1976 Chevrolet Nova SS
8-cyl. 305cid/140hp 2bbl
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From 1975 to 1979, Chevrolet's stalwart compact Nova continued its assigned task of providing affordable and reliable transportation for America. Available as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan and a two-door hatchback, the basic "X-body" shape did not change for the fourth generation's entire five year production run.
Even though the Nova's body was new, the new car's mechanicals were well sorted. In fact, the Nova’s six-cylinder engine dated from 1962, the V-8s dated from 1955, and the three-speed automatic transmissions had been in production since the late 1960s. Also, by 1975, GM had finally sorted out emissions-related problems by adopting catalytic convertors.
The sixes were all 250 cid, while the V-8s displaced 350 cid for 1975, and either 305 or 350 cid thereafter. The 1975 Novas had radial tires, front disc brakes, and an improved front subframe and suspension borrowed from the Camaro. Three-speed manual column shift transmissions were standard, and “four on the floor" was optional on V-8 cars. Automatics were available on any engines with column or optional floor shift.
An luxury-oriented LN trim was on the order sheet for 1975, adding wide-back reclining split front seats, additional sound insulation, a standard electric clock, and other items. This kit was rebranded as the upscale Concours trim level in 1976 and 1977, to which interior rosewood vinyl trim, an upright hood ornament, exterior brightwork, and specific full wheel covers were all added. An SS package was also available in 1975 and 1976, and it included a heavy duty suspension, Rally wheels, a four-spoke steering wheel, and a unique grille. The package was rebranded as the Nova Rally from 1977 through 1979.
The 1975-79 Chevrolet Nova existed just as Japanese automakers started to become more competitive. Young and economical buyers flocked to the fourth generation Nova, but the model was retired following the 1979 model year, 18 years after it was introduced, as Detroit switched its all-new generation of compacts to a front-wheel drive platform. Not before more than one million units were sold.