Eddie Van Halen’s 1970 Nova is a star in its own right
You know you’re looking at a special car when mention of its famous former owner is something of an afterthought. Case in point: This gorgeous custom 1970 Chevrolet Nova.
Previously owned by late rock legend Eddie Van Halen and being sold on Bring a Trailer by Van Halen’s nephew, the Nova is something of a rock star in car form. While a stock 1970 Nova in #1 (Concours) condition carries an average value of $25,600, the Van Halen car has been bid to $60,000 with two days remaining—and Hagerty valuation expert/GM aficionado Greg Ingold thinks that’s still low.
“It’s a pretty slick build,” Ingold says. “The more you look at it, the more details pop out at you—like the door handles are from a 1969–72 Pontiac Grand Prix. The current bid probably wouldn’t cover the build cost.”
Usually, any discussion of a muscle car begins with what’s under the hood, but we’ll get back to that in a bit. First, let’s talk about what you can see. The Nova—said to have been modified by Bones Fab in Camarillo, California—was repainted in metallic orange, reportedly using materials from the House of Kolor, and features offset black stripes on its carbon-fiber cowl hood and trunk lid. Exterior details also include, as Ingold immediately noticed, customized non-Chevy door handles, along with carbon-fiber mirror caps and blacked-out bumpers and brightwork.
The car wears Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 tires up front and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 345/30 tires in the rear, mounted on black 18-inch and 19-inch KWC forged wheels.
The exterior isn’t perfect—the seller notes a chip on the driver’s door edge, a scuff on the front bumper, and a crack in the left taillight—but those blemishes are minor considering the overall look of the build.
Underneath, the car is equipped with a Ridetech adjustable air suspension system, a Tru Turn steering setup, tubular front control arms, a triangulated four-link rear end, and sway bars. The car’s Wilwood disc brakes feature six- and four-piston calipers fitted over cross-drilled and slotted rotors. A fuel cell and air suspension tank are mounted in the trunk.
Interior touches include a suede-trimmed Sparco steering wheel and a Covan instrument panel with 160-mph speedometer, tachometer, and digital odometer showing 1700 miles since installation. Total mileage is unknown. The Nova’s Sparco bucket seats are upholstered in black synthetic suede and have matching harnesses (which expired in 2019). A black roll cage has taken the place of the rear seat.
So what’s under the hood of this head-turning Nova? The dual-exhaust Nova has been repowered with a 454-cubic-inch LSX V-8 equipped with a Holley Dominator electronic fuel injection system, mated to a six-speed Tremec T56 manual transmission. It has a Currie 9-inch rear end with 4.10:1 gear ratio.
“This is just a really clean build with a lot of subtle mods that are classy but not completely in your face,” observes Ingold.
Eddie Van Halen’s ownership is just a bonus. Like the rocker, this Nova looks like it can really shred.