99 % Pure and
Owner: Joe Taylor
South Charleston, WV
When I was 17 and still in high school was when my love for Chevy II nova began. A 1968 SS 350 Nova was to be my first car. One evening during supper my father asked me to go somewhere with him after dinner. I didn't know that this trip with him would change my life forever.
When we arrived at the Roger Dean Chevy show room in Charleston, WV my fa¬ther led me to a new 1968 Chevy II SS Nova. He asked me what I thought about this SS Nova. The Nova was a bright Matador red with a black vinyl top. The insides had black vinyl bucket seats with the automatic gear shift lever in a floor console. My thoughts were what were there not to like. It was the greatest car of all cars. He said that if I would do three things then he would co-sign the loan papers for me.
Standing there with one hand on the most beautiful car that I had ever seen, I would do any three or more things that would allow me to take this car home. The three things that I agreed to were pretty small. The first item was that I would make the car payments (I already had a job working after school and Saturdays) the second item was that I would be making the insur¬ance payments as well. The third item would be that my mother could drive the SS while I was away at college. With college be¬ing 1 1/2 years away and summer just around the corner, I felt like a winner anyway you looked at it.
My senior year in high school with the Nova went fast and col¬lege would be here soon. While I was in high school and the insur¬ance was in my father's name it kept the payments lower but, that would change quickly. I attended a college about 1 hour from home which had a rule that freshman must stay in the dorms and not have a car on campus. My SS had to stay at home during the week but would be waiting for me on Friday afternoons for the weekend. After the second year of college, and with the cost of staying on campus and having car insurance in my name, I had to do the unthinkable; I had to sell my 68 SS Nova which I loved. The last years of my college life I had to make some changes in order to finish. I had to drive daily from home and needed to find a cheaper mode of transportation. I bought a Ford Pinto with a four cylinder engine. In hopes of keep¬ing my first love alive, I chose a car that would remind me in some ways of my SS Nova. The Pinto was a bright red with black bucket seats, black vinyl top, no AC and a floor shifter. The Pinto served me well but, as soon as I could I sold the Ford and again became a GM owner.
After college my life would con¬tinue to change for the better. I married a wonderful Lady that also loved cars (she came with a 72 sporty GTO Pontiac) and started a family. My autos for years to come would be family cars. As the years passed by I would attend many car shows with my family. I would seek out only Nova’s to compare them to the 68 SS that had been a part my of life. I soon found out that finding a 68 model was rare. When I would find a 68, it had been a 6 cylinder that had a larger engine dropped in to be used as a sleeper or a drag car. After my son's college, I was hoping to buy a Nova but I was preparing my¬self for a year other than a 68. Usually for holidays (Father Day, Christmas and Birthdays) my son would find items on the internet that went along with a Nova theme.
Eleven years ago while searching the internet; my son found a 68 Nova located in Vir¬ginia. He called his mother and said "I am not sure if we want to show this Nova to dad".
When they told me about the 68 Nova I quickly made plans to travel to Virginia to check the car out. Upon arrival I found out that my son had asked all the questions that only a 68 model would fit. Over the years he had heard over and over at car shows about what made 68's different. Some of the items were; key switch on the dash (last Nova to have it on the dash), Su¬per Sport (not SS) was spelled out on the side fenders, Chevy I I (last year to be called a Chevy II) was on the nose of the hood, the front side markers had orange bulbs with a clear lens and the engine size was part of the side lights trim. This was a 68 for sure. The plus to this find was this 68 had the same color; vinyl top, bucket seats, engine size and the shifter was in the floor. The only difference between this 68 and my first Nova is the first one had an automatic / console in the floor.
In the past eleven years I have re¬ally found out just how hard parts are to find and in a way that makes this car even more special. The 68 model had some parts that weren't used on any other model years.
The car is mostly original with matched num¬bers on the motor and drive train. In 1967 this Nova was purchased by a father in Rocky Mount in Virginia for his son much like mine was. The son wrecked the Nova shortly after receiving the new car. The father took the car away from his son and after making the repairs then stored the Nova in a barn covered up for about twenty years. The second owner found the covered Nova and purchased the car. I had a part of my life in that first 68 Nova and I wanted a car that was as close to it as possible. I am not planning on any changes with the engine. I love the memo¬ries of my first car and I want to keep the car just the way it was. My heartfelt thanks go to my won¬derful wife and son for helping me to relive some of my youth and for allowing me 45 years of tell¬ing them why a 68 SS Nova was so special in my life. The follow¬ing are some of the specs on my second 68 SS Nova.
1968 SS Nova,
Purchased by me on December 18, 2003
Actual 68,000 miles
Full SS package,
350 cu / 295 hp original engine,
Drive train with matching numbers,
12 bolt Posit rear end with 3:31 gears,
Standard transmission with a Hurst shifter in a floor console with gauges,
Original 47 years old black vinyl top,
Matador Red color, been repainted original color,
Black bucket seats,
Chrome valve covers and Air cleaner cover,
Car has original quarters, trunk pan and floor pans. No rust on car,
1968 Chevy 14" SS wheels
An original red pin stripe spare tire,
An original SS hub cap on the spare,
A member of NNN National Nostalgic Nova,
Appeared in Nova Times, July 2005,