Once a Chevy Nova SS Owner, Always a Nova Owner: Your Ride
We all remember our first car, but to say that Joe T. remembers his first set of wheels would be a massive understatement. He can tell you every minute detail about his high school runabout—a stunning 1968 Chevy Nova SS. It had the 350ci, 295-hp V8, a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic, a Matador Red body, and black vinyl top. In his words, “it was the most beautiful car I’d ever seen.” Unfortunately, sometimes life throws a curveball, and Joe’s ownership was to be a short one…but it wouldn’t stay that way forever. Nowadays he’s back behind the wheel of a ’68—a near-exact duplicate of his first car. Take a listen to the story of his SS twins. RELATED: GM Just Gave This Chevy Nova a New 2.0-liter Turbo Heart
Joe: "My love for the Chevy II began at age 17. One evening during supper my father asked me to go somewhere with him after dinner. I didn't know that this trip would change my life forever.
We arrived at the Roger Dean Chevy showroom in Charleston, WV, and my father led me to a brand new 1968 Chevy II SS Nova. He asked me what I thought…but what was there not to like? He continued, and said that if I would do three things then he would co-sign the loan papers for me.
Standing there, I would have done anything, but the three things I agreed to were pretty small—I would make all car payments, I would pay the insurance, and my mother could drive the SS while I was away at college. With college just one and a half years away, I felt like a winner anyway I looked at it."
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"Senior year went fast and then college had arrived. My SS had to stay home during the week…but it would be waiting for me on Friday afternoon. However, after the second year of college, I had to do the unthinkable. With the cost of car insurance and staying on campus, I had to sell the Nova SS.
I was now driving daily from home to school and bought a Ford Pinto with a four cylinder engine. In hopes of keeping my first love alive, I chose a car that would remind me in some ways of my Nova. The Pinto was bright red with black bucket seats, black vinyl top, no A/C and a floor shifter. It served me well, but as soon as I could I sold the Ford.
After college, life changed for the better. I married a wonderful lady that also loves cars (she came with a ‘72 GTO) and started a family. My autos for years to come would be family cars, but after my son’s college I was hoping to buy a Nova again, and my son found one—a ’68 Nova—eleven years ago, in Virginia. He called his mother and said, 'I’m not sure we want to show this to Dad.'"
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"I quickly made plans to travel to Virginia to check the car out, and found that my son had asked all the questions that only a ’68 model would fit—he had gotten an earful from years of car shows. This was a ’68 Chevy Nova SS for sure, and it came with the same color, vinyl top, bucket seats, and engine size. The only difference was my first Nova had an automatic.
The car is mostly original with matching numbers on the motor and drivetrain. It was purchased in 1967 by a father in Rocky Mount, Virginia, for his son…much like mine was. The son wrecked the Nova shortly after, the father took it, made the repairs, and then stored it in a barn for 20 years. The second owner found the Nova, all covered up, and purchased the car.
I had a part of my life in that first ‘68 Nova SS, and I wanted a car that was as close to it as possible. I am not planning on any changes with the engine, I love the memories of my first car and I want to keep this car just the way it is. My heartfelt thanks go to my wonderful wife and son for helping me to relive some of my youth, and for allowing me 45 years of telling them why the 1968 Nova SS was so special in my life."
Many thanks to Joe T. for sharing his Chevy Nova story. If you’ve got a classic car tale to tell, drop us a line!