1972 Chevrolet Nova
8-cyl. 307cid/130hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
A two-month strike at the start of the 1971 model year delayed the 1972 redesigns, but Chevrolet sales remained strong, and Chev Nova sales jumped 50 percent. Horsepower ratings were now calculated with a new net horsepower system, and the engine was rated with transmission and exhaust attached. Though it was a fine point, the apparent effect was the loss of horsepower bragging rights. Thus, the Nova’s 250 cid six now claimed only 100 bhp instead of 145, and the 307 V-8 reported 130 bhp instead of 200.
The muscle car market was about to fall off a cliff, and the Camaro would be lucky to survive. Still, the Nova did offer the Super Sport package for the coupe. A total of 12,309 buyers took advantage of the 200 bhp 350 V-8 with power disc brakes, heavy duty suspension, dual exhaust, dummy air intakes on the hood, black grille and rear panel, fake front fender louvers, 14-inch wheels, SS emblems and a special steering wheel.
The 1972 Chevrolet Nova was almost identical to the 1971 model, as Chevrolet was expending all its energy on the new Vega. In general, option lists began to lengthen, and it was almost possible to custom build a car. That factor would characterize mid-70s cars, since performance was so reduced it was seldom even mentioned anymore.
Luxury options included air conditioning, power steering, power windows and a vinyl roof. One short-lived option for 1972 was a sliding Webasto-style vinyl sunroof, often combined with a matching vinyl roof. It wasn’t particularly popular and was inclined to leak, so survivors are rare.
A Rally Sport package was also available and could be ordered without the Super Sport 350 cid V-8. As such it looked much like an SS, but if you didn’t buy the 350 V-8 it was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, one of many such packages throughout the next seven or eight years.
Chevrolet offered 24 exterior colors for the 1972 Nova, including Antique White, Pewter Silver, Dusk Gray, Tuxedo Black, Ascot Blue, Mediterranean Blue, Mulsanne Blue, Fathom Blue, Spring Green, Gulf Green, Oasis Green, Sequoia Green, Covert Tan, Placer Gold, Desert Gold, Cream Yellow, Golden Brown, Turin Tan, Driftwood, Mojave Gold, Orange Flame, Midnight Bronze, Aegean Brown, and Cranberry Red.
In 1973 the Nova gained a hatchback and would be significantly reconfigured for 5 mph bumpers. It continued in production until 1979 and was replaced by the front-wheel drive Citation the next year.