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Classics1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package

21:30  18 september  2019
21:30  18 september  2019 Source:   hotrod.com

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The Nova was redesigned for 1968 , getting a "swept fastback" look similar to the bigger A-bodies of that year. Another interesting feature on this car This particular Nova came well equipped from the factory with a full console and gauge package . Super Car Workshop handled the interior makeover

The Chevrolet Chevy II/ Nova is a small automobile manufactured by Chevrolet , and produced in five generations for the 1962 through 1979, and 1985 through 1988 model years.

1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package
Ask muscle car collector Rick Thayer and he'll tell you 1968 was a good year for Chevrolet. It was also a great year for the Nova in particular, so much so that Rick now owns five killer examples of the Chevy compact from that model year. And this particular one might just be his favorite of the lot.

Rick heard about a rare Nova for sale from his good friend Brent Johnson. The Chevy was disassembled and located not far from where it was sold new at Courtesy Chevrolet in Burnaby, British Columbia, just outside the city limits of Vancouver, Canada. The car in question was a 1968 model possessing the rare L79 option, one of just 1,274 built with the 327ci, 325hp V-8 in that engine's final year of production. To make it even better, the car was 100 percent original, including the drivetrain.

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1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L 79 Package - Hot Rod Network. Ask muscle car collector Rick Thayer and he’ll tell you 1968 was a good year for Chevrolet . It was also a great year for the Nova in particular.

Brent tried to buy the Nova from its current owner, to no avail. The price was just too steep in his eyes. So he told Rick he'd be happy to let him have a go at it. Rick was very interested in bringing this one home. He called the owner, Doug Richards, and gave it his best shot. After some haggling, a deal was done.

Now came the hard part. Since it was disassembled and across the border, care and forethought were needed to get this Chevy to Rick in totality, and within a specific timeframe. Doug made a custom car cart to handle the body, and wooden crates to house all the parts to help safely ship the car and its contents eastward. Ultimately it was loaded on a transport pup trailer and sent directly to Rick's place in New Hampshire. Once he had it home, he took an inventory of his recent purchase and devised a game plan to bring this Nova back to life.

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1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L 79 Package - Hot Rod Network. Ask muscle car collector Rick Thayer and he’ll tell you 1968 was a good year for Chevrolet . It was also a great year for the Nova in particular.

1968 Chevrolet Nova . VIN 113278W272511. The previous owner of this beautiful Nova bought the car 18 years ago out of Michigan. The car was professionally restored by the owner’s son. The car started out as a rust free car and only needed to have the doors replaced.

1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package© Hot Rod Network Staff 020-thayer-1968-chevrolet-nova-l79.jpg

Nova and Nova Again

Enter Joe Swezey and Brian Henderson at Super Car Workshop in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Rick and SCW have a long-running friendship that goes back several years and several cars. (We featured one such project, Rick's SOHC-427-motivated Ford 300 in "Cammed Heat," Mar. 2018; bit.ly/2kvR6ys) Rick couldn't think of a better group of Chevy aficionados to handle this boxed-up Nova.

While the parts were flowing into the SCW shop, the body was sent directly to Joe Griffith and Jamie Cooper at Super Car Restoration in nearby Clymer, Pennsylvania. There they devised a plan to make this body into a show-stopper. Amazingly enough, the car needed only minor touchups to its shell, and no major rust extermination. Once the body was laser-straight, the boys laid down a fresh skin of KK Tripoli Turquoise on its flanks.

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Hot Rod Featured. 1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L 79 Package .

While that was going on, the powerplant headed to A-1 Machine in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where Joe Zeoli and Dave Reid tore down the numbers-matching motor and brought the high-compression small-block back to factory standards. Boasting a wide bore and short stroke, the high-revving 327 delivered a healthy 325 hp in stock form (350 when in a Corvette), which was plenty to propel the compact lightweight off the line and down the road under the guidance of the driver's right foot.

The original four-speed transmission and 12-bolt rear were sent to Hoss's Gear Shop in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, for a complete teardown and rebuild. This particular ride was born with a stout M21 and full console between the bucket seats. Out back, the heavy-duty rear was rebuilt with a set of 3.55 gears, which came with the car originally.

Over at SCW, Brian and Joe readied the chassis for the refreshed body. After restoring the frame, the suspension was rebuilt using N.O.S. and assembly parts that Rick obtained with the car, along with parts that SCW sourced. Once this was accomplished, the boys reunited the chassis and powertrain. Brake and fuel lines were run, and the Gardner exhaust system took shape.

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1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L 79 Package . Read More. Hot Rod Featured. 1990 CERV III Came Close to Being the 1997 Mid-Engine C5.

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Once the body was back on, it was full speed ahead. Brian and Joe handled the interior, reskinning the seats and refreshing the rest of the interior with new panels and carpet. The four-speed was back between the buckets, and the new interior featured its born-with console and gauge packages.

Since Rick wanted the car to look like it did when it left the factory, SCW reinstalled the 14x6 steel wheels shod in Coker repop BFG bias-ply blackwalls and the original dog-dish hubcaps. Some of the rare pieces of this muscle car puzzle are the foil 327 callouts built in to the front marker lights, and the rocker panel side-skirts along the lower flanks.

1968 Chevrolet Nova Is the Last Call for the Powerful L79 Package© Hot Rod Network Staff 007-thayer-1968-chevrolet-nova-l79.jpg

Nova the Top

Once completed, this hot little Chevy cruiser hit the streets again, showing why the L79 was a viable option to consumers in the muscle car marketplace. Though overshadowed by 396 and 427 big-block powerplants of the day, this little screamer was right at home in the lightweight Chevy compact.

As for Rick, he just couldn't be happier with his Nova. "I've worked with Super Car Workshop and Super Car Restoration on a number of projects over the years," he says. "They both do incredible work and are true experts in their field. This L79 Nova is another beautiful example of that expertise."

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At a Glance

1968 Chevy II Nova

Owned by: Rick Thayer

Restored by: Super Car Workshop, Latrobe, PA; Super Car Restoration, Clymer, PA; A-1 Machine, Greensburg, PA; Hoss's Gear Shop, Mount Pleasant, PA

Engine: 327ci/325hp L79 V-8

Transmission: Muncie M21 4-speed manual

Rearend: 12-bolt with 3.55 gears

Exterior color: Tripoli Turquoise

Interior: Black vinyl bucket seat

Wheels: 14x6 steel with hubcaps

Tires: 7.35x14 BFGoodrich Silvertown by Coker

Special parts: L79 engine option, shifter console, gauge package, rocker side-skirts

Look Familiar?

We've seen Rick Thayer's L79 Nova before, and maybe you have, too, if you were at Carlisle's Chevrolet Nationals in 2017 and took a walk through the Solid Lifter Showroom. Brian Henderson displayed the work in progress with some of the front bodywork missing to show off the car's engine and chassis restoration. Note the car is wearing a set of Deluxe Magnesium wheel covers, a rarely seen option for the 1968 Nova that Brian had in his personal parts stash. "I did it to get feedback," he told us. "People either loved them or hated them. There's no middle ground with those wheel covers."

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