In our final installment this week of September’s 2016’s Ride of the Month nominations, we feature the 1963 Chevy Nova presented by nominee Robert Gunderson. Here is some general information about the vehicle.
Note: This is not information about the actual vehicle nominated for September’s Ride of the Month, just general information on the vehicle itself. Please check the link at the bottom of today’s article to view all the actual vehicles nominated for this month’s Ride of the Month.
As the Ford Falcon gradually decimated sales of the quirky rear-engine Chevy Corvair, designers frantically worked on a more conventional semi-unibody compact design. In September 1961, just 18 months after work on the new design began, the Chevy II rolled off the Willow Run, Michigan, assembly line.
Highest Chevy II Trim
For the 1963 model year, the rear-wheel drive Chevy II was offered in the 100, 200 and 400 series. Thanks to added trim and an updated grille insert, the 1963 version improved upon the 1962 model. Except for the 187.4-in long station wagon, the 110-in wheelbase Chevy II was 183-in long. The 1963 Chevy Nova was a 400 series, the highest Chevy II trim level sold that year. It was available as a sport coupe, sedan, convertible and station wagon.
Dealer-installed V8 Available
Although the standard engine was a 153 cu-in inline four, far more powerful engines were available, including a third generation straight-six. However, the availability of a 327 cu-in V8 in such a lightweight vehicle grabbed the attention of enthusiasts and even drag racers, and some selected this powerful dealer-installed option.
Chevy Nova Super Sport Package
In 1963, Chevy introduced the Nova Super Sport (SS). For about $160, it was possible to get the SS package complete with floor shifter and bucket seats. The exterior featured a special tail light panel, special badging and body side moldings. For another $42, it was possible to add spinner hubcaps. The SS was available as both a coupe and a convertible. A Nova SS sport coupe with the 194 cu-in inline six mated to a three-speed manual could complete the zero-60 romp in 12.8 seconds and the quarter-mile in 19.3 seconds.
Although the Chevelle would impact Nova sales beginning in 1964, the 1963 Chevy Nova enjoyed quite a run. For example, more than 23,000 1963 Chevy Nova convertibles were sold. The convertible’s base MSRP was $2,475.
In today’s market, a 1963 Chevy Nova SS convertible with a frame-off restoration can fetch $25,000-30,000 or more. However, an occasional rebuildable Nova can be had for less than $10,000. The most exceptional rebuilt 1963 Nova SS V8s may garner bids in the $40,000 range.
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