The `67 Nova was special ordered new from Wyman Clough Chevrolet in Rochester, NH by me when I was 24 years old. I had seen Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins in person with his `66 Nova at Sanford NHRA Summer Nationals that year – it was an impressive Nova and for sure an influence in my decision to buy the `67. It’s a Deepwater Blue 2dr Sports Coupe, 327, 4 speed manual with a bench seat. After playing around with it for some years I sold the car in 1973 and never saw it again.. I searched for it off and on over the years and in August of 2010 and I finally discovered it!
In the few years before I re-discovered it I had decided to find and purchase one just like it to work on and drive again. I found many on e-bay, but never followed up with them. Recently retired, I began looking more seriously; and one day I saw one on e-bay located near me in Rochester. It was in tough shape by description, and pictures, but something said go see it anyway. After seeing it, the cost was more than I thought I could handle and passed on it. While talking to the owner I mentioned I had bought and owned one new, and described it. His interest level became more than casual, and said I have a friend that has one something like that and doesn’t quite know what he is going to do with it. He then asked if I had any documentation. I said yes I have all the original paperwork from new, and could also e-mail a copy of my last registration and VIN. Afterwards I continued on home, and sent the e-mail right away.
About an hour later he answered saying “I went to see my friend, and was standing next to the car when your note came in on my cell phone. The numbers match except for the last number missing. I think it’s your car! Would you like come see it?” Of course I responded ‘Yes I would!!’ I contacted the owner and proceeded to arrange a visit. Taking my two sons (Mark & Doug) who had heard about it all their lives and were very interested to finally see it, we headed over to the young man’s house to possibly re-discover my old Nova.
I took the new car invoice with me and the VIN was a perfect match; the registration had a typo, the last number was left off in error. It was definitely my old Nova. This was some experience to see my old favorite after all this time! The car was not for sale, but decided I had to offer anyway. He said he would think about it and took about a week to get back to me – I was getting nervous. He told me that if I wasn’t the original owner he wouldn’t sell it back to me, but he knew how he would feel if he found his old car. Then the words: “It’s yours.” And that’s pretty much how it went. It was last registered in 1986 and has been sitting all this time, so plenty of restoring to be done, let the fun begin!
The first time I owned it from new, the `67 was my only transportation, so it was run in the winter as well. Always in New England so not a good thing for the unibody! It was most durable and dependable. Starting at 27 below one morning and delivering others to work. Even with a 275 HP 327, 4 speed, and 3:55 gears, with a posi unit, it could still get around in the snow if you drove it right. I also have run chains on it a few times. Came with a cast iron Saginaw 4 speed, and a ten bolt rear axle. Both supposedly weak; I tend to disagree, as they are both still intact. Rear end still under it, transmission was out, but came with the car. They were tested many times, and never failed. It had Keystone mags on the car when it was sold, and had hung on to the original blue steel original wheels all these long years; moving them from place to place, but keeping them for some reason. Now I know why. I have it sitting on them now.
The original engine was also absent from the car, but it too came along with it – unbelievably tough! All numbers checked and are a match. This part is most disappointing, the engine was had been removed, professionally rebuilt but never installed, or started. It had been improperly stored in the man’s cellar, no intake on it and openings not sealed. The pan was rusted through. I took it apart to find it completely full of nesting materials from mice, and corroded badly. It had most likely seen water also. Proved it to have been rebuilt, as seen from top with heads off, the pistons marked .030 ” over and showed as new. Some cylinders from this view still showed the new cross hatch pattern. The bottom end was horrible. Everything severely corroded. I had to pound pistons out; which were corroding and spreading out pushing a large hole in one cylinder. It could possibly have been sleeved – this yet to be determined.
This has been quite the experience for myself, family and friends. To date, I already have had lots of help from good friends and muscle car lovers, Ken Hall and Ron Carpenter to get the car home and to and from media blast, research, etc. My sons Mark and Doug, have helped with disassembly, and parts gathering; and my wife Kate with her interest, and moral support. The car was a local favorite, and is known better than myself.
I had the good fortune of being able to run at Sanford Dragway and will send an official time slip from there. It ran in the high 14‘s, and high 90’s as a B Pure Stock (As it came from the factory). It was a blast! Pick a spot in the pits; sand and grass. Off load as much stuff as you could; make a pile of spare tire, floor mats, jack, etc. Clean it out to make it as light as possible. Front tires up in pressure, experiment with rear, and if you dared, loosen fan belt. A good tune up, play with timing with 260 Sunoco, and have a fun day. This was a respectable time then and now. For what it was, it was tough to beat! Hopefully I can get it back to where it was when I was younger.
- From: Lyman, Maine
- Year: 1967
- Model: Nova Sport Coupe
- Paint Color: Deepwater Blue
- Wheel Size: 14″
- Tire Size: 695
- Engine: L30 327 cu in 275 HP
- Transmission: Saginaq, wide ratio, 4 speed
- Rear End: Stock 10 bold, factory optoinal 3:55 Posi
- Front Suspension: stock
- Rear Suspension: stock
- Brakes: stock drums front and rear.
- Exhaust / Headers: stock, factory optional duals, cast iron manifolds.