Approximately 10 years ago, I mentioned to a good friend of mine, Wayne Bushey of National Nostalgic Nova, that if he ever had the opportunity to purchase a “nice” Nova wagon in his travels to let me know. At that point I had owned my ’67 Chevy II SS for over 25 years, and Wayne thought I was becoming senile when I mentioned a wagon, but he agreed to be on the lookout.
The history provided to us about the car is that the original owner sold or traded it to a pawnbroker in the Dallas, TX area. The car was stored in one of several buildings and became covered by other items. After the pawnbroker passed away, his family found the car while cleaning out the buildings in preparation for an auction. A family friend purchased the wagon and drove it for several years. He decided to sell the car by taking it to a local car show with a for sale sign in the window. The car had low mileage, was rust free and included a “For Sale” sign on it. Wayne happened to be attending the car show, saw the “For Sale” sign on the wagon and knew we would be the right folks to give it a good home. He purchased the wagon and transported it to PA. We took possession of the car in 2003.
The first winter our efforts concentrated on updating the undercarriage, replacing the motor and transmission with a crate motor and a rebuilt and modified 200 R4 transmission. We replaced and modified the entire fuel and brake systems. We modified a set of late model Camaro disc brakes, and adding a new posi unit and leaf springs to the rear. We chose to install a new Heidt’s front end, and custom sub-frame connectors, along with the new Cragar SS wheels and Diamondback 17” “Red Line” tires. A new Vintage Air Space Saver EVO A/C unit, and a rebuilt GM tilt steering column with column mounted shifter and a ’67 steering wheel was also installed. We upgraded the radio to a new Blauppunkt BPV 660 with 5 speakers and a 10” sub-woofer. While several friends and I worked on the above modifications, Sue cleaned up the original interior. In June of 2004 we drove the wagon to an all Nova show at Dale Earnhart, Inc. in Kannapolis, NC. A second trip that year included Nashville, TN, Birmingham, AL and the 2004 Nova Nationals in Atlanta, GA.
In the fall of 2004, we began to disassemble the interior due to an electrical fire in the dash area. We stripped all exterior trim and gutted the interior, cataloging all parts. We then removed the two coats of paint using hand sanders in our driveway throughout the mild winter.
We spent 2005 prepping the body for paint. Changes that were made included: closing in the cowl vent, modifications to the drip rails, and areas where chrome trim has been eliminated. The antenna hole in the front fender was filled, and we massaged the tailgate due to the removal of the hand window crank. Wayne & Eddie Bushey painted the wagon in the spring of 2006, and Angelo Cruise applied the custom pin-striping in 2007. During this time we also installed a new Ron Francis wiring kit, which connected to the Nu-Relics power window and tailgate window mechanisms, and the AutoLoc electric window crank switches located in each of the 4 doors.
At some point during this timeframe, my wife informed me that the wagon was no longer the daily driver I had originally envisioned. We agreed that the wagon is a driver. I did not want to be pulling this car around on a trailer. Our goal was to attend the July 2007 Nova Nationals in Belterra, IN. Thanks to the help of my brother-in-law and fellow 1st Chapter members the car was completed in time to attend the show. Since then we have enjoyed driving the wagon to family gatherings, local car shows, and car shows in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
- Year: 1966
- Model: Nova Wagon, 36,000 Original miles
- Paint Color: Red and Black
- Wheel Size: 17x7Cragar 5 spoke wheels
- Tire Size: 225/45R17 Diamondback red line radials
- Engine: 350 CI
- Transmission: 200-R
- Rear End: (ratio): 3.55 posi
- Front Suspension: Heidts with 2” drop spindles
- Rear Suspension: stock
- Brakes: four wheel disc brakes
- Exhaust / Headers: Flowmaster headers and mufflers. Miles Muffler exhaust.
- GM Classic & Chevy 2 Only Parts: Window fuzzies and door seals.