for $250!

And finally, scored a set of Centerline 14x7 wheels (I believe 7”, pretty sure 14x8 didn’t exist) with ancient tires tonight for $150!

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I was browsing Summit today, while waiting for a new base pass at work. Ended up ordering a Borgeson quick ratio steering box, along with a new rag joint and fuel sending unit.

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Ahh yes Summit, America's favorite toy store, lol..(y):giggle:
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