The Chevy II was borne out of the disastrous experiment known as the Chevy Corvair. In troduced in model year 1960, the Corvair was Chevrolet’s first stab an economy, compact car. The design was startlingly innovative, built with the engine at the rear, but consumers found it too strange and didn’t take to it. While the brand eventually found some success as a high-powered sporty Corvair Monza, offered as a convertible starting in 1962, the model was officially cursed when consumer advocate Ralph Nader condemned it in his 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” for a problem in the Corvair suspension that had been fixed by model year 1964.

The engineers who went back to the drawing board in search of the Corvair's successor decided to go the same route as Ford and Chrysler by releasing a more conventional compact car (basically, a scaled-down full-size car), which was dubbed the Chevy II. Released in model year 1962, these affordable and attractive cars came in sedan, hard-top, and convertible styles and with four- or six-cylinder engines. The speedier sports versions were tagged Nova, and by 1963, they were available with Chevy’s coveted SS (Super Sport) engine package.

In 1968, the Chevy II was abolished in favor the Chevrolet Nova name, and the line got the curvaceous “Coke bottle” styling treatment from GM design chief Bill Mitchell. When the Corvair was dropped in 1969, the Nova became the smallest car in the Chevy line—a title it held for one year before the Chevy Vega was introduced in 1970. The 1969 Nova could be ordered with a 375 bhp, 396 cid V-8 engine that turned it into a super-charged “muscle car”—those Novas are especially coveted by car lovers today.

One urban legend asserts that the Chevy Nova, offered in the Latin America countries like Mexico and Venezuela between 1972 and 1978, failed miserably there because “no va” means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish.

This popular story, in reality, is completely unfounded. For one, Spanish speakers are unlikely to read “nova” as “no va,” the same way English speakers wouldn’t read “notable” or “carpet” as “no table” or “car pet.” “Nova” means “new” in Portuguese, something any fan of Brazillian bossa nova music would know, and Nova is also the name of a Mexican gasoline company. Lastly, “it doesn’t go” is not an expression anyone would naturally use to describe a car that doesn’t run, in English or Spanish.

But more importantly, during the '70s, the Novas that Chevy intended for the Latin American market sold well in Mexico and were so popular in Venezuela they surpassed Chevy’s expectations.

Even though the Nova had a reputation for dependability, it was phased out for model year 1979, and the last original Novas were produced in 1978. However, the Nova name was revived briefly in the late '80s as a front-wheel-drive subcompact that shared a design with Toyota.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Jim Snell’s tribute to the 1959 Chevy Impala and other Chevrolets (Bel Air, Two-Ten Wagon, etc.) from the 1950s a… [read review or visit site]

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Chevrolet : Nova Guy 1972 Nova All Original Paint 61 K Original Mile No Reserve AuctionAmc : Other Base 1968 Amc Rambler American Barn Find Patina 2 Owner Car Nova ChevelleChevrolet : Nova 2 Door Sweet 66 NovaChevrolet : Nova 4 Speed Coupe Cowl Hood Cam Headers Posi 1971 Chevrolet Nova 4 Speed Coupe 2 Door Cowl Hood Headers Must SeeChevrolet : Nova Hard Top 1967 Nova Promax Venom Nova One Of 12 Made 572 Bb 620 Hp Show Car Award WinnerNwot Burberry Giant Check Nova Check 100% Cashmere Scarf Muffler OysterBenelli Nova Super Nova 12ga Police Home Defense Breacher Standoff Barrel 18.5 Authentic Burberry Canvas Check Nova Check Purse Bag UsedChevrolet : Nova 2 Door Hardtop 1965 Chevy Nova Ii Rolling Chassis 2 Door HardtopChevrolet : Nova Nova Ss Movie Car 1968 Chevy Nova Ss Restored 427 Big Block V 8 Movie Car Bad Boys Ii Must SeeChevrolet : Nova Ss 1967 Chevy Ii Pro StreetChevrolet : Nova Coupe 1964 Chevrolet Nova 350 Aluminum Heads Th 350 Chevy IiChevrolet : Nova Custom 1973 Chevrolet Nova Custom 1 Owner Numbers Matching 350 77 K MilesChevrolet : Nova Coupe 1971 Chevy Nova Pro Street Aka Black BettyChevrolet : Nova Post 1966 Chevy Nova Ii PostChevrolet : Nova Nova 1971 Nova 2 DoorPeachtree Audio Nova Pre: Tube Pre-amplifier, Usb Dac, Headphone Amplifier-blackChevrolet : Nova Gasser 1967 Chevrolet Nova Gasser 350 V 8 5 Speed Manual Trans Full Custom BuildAuthentic Burberrys Of London Unisex Nova Check Scarf Made In EnglandChevrolet : Nova 2 Dr 1964 Chevrolet 2 Dr Nova HardtopChevrolet : Other Pickups Standard 1972 Chevy C 30 Ramp Truck Vintage Camaro Nova Chevelle Car HaulerChevrolet : Nova Nova 1968 Nova Sbc 400 215 Dart Heads 9 Ford Race Or Street CarChevrolet 6.0 Ls3 Ly6 Engine Swap Camaro Chevelle Nova Truck Hot Rod Chevrolet : Nova Base Model Trim 1973 Chevy Nova 4 Door SedanChevrolet : Nova 350 Ss 1962 Chevy NovaChevrolet : Nova Base Coupe 2-door 1974 Chevrolet NovaChevrolet : Nova Pro Street 1972 Nova Pro Street Drag Car 468 BbcVintage Hurst Super Shifter 4 Speed Muncie Borg Warner Push Down Reverse Ball Chevrolet : Nova Yenko 1972 Chevy Nova Yenko CloneChevrolet : Nova Custom Coupe 2-door 1974 Chevrolet Nova Custom Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LBorescope Hawkeye Slim 17" Gradient Lens 17" Mirror Tube Mini-nova StreamlightAardvark - Self Titled Psych Classic - Original Stereo Deram Nova. Sdn 17. Chevrolet : Nova Base 1970 Chevy NovaBurberry Nova Check Cashmere ScarfChevrolet : Nova 300 1963 Chevrolet Chevy Ii 300 Sedan NovaChevrolet : Nova Sedan 1965 Cevy IiChevrolet : Nova Ss 1967 Granada Gold Chevy Nova Ss Super SportChevrolet : Nova Base Coupe 2-door 1972 Chevy Nova Custom Pro Street Strip Backet Race Show Touring Cruise DriveChevrolet : Nova Base Coupe 2-door 1972 Chevrolet Nova Base Coupe 2 Door 5.7 L1968 Corvette Camaro 302 Z28 327 L79 350 Ss Factory Chrome Survivor Valve Covers100% Authentic Burberry Nova Check Plaid WalletChevrolet : Nova 1970 Chevy Nova Ii 1970 Chevrolet Nova Base Coupe 2 DoorVintage 302 283 327 350 Sbc Small Block Chevy Edelbrock Sy1 Intake ManifoldBurberry Dark Tan Nova Check Bothfield Crossbody Purse Bag ToteTc Electronic Nova System Multi-effects PedalBurberry Black Quilted Plaid Nova Check Lined Jacket Coat Medium M 8 WomenChevrolet : Nova 850hp Pro Touring Custom 2-door Coupe Chevy Nova Pro Touring Street Car 850hp V8 Procharger Super Chevy Cover Car!Chevrolet : Nova Yenko Clone 1969 Chevrolet Nova Yenko Clone 350 V 8 Th 400 Automatic Disc Brakes1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rosewood Streering Wheel Original N-34 Chevelle Impala1968 1969 1970 Nova Ss 4 Speed Original Tachometer Clock Dash Assembly Speedomet1783 Nova Constellatio Copper, Pointed Rays, Small UsChevrolet : Nova Ss 1971 Chevrolet Nova Ss 327 Automatic Vinyl Top Super SportChevrolet : Other Street Rod Over The Top Restoration 64 Nova Tpi 350 Ac Incredible Show Chassis InteriorChevrolet : Nova Custom 1978 Chevrolet Nova Custom Sedan 4 Door 4.1 LNos New Old Stock 15 X 8 Rally Wheel Trim Rings 68 - 82 3 Inch Deep Corvette Gm1787 New York Copper Nova Eborac Ngc Vf 30 Figure Right1787 Nova Eborac New York Copper, Figure Seated RightBurberry Nova Check Crossbody BagBurberry Nova Pop Degrade Tote - Limited EditionNwt Authentic Burberry Nova Check Tote With Removable Zippered Pouch