1969 Chevrolet Nova
8-cyl. 307cid/200hp 2bbl L14
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
With John Z. DeLorean in charge at Chevrolet, the muscle car wars reached a fever pitch in 1969, with a previously unimaginable range of performance options available for Chevrolet Camaros, Chevelles, Impalas and Novas (the Chevy II name was dropped). The1968 Chevy Nova retained the two-model lineup with a two-door coupe and four-door sedan and three lines were labeled 111, 113 and 114. Base engines ranged from a 90 bhp four to a 140 bhp 230 cid six and a 200 bhp 307 cid V-8.
Sales jumped almost 50,000 units to 251,900 and the majority were six-cylinder cars. Meanwhile, 17,654 buyers ordered the Nova Super Sport option with a base 300 bhp, 350 cid V-8. It included fake air intakes on the hood, black accents on grille and rear panel, SS emblems, power disc brakes, bright engine trim, heavy duty suspension and floor shift 3-speed – all for $280.20.
Overall, the 1969 Chevrolet Nova changed little. There was now a Chevrolet emblem on the grille, Nova script on the deck lid, larger front marker lights and optional louvers on the front fenders.
Optional motors included the 155 bhp 250 cid six for the 113 Series, and other V-8s for the 114 Nova Series included the 250 bhp 350 or the L48 300 bhp version of the 350. Optional transmissions included the 2-speed Powerglide automatic ($147-$174, depending on engine), and wide- or close-ratio 4-speeds which cost $184.50.
For the Nova SS, buyers who wanted more power ordered the 350 bhp 396 V-8 or the 375 bhp engine. The 375 bhp V-8 provided 0-60 mph in six seconds and a 14-second quarter-mile. A heavy duty 3-speed with the 396 V-8 was standard, but a heavy duty 4-speed and a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic were available.
Common Nova options included air conditioning, center console with floor shift, six-way power seat, tinted glass, power brakes, dual exhaust, tilt-wheel, heavy duty clutch, power steering, vinyl roof, AM/FM pushbutton radio, tachometer, Positraction rear axle, Mag-style wheel covers, wire wheel covers, and two-tone paint.
Chevrolet offered 15 exterior colors for the 1969 Nova, including Tuxedo Black, Dover White, Dusk Blue, Le Mans Blue, Glacier Blue, Azure Turquoise, Forest Green, Burnished Brown Tripoli, Champagne, Olympic Gold, Cortez Silver, Garnet Red, Burgundy, Fathom Green, and Butternut Yellow.
Color-keyed interiors were a mix of cloth and vinyl, or vinyl in the case of Super Sports, Nova Hardtops and Station Wagons. Interior colors were Black, Dark Blue, Dark Green, Medium Green, Turquoise, Parchment or Gold or Red. Vinyl roofs could be Black, Dark Blue, Dark Brown, Parchment or Dark Green.
History was starting to catch up with muscle cars in 1969 and power-weight insurance limitations and emission requirements would end the party soon. Compression ratios would plunge and less-efficient lead-free gas loomed on the horizon. But there were a couple more years to go.