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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

Restomod Camaro Cost $100,000 In Parts Alone

Restomod Camaro Cost $100,000 In Parts Alone This 1968 Chevrolet is insured for $150,000 and sports an LS3 V8 along with a whole host of upgrades. We simply love Camaro’s at Motorious, especially when they look like this one offered by Canyon State Classics. In 2019 you can find one in any state or specification. Whether it’s factory original, a barn find, or something more unique perhaps; like this 1968 LS3 swapped beast. Finished in white with gorgeous US Mags wheels that reveal some hefty Wilwood brakes underneath, this car has had some serious cash thrown at it, and it shows.

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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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 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.

1964 Chevy Nova V8 Wagon Runs Strong

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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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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."

Read More

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This beautiful, blue Chevelle probably looks better than it did 50 years ago! When it comes to high-value Chevelles, the SS454 LS6 is the cream of the crop. If you don't want to drop a six-figure sum on a true LS6 or settle for a tribute car, though, then you'll want to check out this 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle L78 SS396 that is currently up for sale through Midwest Car Exchange.© Motorious 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle L78 SS This Chevelle is the best of both worlds for collectors as it underwent a detailed frame-off restoration yet it remains a numbers-matching car.

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