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 Nova Ss 1966 Acadian Canso Sport Deluxe Canadian Nova Ss All Numbers MatchChevrolet: Nova 1967 Chevrolet Nova Chevy Ii 350 Engine Th 350 Trans Blue BlackChevrolet: Nova Ss 1972 Chevy Nova SsChevrolet: Nova 1962 Chevy Ii 400 Sports CoupeChevrolet: Nova Ss 1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss 572 Merlin Big Block With 800 Hp 5 Speed 12 Bolt RearChevrolet: Nova Ss 1972 Nova SsChevrolet: Nova Ss 1973 Ss 2 DoorChevrolet: Nova 2d Ht 1966 Chevy Ii Nova1970 Chevy Nova Drag Car Tube Chassis 572 Bbc Chevrolet 1000hp 8 SecChevrolet: Nova No Reserve Auction - Last Highest Bidder Wins Car! 1978 Nova Cabriolet 2 Door Auto Air Low Miles Beautiful Classic SurvivorChevrolet: Nova 1969 Nova Ss 4 SpeedChevrolet: Nova Chevy Ii 400 1962 Chevy Ii Nova 2 Door Hard TopAmc: Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country 770 1963 Amc Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country Station Wagon Chevrolet Nova MalibuChevrolet: Nova Ss 1966 Chevrolet Nova SsChevrolet: Nova 1967 Chevy Nova Hard TopChevrolet: Nova Chevy Ii 1963 Chevrolet Chevy Ii Marina Blue Tan Interior 350 Ci Auto Restored Low ReserveChevrolet: 2 Dr Ht Hot Rods & Street Rods, Gassers, Drag Cars,custom, Nova, Pro StreetChevrolet: Chevelle Ss Convertible Very Nice Conv. 350 Auto Cold Ac Not 1970 1971 1969 Camaro Nova Impala CorvettePeachtree Audio Nova 2 Channel Integrated Amplifier383/425hp Chevy Sbc Engine Nova Camaro Vette Chevelle Direct Fit Like 327 350Chevrolet: Nova 1970 Chevrolet Nova Ss Package 350 4 Speed Restored Hounds Tooth Seats Hugger OrChevrolet: Nova Chevy Nova Pro StreetChevrolet: Nova Chevy Ii 1962 Pro Street Chevy Ii Nova Tubbed 2 Door CoupeChevrolet: Nova 400 1962 NovaChevrolet: Nova 350 V 8 4 Speed Sleeper Hot RodChevrolet: Nova 1962 Chevy Nova Street Machine Resto Mod Custom World Of Wheels Award WinnerChevrolet: Nova L79 1966 Chevy Ii Ss L 79 Hot Rod Nova Pro Street Not Barn Find Survivor Easy ProjectChevrolet: Nova 2 Dr 1964 Nova 2 Door Post Lower ReserveAmazing Reborn Baby Boy "nova" By Cassie Brace Now ~tanner~Swarovski Habicht Nova 2,2 - 9 X 42 Ret. # 4 Austria Tube 30mm Very Good ShapeNew Auth Burberry Beige Nova Check Swimsuit Bikini 2 Piece Size M Uk 12Chevrolet: Nova Nova 1966 Chevy Ii Nova Blown Pro StreetChevrolet: Nova Ss 1970 Chevy Nova SsChevrolet: Nova 1965 ChevyChevrolet: Nova 1966 Chevy Ii Nova Wagon Antique VehicleChevrolet: Nova Black Vinyl Roof 1973 Nova SsChevrolet: Nova Super Sport Real 69 Chevy Nova Ss396 4 Speed L34 Bbc Roller Body Barn Find Project 12 BoltChevrolet: Nova Base 1978 Chevrolet NovaChevrolet: Nova 1978 Pro Street Chevy Nova$600 Burberry Stowell Roll-up Canvas Leather Trim Nova Check Plaid Tote HandbagPeachtree Audio Nova 220 Se With Bt1Burberry London Black Nova Check Logo Stripe T-shirt Top Size XlChevrolet: Nova 1966 Chevy Nova Gasser Pro Street Street Rod Hot Rod Rat Rod Other Makes Drag CaAuthentic Vintage Burberry Nova Check Medium Basket Tote Shoulder Handbag PurseChevrolet: Nova 2 Door 1976 Chevy Nova Drag Race Equipped Race CarNovation Ultranova Nova Series Analog-modeling SynthesizerChevrolet: Nova Ss 1970 Chevy Nova SsNew Tag Burberry Light Men Shorts Nova Check Tan Plaid Haymarket Logo L / M $295New Authentic Burberry Plaid Nova Check Big Square Multi Men T-shirt L / M $225Chevrolet: Nova Chevy 2 1964 Chevy Nova 283 V 8 Chevrolet 4 DoorChevrolet: Nova Ss 1972 Nova SsSwarovski Habicht Nova 6 X 42 Ret. # 1 Austria Tube 26mm Very Good ShapeGmp 1969 Chevy Chevrolet Z/28 Nova 1:18 Scale Die Cast Replica Car Pure VisionChevrolet: Nova Base 1973 Chevrolet NovaChevrolet: Nova 1969 Chevrolet NovaChevrolet: Nova 1972 Chevy Nova Ss CloneNib Sw Graco Nova 390 Pc Electric Airless Paint Sprayer Stand Style Part #826195Chevrolet: Nova 1966 Chevrolet Nova Ii Nhra Top Sportsman Over 200 K In The Build 2200 Hp1966 Nova, Chevy 2 Nos Hood Emblem (never Installed)Theta Casa Nova A/v Processor