The 1970 Chevrolet Nova was part of the third generation of this automobile, the first generation having been introduced to the public in 1962. The car would see a few changes in the 1970 production year, mainly to the interior and the available engines, but had found its place with a large segment of the buying market, selling very well during this period.
Development Of The Nova
Originally known as the Chevy II, the first Nova vehicles were more of a coupe, with the convertible option being quite popular. The semi-unibody construction vehicle was available either as a 2-door or 4-door, as well as a Super Sport variant beginning in 1963. The second generation Chevy II Nova Sport Coupe was manufactured both as a hardtop and a 2-door sedan, with a larger station wagon trim also offered. By 1968 the exterior had been altered, giving the car a more lengthened, streamlined appearance, and the number of available engines had likewise changed dramatically. In 1969 General Motors decided to drop the Chevy II name altogether and the car simply became known as the Nova.
The 1970 Nova Model
This car featured new side markers and radically different taillight lenses, as well as a wide, nearly flat front grille that had the distinct round headlights set to the extreme left and right. Most of these vehicles were produced at the Chevrolet plants in Kansas City, MO, Van Nuys, CA and Norwood, OH. The standard 396 cubic inch V-8 was considered the popular engine by Chevrolet, but this was the last year in which it was available in the Nova; the smaller 300 horsepower 350 cubic inch actually became the preferred engine during this model year. Other engines inside the 1970 Nova included the 250 cubic inch, 307 cubic inch and 327 cubic inch, as Chevrolet had at the time the widest range of engine options of any car maker in the world.
The smaller, 4-cylinder engine models that were available as either a 2-door coupe or 4-door sedan had a total production of only 2247 vehicles in 1970. The 6-cylinder engines were also installed in both the coupe and sedan resulting in sales of approximately 174,000 cars for the 1970 model year. The V-8 option in both the coupe and sedan sold about 140,000 units in 1970.
At this time, Nova was in a midsize niche in the auto industry, as well as in the Chevrolet lineup itself, which included the popular Impala, new Chevelle and the sporty Camaro, as well as the performance Corvette. The car was properly offered with the choice of a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission that was fitting for a car of this size and weight; other manufacturers found this combination the most successful as well. Nova also had the optional semi-automatic 2-speed called Powerglide on its 4 and 6-cylinder powertrains. The 1970 Nova was offered in a wide variety of colors, including white, yellow, gold, green, light or dark blue, and dark red.
About 175 Central Office Production Order Nova vehicles were produced during the 1970 model year; these were converted by Yenko Chevrolet. Trans-Am racing also saw the 1970 Chevrolet Nova as a participant during the season.
In the coming years, the fourth generation Nova was lightened, offered smaller engines and had a distinctly smaller appearance; a luxury trim was also unveiled. In 1979 production ended, although the name was rejuvenated in 1985 for a new Chevrolet model.