Your Ride: 1962 Chevy Nova Convertible
In 1961 when the Chevrolet Nova was introduced, designer Clare MacKichan called it “a basic-type car,” citing the quick turnaround from development into production. But one of our readers, Bry, thinks his Chevy Nova Convertible is anything but basic. And we couldn’t agree more. A beautiful candy apple red coats the car inside and out, matched with a gorgeous white top and factory rally wheels. It’s one of the most pristine Nova’s we’ve ever seen. Here’s Bry’s story: PHOTOS: See More of the 1962 Chevrolet Nova
How did you acquire your ride?
Online web page. Had it shipped from Colorado. But there's a story that goes with it from the original owner.
This car is one of the earliest still in existence — 1 of only 23,741 manufactured. This Nova was the 460th convertible down the assembly line, and is the 4,959th Nova made for all of the 1962 model year. Its build date is the 3rd week of November back in 1961. The 194 c.i. 6-cylinder engine build date was November 14th 1961 in New York. It is a pretty special car and has a special history as well.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1963 Chevrolet Nova
I bought this Nova from the original 95-year-old owner named John Daly, who is now 98-years-old. Well, in talking with him, he told me the following story of why he bought this convertible in the first place.
It was Christmas Eve 1961 when John went to the local dealership, Hulac Chevrolet in Omaha, Nebraska, and this car was sitting on the showroom floor. (The dealer trunk logo plate is still on the car! I also learned that back in 1962 it only cost $1 for a title!) So, John bought the car and hid it in his backyard behind the garage. When his wife got home, he asked her if she heard a noise coming from the backyard, and when they went out back to see, there was her surprise Christmas present. At this time John was around 46, and his wife 43.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1963 Chevrolet Nova SS
John’s wife passed away in 1996 around age 77, and John did what many of you would do and kept the car around for a while.The car currently has 51,500 original miles, it was always garage-kept, and from 2001 to 2011 it was driven only 192 miles. But now to explain how I came across this car; A guy named Scott saw the car in a parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska back in 2001 and asked John if he would like to sell it, but John said he was not ready. Still, they exchanged contact information to talk again later. So Scott went by John’s house five or six times a year for 10 years to check in on him. In September of 2011 John was ready to sell because he was moving to an assisted living home. So that got the ball rolling.
Scott bought it the same day and showed his friend Ron. Well, Ron bought it from him because Scott already had a Harley project that he was working on. Ron had it for a total of 2 months and sold it to Dave who was visiting his hometown for Thanksgiving from his current state of Colorado. Dave bought it for his friend Todd who bought it for his sister who had one similar to it back in high school. But in December when Todd received the car, his sister had lost her job and that landed him with the convertible all to himself. So he listed it for sale online and that's where I come in.
I contacted Todd though the website to purchase the car and he and I have become good friends and stay in touch. I bought the car in February of 2011 and by that time, this Nova had exchanged hands four different times in as many months across three states without changing the title. Now that was a fun mess to sort out!
PHOTOS: See More of the 1964 Chevrolet Nova
What drew you in when you bought it?
The originality and true survivor one owner, 51,000 miles then learning the build date — wow! And when I was 18 saw a white one in town, really liked the design!
Does it have a name?
What do you feel like when you drive it?
I'm a little nervous because I fell like I'm responsible to preserve it.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1966 Chevrolet Nova Jungle Jim Funny Car
What would you change about your car, if anything?
I would love to have an original 283 V8 which was a dealer option in 1962. The dealership would order the motor for you then install it. If I changed the motor it would not be a original car though.
What have you done to make it a bolder ride?
I put 15' rally wheels, which would also be my dream accessories.
As you can see from the photos, I also completely restored the engine compartment to original factory appearance (but I was guilty of painting the firewall). I was able to find NOS vinyl for the front bench seat. This car still had the original carpet/vinyl combo, with the floor pans in wonderful condition and no rust! The vinyl had some cracking, some holes and wear as well, so I put in a carpet kit and kick panels.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1966 Chevrolet Nova SS
Thanks to Bry for sharing his ride! Want us to feature your ride? Click here to find out how.