My dad bought this California car from its original owner in Glendale, CA in 1980, when I was just four years old for $500 to use as our family car.
It was in original condition white paint and aquamarine interior with 115HP 230ci straight six single barrel with Powerglide completely stock. For two years we drove this car everywhere and I remember with fond memories taking naps under the rear glass decklid and on the floor resting my head on the driveshaft tunnel.
I also remember many a time running out of gas on the way to church and flagging down a passerby to drive my dad to and from the nearest gas station to fill the gas can. You see, the gas gauge had a bad habit of going down to ‘E’ line and then swinging back toward 1/4 tank mark when it really got low. Those were the days…
Then in 1982 our family went overseas, so the Nova was put in storage until summer of 1990. At this point my dad had a rekindled interest in the Nova, and so did I as a teen, so my dad proceeded to restore to original condition and handed me the keys when I turned 16.
The hard work and love my dad poured into it allowed me the opportunity to drive it through high school and college and on many dates with the a young lady who later became my wife!
I had a couple harrowing experiences on California interstates and panic stops in which the rear of the Nova would come around to the front and once did a complete 180 in my lane due to the unpredictable drums. The brake pedal aka ‘ lane changer pedal’. I soon parked this in favor of more modern car for my commuting.
Unfortunately, life happens and priorities shift then it mostly sat in the drive when I left out of state in 2001 to complete my medical residency in Toledo. In 2004, my wife and I went to a few wonderful car shows in Ohio and was ‘bit by the bug’ again and so we had the Nova shipped from California to Ohio and then my wife and I began making plans for the next stage of this Nova’s life.
Finally, in 2008, we began the bare metal restoration and in 2012, this one of a kind Nova restomod was ‘complete’.
- Name of owners: Ramon and Celeste Issa (Family owned for 36 years)
- City/state : Loma Linda, CA
- Year : 1965 Chevy Nova
- Model: 2 Door Hard Top
- Body work: Bare metal restoration and custom paint and custom fender fabrication/shaved handles/locks/trunk Dave Yeager Swanton, OH
- Paint: House of Kolor Cobalt Kandy Blue over metallic base Stratto Blue By Kappy’s Garage Owatonna, MN. True Fire Realistic Flames using HOK Paint Mike Lavallee at Killer Paint in Snohomish, WA
- Exterior: triple chromed hood trim chevy emblem;polished door sills, drip rail chrome and new chrome bumpers
- Wheels: “Rogue’ Hot Rod By Boyd Billet 2 piece wheels 17×7 front and rear with 3.75in BS front and 4.75in BS Rear
- Tires: Federal 595EVO 205/45-17 front 215/45-17 rear
- Engine: Engine swap from straight six to SBC 350ci/suspension and brake conversion at NL Auto in Swanton, OH. DYNO Tuned at Big Boy’s Toys Yucaipa, CA. Engine is a 1970 Chevelle 4 Bolt SBC 350ci rebuilt with mild cam/Performer RPM/Polished Holley Street Avenger 670cfm electric choke/Powermaster hi-torque mini starter/Holley Mechanical High flow fuel pump/Endurashine Edlebrock water pump/custom 3 row aluminum radiator and shroud with dual electric SPAL fans with auto temp regulators/MSD 6AL Digital HEI ignition/KN air filter/custom stainless steel baffled fuel tank. (Hot Rod City Garage and Nesbit’s Customs in San Bernardino, CA)
- Transmission: 2004-R custom built up for 400HP by CPT (California Performance Transmission by hall of famer Art Carr) with 2500 stall Torque converter
- Rear end: Eaton posi-trac with 3.73 gear ratio (for stock housing)
- Front Suspension: CPP mini-sub frame kit (tubular upper upper and low A arms, Qa1 coil over aluminum shocks and springs height adjustable springs and adjustable shocks, CPP 2 inch drop spindles. manual steering set up with after market 16:1 ratio steering box
- Rear suspension: multi-leaf springs, poly bushings, QA1 aluminum adjustable shocks,1 inch drop, sub frame connectors.
- Brakes: CPP chrome power booster/master cylinder and CPP powder coated disk brakes front and rear with drilled and slotted rotors and stainless steel lines.
- Exhaust/headers: Doug’s Ceramic coated headers with QTP Electric cutouts and 2.5 inch stainless steel dual exhaust with Flowmaster Super 44 mufflers installed at Hallet’s Muffler In Faribault, MN
- Interior: Dakota Digital Dash: all new glass;Classic Industries complete interior kit with Dynomat shield done at Lee’s Trim Shop Toledo, OH
- Performance Stats: Rear wheel 245HP/274TQ, Top Speed 147 MPH (dyno), 0-60 MPH 4.4sec, 150 foot stop box 3.4sec, 1/4 mile and 1/8 mile TBD
I cannot say enough about the knowledgeable folks at GM Classics & Chevy 2 Only. Their many years of personal experience and professional expertise are invaluable in your process of upgrading or restoring your Nova. They know what works and what doesn’t so you don’t have to mess around buying and returning parts. With GM Classics, you get the right part the first time. This is huge. I cannot say enough about the the mini subframe kit, tubular upper and lower control arms, QA1 adjustable coilovers front and rear, polyurethane bushings, four wheel disk brake conversion kit with show quality power booster and master cylinder, subframe connectors that all make this Nova accelerate, turn and brake like a modern car while retaining the stock look and at a fraction of the cost and labor of other systems. Thank you!