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1971 Nova

From strip to street cruiser

Here is the first pic of my 1971 Nova when I purchased it. This thread will host changes like the LS swap and other changes as they happen. Stay tuned, more to come.

The seller kept the Torque Thrust wheels and tires as I did not want the drag radials and very narrow front tires.

First things first is a good safety inspection to make sure the Nova is road worthy. All fluid changes, lubrication, check suspension components, make sure all lights function. Inspect for leaks.

This is the wheel I chose for the Nova. I went with 15X7 fronts and 15x8 on the rear in the different bolt patterns. I purchased new tires in 235/60/15 fronts and 275/60/15 rears. They are mounted and balanced and ready to install once I finish getting the 3 inch exhaust over the axle installed. The Nova had 3 inch dumps in front of the axle and I want the car to have more of a stock look.

The Nova has way too much flat black on it, and until I can afford a paint job, I decided to work with what I have. So I wire wheeled the taillight buckets and the rear panel then repainted them. Being the originals they cleaned up ok, to look acceptable, but not new. It sure made a difference. The recipe, very little money, just add time. Now let's see what we can do with the grill.

Okay boys and girls, it's been a week of remove, repair, clean, polish, paint, mend and bend and finally get it together again. The grille is done. I removed all the chrome and headlight surrounds and grill and whatever else got in my way. I polished the chrome best I could and painted the grill then polished the chrome edges. Best part was installing the SS Badge. It's a labor of love most times. Most times!

I realize the car looks pretty much the same as the first pic when I bought it but I've been putting the details back into the car, After refurbishing the rear panel and front grill, I decided to take a fun drive. I happened to like the look of the Nova coming out of the grocery store. Do we call them grocery stores anymore?? The next project is find all the rattles and squeaks. Then onto the interior. Meanwhile I hope a buyer needs the 496 BBC so the LS swap can begin.


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Mario on May 24, 2024 said:

Let me be the first to tell you that's a nice looking Nova you got Rob! Looks clean and straight. I like the hood and wheels.

Have fun swapping out the engine and best of luck to you. Regards, Mario

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azmuscle on May 24, 2024 said:

Thanks Mario...I'm glad it's a project car. It needs interior work and of course body and paint work. My goal is to keep it in a driver state so it's not a garage prisoner. The LS swap is planned to be a weekend to 4 day project which I hope is the shortest time the car is OUT OF SERVICE.

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Mario on May 29, 2024 said:

Nice rims you got Rob. I like the black and chrome. Good luck with your tire exhaust clearance issue. You'll figure it out.

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57timemachine on May 24, 2024 said:

Looking forward to the build. Cheers.

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azmuscle on Jun 4, 2024 said:

Thanks George, I hope not to disappoint. If you need popcorn I'll see what pops up :-)

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Mario on Jun 9, 2024 said:

I like my popcorn with lots of melted butter Rob. That's the NY way to eat popcorn! Thanks, Mario

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57timemachine on Jun 4, 2024 said:

Make my pop corn with no cow juice. Cheers.

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Mario on Jun 18, 2024 said:

Your Nova is coming along great Rob. It's the multitude of little things that make the car. You solved your tailpipe tire clearance in a nice way. And the back looks good with the revived paint job.

Keep up the good work and I hope to hear you sold your engine for good money. I'm putting out there! Stay cool, Mario

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Mario on Jun 22, 2024 said:

That grill looks awesome Rob with the SS in the middle. It's all about the details!

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