“My goal was to have the very best original to factory as possible 62 Nova in the world. It’s not perfect but you would be hard pressed to find another done this well.” – Keith Loeffler

My ’62 Nova 2 Door Hardtop was purchased by my dad back when I just graduated school. It was already about 25 years old, and we drove it all the time.

After he determined it had a spun rod bearing he parked it in the back of the garage – that was 1990. My dad had passed away in 2006 and I inherited the car and it sat in that garage until I decided to pull it out to work on it in 2012.

Goodbye Cherry Red Paint

Someone had painted the car Cherry Red. While the car looked good from a distance, it was apparent it had a terrible paint job. I noticed that some of the paint had chipped off in the door jams. That was when I looked at the vin and determined that the car was originally factory Black with the red interior. Cool color combination!

The Nova Restoration Process

I decided to do a full restoration on the car back to 100% factory original, including panting it black lacquer and adding a few factory GM options as well, including power brake booster, front grill guard, rear bumper guards, and windshield washer pump.

Most parts used to restore it were either very nice or NOS. Every screw, bolt, and nut was either restored or replaced with NOS or as close to original as possible. All the emblems including hood emblem, trunk emblem, all front scallops, rear quarter emblems were all mint NOS as well. All the long trim down both sides of the car were original restored pieces.

I purchased an NOS hood for it. The front NOS fender aprons were purchased from GM Classics. The seats were upholstered using some NOS fabric from SMS Fabrics in Oregon. They also made the reproduction door panels and did a fantastic job. As many of you know no one reproduces the ’62 door panels or seat covers! SMS even provided me with my headliner with the CORRECT pattern. The carpet is new but the full length rubber floor mats are NOS straight from the GM boxes.

I had the 194 engine rebuilt by a local performance engine builder. It runs like a sewing machine! The 2 speed powerglide was also fully rebuilt.

My 1962 Nova Completed

After 6 long years I finally finished it. This is what the car would have looked like just as it rolled off the production line. The plan going forward is to take it to some local car shows and bring home some trophies in memory of my dad.

Thanks dad for showing me how to work on these old cars. This one is for you!


Original As They Come

The below photos show all original accessories put back to close to factory as possible. I think the only thing that is NOT correct is the new R134 connections on the AC compressor. I couldn’t help that!

If you look close you will see an original NOS “CARBAIRATOR” coming off the vacuum T on manifold. That is original factory part for AC systems.

  • NOS GM spiral shocks all around.
  • NOS Power brake set up
  • NOS wiper washer set up
  • NOS rubber floor mats front and back
  • NOS radio and speaker
  • All emblems are NOS as well as the scallops.
  • Seat and headliner material are also NOS off the original bolts from SMS fabrics in Oregon.
  • The correct original AC bracket that surrounds the distributor.
  • Those orange factory build books are key to doing a perfect restoration on these cars.
  • Also this was the factory paint and interior combination!
  • All my brake lines are NOS as well! From front to back.
  • Original NOS valve stem extensions that came with the NOS hubcaps that I have on it. These valve stems were extremely difficult to find!

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Comments (1)

  • Rick Kiekens
    Rick Kiekens April 11, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Wow! Very nice job on restoring this beautiful car, Keith. This took a lot of hard work. I'm glad you returned it to the original color. I haven't seen many with the optional fender skirts. I have them for my wife and mine Nova but they were not on the vehicle when I took the pics I submitted.

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