Your Ride: 1973 Chevrolet Nova SS

When driving her 1973 Chevy Nova SS, Leanna Tucker feels tough, “like no one can touch me,” she says. “Plus, it’s so much fun to pull up alongside a young kid with some ‘Freebird’ blasting,” she smiles. Bought for $1,200 in 1983, Tucker was manning an Asheboro, NC hot dog stand when her dream ride flew by. “My father, who happened to be there, went and chased it down and snapped the Nova up. It was my baby from that day on,” she says. Tucker - who says her Nova means more to her than food -  talks to BoldRide about how it’s become part of the family and the challenges of refurbishment. BoldRide: What made you buy it? Tucker: I have always loved Chevys - and the color blue - so when I saw this blue streak of a Nova go by, I knew I had to have it. What do you love about your ride?  Our Nova has attitude. After 22 years, I was finally able to pass it along to my son, meaning I can still look outside and see and hear the car that I fell in love so long ago. There’s just something about this Nova that draws you to it. What have you done to make it a bolder ride?  My son, Jeremy Tucker, added a four-inch cowl hood, tinted windows, a custom exhaust, re-covered the seats and added a new carpet. He also added a TH350 transmission, and a 347 cubic inch LS1 motor. What's an inside fact about Nova SS that only an owner would know? The SS package can't be determined by the VIN number. There is no true way to tell. We did learn that the doors on the Novas seem to wear out the bushings faster, causing the doors to drop and we’ve had to replace them about four times over the years. What's your favorite memory of your car? About 24 years ago, my husband and I were out in the snow one evening and cut circles all over Asheboro. It was a real blast. We weren’t even dating at the time, but three months later, we were married. 25 years of wedded bliss later, the car is still in our driveway. Does it have a nickname? Fuel Slut. The car looks so hot and gets so many comments that the kids who always hang around it started calling it a slut, which then became Fuel Slut. It’s not about how much gas it uses; it’s about the attention and the compliments it gets. If you restored it yourself, what was most challenging about the process? Getting the right parts. The worst has been trying to get the bumper fillers. Every time we’ve ordered them, they’ve ended up being wrong. We still haven’t gotten them. And a new bumper was too hard to find, so we finally just sent the old one to Tennessee to get re-chromed. Also the chrome around the doors and windows is still faded, because we can’t find replacements, but that’s okay. Favorite place to drive it and why? On old country back roads. There is a road here called the Erect Road and it’s always a blast hanging in the curves out there in the middle of nowhere. You know, you always have to worry about the law with this car; because of its sound and look, the police think you’re up to something. My dream place to drive it would have to be the Autobahn.
THE BASICS Make: Chevrolet Model: Nova SS Year: 1973 Price (base when new): $3,800 Estimated Price (now with restoration): $15,000 Engine: LS1 Horsepower: 750 hp Torque: 600  lb-ft Car Type: Muscle Car, Classic See more of the 1973 Chevrolet Nova SS here

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