Dave P 1972 Chevrolet Nova 2dr Coupe

Air Force to Army

It's springtime 2010 in NE Ohio and I'm on the hunt for a classic Nova. I recently retired from the Army and have been looking forward to having time to pursue a 15 year dream. I'd better back step just a bit. The year is 1971 and I've just returned from Vietnam. While I was there General motors had a program that if any military personnel wanted to order a new car you could do so and it would be tax free. So I ordered a '71 Cutlass Supreme. They promised it would be waiting for me when I arrived home, but as luck would have it GM had been on strike and the car could not be delivered. I would only be home a few weeks before I had to report to my next duty station and the Old's dealer didn't have any idea as to when the car would arrive. I made the decision to start car shopping and finally settled on a '71 Nova. It had all the right equipment so I bought it on the spot. Shortly thereafter I met the girl that has now been my wife for 42 years. Let's jump now to 2010. For years I've been showing my wife internet pictures of classic Nova's and talking about how much fun it would be to have one again. We would drive to all the cruise in's and car shows that we could whenever I was home. One day I wanted to show her the pictures of a Nova I had found while on the "net" that was located in Tennessee. She looked at me and said "I'm not looking at another Nova unless it's in our garage." I took that as a green light to go ahead and put one in the garage. I was so excited that she was onboard for this dream. I made a call to the owner of the Nova in Tennessee and he sent me a video as well as over 100 pictures of the car. In the meantime our daughter who is in the Air force stationed in Kuwait at the time, had called home and I told her all about what was about to happen. She was excited for me but asked why I had to go all the way to Tennessee to find a car. I tried to explain. About an hour after her phone call from Kuwait she called again. Her conversation went something like this: Dad, get on craigslist and look in the Dayton/Cincinnati area under "NOVA". I did, and after 2 trips it was in my garage. It was a one owner, well cared for 72 Rally Nova. The owner had passed away a number of years ago and the car was under a tarp in a barn. It hadn't been driven for 13 years and the nephew of the owner wanted to get rid of it to make room for more farm equipment . I spent a few month's going through everything mechanical on it so it wouldn't leave me on the side of the road somewhere. The exterior's not show room new, but for something that was setting in a barn for so many years, it's not bad. The wife, well she likes to take it to the local "Swenson's" drive-in restaurant to see the "car-hop's" run up to the window to take your order. I think she enjoys going down memory lane as much as I do. Life is better in a Classic.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Dave Katy Texas October 15, 2014 at 16:12
    Hold on, let me tighten my seat belts for this is a trip down memory lane. Talladega Alabama, 1974. Jimmy Smith owned a Nova identical to this one, we were a bunch of redneck street racers and this little Nova, packing a 302 was one bad boy. Thanks for sharing and taking me back

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