Those in the know: Anything to look for in a 1969 Chevy Nova?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Immortal1, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    I've been hit with the bug and I'd like to pick up a "pony car" of some sort. I was originally looking at Chevelles and Firebirds; these cars seem to be fetching high prices when they are in rough shape. This isn't too good for a current college student.

    Moving on, I started looking at Novas and noticed they were relatively cheaper than their counterparts for whatever reason. I spied one locally on Craigslist that is in running condition which was a huge plus.
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    THIS IS A 2 DOOR POST 6 CYLINDER 3 SPEED ON TREE,IT HAS LOW MILES,I DROVE IT LAST SUMMER,I HAVE STEERING COLUMN TO MAKE IT A FLOOR SHIFTER WITH NO SHIFTER ON COLUMN.

    IT HAS A SS HOOD,CRAGARS,AIR SHOCKS,SOLID UNDERNEATH WITH SOME RUST ON BODY AND IN TRUNK

    DOES NOT NEED A TRUNK PAN. REMEMBER TO MAKE IT A V-8 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CHANGE MOTOR MOUNTS,V-8 WILL BOLT UP TO EXISTING TRANS AND CLUTCH,INTERIOR IS OK,BENCH SEAT
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    Is the "3 speed on tree" a manual setup off the steering wheel or is it considered Automatic?

    He mentioned there were only 20,000 miles on the car. I'll take that with a grain of salt until I see some documentation.

    I'm gonna go check it out soon with a friend who owns a '69 Chevelle and a '68 Camaro so I'm not goin in there blind.

    My plans include diskbrakes (assuming it doesn't have them), engine swap, and rust repair + paint, not necessarily in that order. He mentioned the rust in the trunk was concentrated in a small spot. I didn't think to ask about the 1/4's.

    Do you guys have any spot judgements you can share or things to absolutely check for?

    He's asking $3,995 for it. He also said he's leaving in 2 weeks to go out of country for a few months so I'd like to get him down to at least $3500.

    Here are the pics. I'm thinking of repainting it black.

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  2. if it has a clutch, it's a manual.
     
  3. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    i overlooked the 'existing trans and clutch' sentence. thanks. the 3speed on tree is totally foreign to me; i had never heard of it before tonight.
     
  4. American SuperBeast

    American SuperBeast New Member

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    ive also heard about body sag in the middle
    im not entirely sure about it but on the frame its got something to do with welding another piece on it. If someone else could help me figure out what im saying it would probably help him with gettin all the lines straight on the car
     
  5. huntz0r

    huntz0r New Member

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    3 speed on on the tree means it's a manual with a steering column shifter (looks exactly like a column shift automatic). One of my friends in high school had a late '70s Nova with this setup. I don't know exactly how you use it, but it's not sequential.
     
  6. Really, get rid of the column shift. it has no place in any performance driving.

    Look for rust, especially in the quarter panels and at the bottom of the rear window. Those are the hardest and most expensive areas to repair. Make sure the floor pan is good too.


    What are you looking to do with the car? Drag racer, cruiser, etc...?
     
  7. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Sag can be a problem with older cars, and judging from the pictures that thing has more than 20k on it.

    If you buy the car, spend some time and money and get some videos off the internet. I know several shows (Hot Rod TV?) have rebuilt Nova's, and even if you know nothing about cars you will learn some things about yours.

    Seriously consider putting some subframe connectors on it. Your body shop will know what they are, and it will pay off in the long run. Your buddy can probably explain what they are, and if you're not too picky about your daily driver you can probably get the car fairly stripped and ready for the job while still driving it.

    Good luck, and I hope it works out for you.
     
  8. American SuperBeast

    American SuperBeast New Member

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    Yea thats what i meant lol
     
  9. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    Update:

    The seller unfortunately has no documentation. There is also no title either since Vermont didn't require them until 1992.

    Assuming this car checked out okay I'd really like to buy it. My main concern is resale value down the road. Is the no title/no documentation a real turn-off to many buyers?

    Do any of you have titles for your older cars? I called the DMV and all I need is a bill of sale to register it.

    With the new updates I'm going to offer him $3000 and see if he bites. He's apparently selling due to divorce and the car has been for sale for over a month now.

    Do any of you think $3000 is a good deal considering the car's history or lack thereof?
     
  10. American SuperBeast

    American SuperBeast New Member

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    3000 seems to be a good deal i think and if i were buying a car i wouldnt really care if it had a title or not. IMO
     
  11. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    The lack of title doesn't bother me too much. It's the lack of any documents detailing the car's history. He says there are 20,000 mi on it but he or I just can't prove it.
     
  12. American SuperBeast

    American SuperBeast New Member

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    ahh i see. Personally it looks like a lot more than 20,000 miles are on it but i think as long as the motor runs strong it should be fine. Just cuz some cars with high mileage they still run fine. If i were you i would probably either get the motor rebuilt or do it myself just to make sure all the stuff is updated and good and clean. Maybe try to arrange a test drive because if he says that it has 20K on it but doesnt drive well i would not only doubt that but also ask then what else is wrong with it. Well good luck with it cuz i say buy it, i would if i had the money but sadly i dont and also definitely invest in getting subframe connecters put on because it does make the lines on the body smoother and also doors open/close better
     
  13. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Mileage is doubtful, 6 cylinder car, has had several body parts replaced/repainted, no title...

    I would say keep looking and try to find a V8 car that has a title for a little more money.

    There's a reason this "desireable" muscle car has been for sale for so long, and it ain't because clean '69 Novas are easy to find.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Doesn't surprise me at all. Who'd want to take one? I might let someone talk me into driving one to the junkyard for them, but only if they let me keep the scrap payout.

    It has no catalytic converter, no fuel injection (no self-regulation of any sort, actually), a three-speed transmission with no overdrive, a rigid rear axle, drum brakes, an un-inspired body, shitty suspension...shit, it's got everything I hate about shitty old cars (as distinguished from nice old cars).

    That car is so old and outdated I can't imagine ever spending a cent on it to keep it as-is, much less to restore it -- not least because I'd have to modernize the hell out of it to be able to sleep at night, and I just don't have that kind of money. I might (double emphasis on might) buy a car that old if it had been well-maintained (bodywork too, not just internals), but I wouldn't touch that thing with a dump truck. Well...maybe a dump truck.

    ...have I done a good enough job conveying my dislike for old, ugly, inefficient automobiles yet?
     
  15. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    I'm curious what Mjolnir meant by clean '69 Novas are easy to find...I figured he was being sarcastic while you took him seriously. I would disagree with 'clean' nova's being easy to find, at least not without paying a premium price.

    Moving on, you seem to put out a general dislike for all older cars. I think it's a given that they are all inefficient, they are definitely all old, and beauty or ugliness is in the eye of the beerholder.

    To each his own I suppose. I'm actually seeing a lot of cars on eBay and other sites without documentation so my worries are subsiding.
     
  16. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Good to hear it.

    I'm sorry for ruining your day, and I'll quit coming to your house and forcing to you spend money on old cars.

    Really. I understand where all the venom is coming from. I'd be pissed if somebody hijacked my website to talk about shit they're interested in.






























    Fucking moron.
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Say what now? I'm talking about the car in question, and about Chevy Novas in general. There's no hijacking going on.
     
  18. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Did you read my whole post? Including scrolling down to the bottom?

    You showed up merely to complain that this guy was asking about a car that you consider a huge, steaming pile of dog turds.

    Your whole post was based on the assumption that we shouldn't even be talking about this thing since it violates your closely held opinions on automotive perfection.

    I was mocking your attitude that the internet in general, and this section of OT in specific, should only talk about cars you deem worthy.

    The guy has some legit questions about a car he's interested in.

    If you aren't interested in heavy, underpowered, poor handling piles of rusty junk from the '60's, skip this thread and move to one of the ones talking about the new C6 Z06.

    There's really no need for you to tell the guy you think his potential project is worthless.
     
  19. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Yeah, I was being sarcastic.

    I think there's a lot of problems with this car and you would be better served by finding a different one.

    At least try to find out why the guy doesn't have a title. If you plan on using this as a driver that is going to come in handy.
     
  20. Noparking

    Noparking Platinum Member OT Supporter

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    yeah they're ugly get a 66 ss
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Heh. Thanks for tolerating my strong opinion.

    I don't dislike all older cars, per se. I'd love to get my hands on a second-generation RX-7 in reasonably-good shape, but they're harder than hell to find because they turboed the engine without strengthening the apex seals and most of them blew their engines and are rusting in junkyards now.

    Anyway, that's beside the point you were making; it bothers me when people take an old car and just fix it up instead of modernizing it, yes, because of those reasons you listed about weight and inefficiency and pollution. I'm not saying someone should take an old Charger and put a Mitsubishi 4g63 engine and a carbon fiber wing on it, either, but personally I'd be far more impressed by a restoration job that includes a fuel-injected engine and a catalytic converter -- it demonstrates an interest in bringing our history along with us instead of letting it sit in a museum (or a garage, in this case) and only bringing it out for parades. It's like the idea of taking an old castle and setting it up with electric lights, insulation, and plumbing -- it's still a nice old castle, but it's not been left behind, either.

    To address Mjolnir's concern that there was no need to tell the OP that his project is a waste of time and money, I very much disagree. If the OP reads this thread and changes his mind because of the consensus that a late-60's Chevy Nova is possibly the worst project car ever, then he can only stand to benefit -- it will help him save his money for something worth working on, something he won't feel bad about laboring away on later. Regardless of whether he shares my opinion about what kind of car is worth keeping, that's still a good thing.
     
  22. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    There is no consensus like this outside of your mind.

    Some people like the Nova, some don't.

    I, personally, like them. I think they look decent, they're relatively light weight, there are a ton of factory and aftermarket parts for them, they can be made viciously quick for relatively little money, and (as the original poster noted) they are less expensive than many other cars from the same era.

    The OP clearly likes the Nova, since he's considering buying one.

    The OP clearly disagrees with your perspective, and I do as well, so there goes your "consensus".

    People like us would prefer to build A Nova over your beloved RX7, but you don't see us hitting the jap forum and bashing people like you, do you?

    Since there is clearly nothing in this thread that requires your god-like judgment and solomon like wisdom, why don't you shut the fuck up?
     
  23. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    well played Sir :rofl:
     
  24. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    What did you decide on the Nova? Are you gonna get it?
     
  25. Immortal1

    Immortal1 New Member

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    The guy has been busy as of late and so have I. I'm calling him tonight and trying to schedule a time tomorrow when I can go see it.

    I plan on taking plenty of pics and asking him about the bill of sale from when he bought it. I'd love to contact the previous owner to get the real story behind this car. Assuming it runs and there's only minor rust, it's mine.
     

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