I’ll let the cat out of the bag. For the last month, we’ve been actively searching for a ’68-72 Nova project for a budget build-up. The idea is to drop the Dart SHP 400 we just built into it, along with a 200-4R automatic overdrive, then go hunt some import tin on the street. I figured we could pick up a rust-free California car for between $3k and $5k, do a scuff and shoot paint job for a couple of grand, and put in some new carpet and seat covers.
I know there aren’t any creampuff grandma cars out there for that price—I’ve budgeted for paint, upholstery, and replacing any beat-up trim—but thought I’d be able to find something useable. Unfortunately, every dude with a rusted-out six-banger thinks he’s got gold on his hands. I’m looking at Novas that are absolutely gutted or complete rotted out, for $8k. The one shown in the photo was at the Pomona swap meet with a sign for $8,800! That’s absolutely nuts.
I’d really like to do something mainstream like a Nova so that you readers get the most out of it. Nevertheless, I’m finding some real good oddball stuff for much less cash, like the restored ’69 Buick Skylark I found with new paint, new interior, and low miles for just $7k. The ’73-75 Novas are also very affordable, as are Buick, Pontiac and Olds A-bodies (check out Robert McGaffin’s $7,500 Olds Cutlass F-85 for example).
If you know of a cool Nova for sale, drop me a note at email@example.com. Our budget is limited to around $5k.