’70s Chevy Nova cars: Hatchbacks, police cars & more classic compact Chevrolets

'70s Chevy Nova cars

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.


’71 Nova: A change in attitude

Many people today have changed their attitude about cars. Nova owners say, “It’s dependable. Good looking. Low priced. I like the size. It’s probably as trouble-free a car as you can buy. It doesn’t cost me a lot to run. Don’t change it.”

So we’ve changed our attitude and made only a few meaningful improvements for ’71.  We put in new Power-Beam headlamps for improved lighting. We also made the standard 6-cylinder engine a bit more responsive.

But we kept Nova’s not-too-small ways intact. The coupe still seats five adults and the sedan, six. Nova still has a big trunk with steel cargo guard.

We didn’t let Nova get any bigger, either. It’s the same easy size to park and handle. To fit a garage with bikes to spare. To be as secure and dependable as things like Body by Fisher can make it. And it again carries a price tag that, not too big.

Nova. America’s not-too-small not-too-big car. We wouldn’t change that for the world.

1971 Chevrolet Nova - Classic cars

Chevrolet for 1972: New Hatchback Nova. Same old reputation.

Now you can get a Nova with a big back door and a rear seat that folds down to become a six-foot load floor. So you can use it sort of like a wagon.

But, deep down, it’s the same trustworthy, durable and thrifty Chevy Nova you’ve known for years. Motor Service and Service Station Management magazines’ survey of mechanics (July 1972) found Nova: easiest to service, had the least mechanical problems, and was best overall among all compact cars.

Now, we’ve increased Nova’s appeal — without endangering her reputation.

Panning for gold in the Angeles National Forest, California.

1973 1974 Chevy Nova hatchbacks


The ’72 Nova CoupeChevy cars - Summer of 1972

1972: The new Nova 3-door

The Nova Hatchback Coupe doesn’t have a trunk. Which is good.

Because a lot of people think what it has in its place is better — a big back door and a six-foot floor. With the rear seat folded down you can use it sort of like a station wagon. For bicycles, boxes and yes, even luggage.

The new Nova 3-door holds a lot more than its value. As if value weren’t enough. Chevrolet. Building a better way to see the USA.

1972 Chevy Nova - Classic cars - See the USA (2)

’72 Rally Nova: Compact car of the Year

Motor Trend Magazine has named the’72 Rally Nova “Compact Car of the Year.” Maybe it was the stripes?

Motor Trend calls it “the happy culmination of what’s happened with the Nova in the past seven years.” True. And we appreciate the kind words. But at the same time, you can be sure we’re going to keep finding ways to make Nova an even better car. Because we want your new Nova to be the best car you ever owned. Stripes and all. 

It takes more than style and stripes to win a Motor Trend award. Did you know, for example, that the Motor Trend staff tested over 100 cars from all over the world before finally selecting this year’s seven winners? Tested them thoroughly. Compared performance, features, strengths, weaknesses. Took a close look at workmanship. Dug deep. Discussed. Then voted. We’re delighted that our Rally Nova was a winner.

Rally Nova and friends beside the Hudson River at Cold Spring. N.Y.

72 Rally Nova - Chevrolet

Remember the Nova. It can hold out for years. (1972)

’72 Nova Coupe at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

1972 Chevy Nova - Classic cars - See the USA (1)

1972 Nova Coupe: It keeps on rolling along. (1972)

1972 Chevy Nova - Classic cars - See the USA (3)

1974 Chevy Nova hatchback coupe

1974 Chevy Nova - Classic cars

1974 Chevrolet Nova 6: Economy without cramps

Buying a compact car with a six-cylinder engine can make a lot of room in your budget. If that compact car is an economical 1974 Chevy Nova 6, you’ll also end up with a lot of room in your car. “Automotive Industries’ Roominess Index” says no domestic compact at any price has more head and shoulder room, front and rear, than Nova. The roomy, economical Nova 6 comes in three versatile body styles.

The 2-door Nova: The Chevy Nova basic transportation system. Few cars make as much sense as this one. It’s small enough on the outside to be easy to park and drive, yet has enough room on the inside for six passengers. And it’s as good-looking as it is sensible.  The base price for this standard two-door coupe (shown at top left) is $2647.*

The 3-door Nova: You can carry people around comfortably in any economical Nova 6. The Hatchback Nova 6 lets you carry lots of things around comfortably. Open the rear hatch, fold down the rear seat, and you’ll have nearly six feet of flat load space. Almost like having a wagon. Six flat feet are just what you need on grocery shopping or moving days. Right?

The 4-door Nova: The Nova’s rear seat is so roomy and comfortable some people like to get to it fast. The four-door version of the Nova 6 makes this easy. From this point on, the rear-seat passengers are carried economically to their destination by Nova’s proven six-cylinder engine. Just like passengers in other Nova models.

You’ll like Nova’s sporty good looks, and, like other Nova models, the four-door has traditionally maintained a high resale value.

Chevrolet has been building and refining the Nova for thirteen years now, and this year, the Nova seems to make more sense than ever. It’s the car with the room you want and the economy you need. Economy without cramps. That’s the 1974 Chevrolet Nova 6.

1974 Chevy Nova 6

The ’74 Chevy Nova: Custom hatchback coupe

1974 red Chevy Nova - Classic cars


1977 Chevy Nova - Classic cars (2)

1977 Chevy Nova in yellow

1977 Chevy Nova - Classic cars (1)

Police departments drive ’77 Chevy Nova cars

Last year Chevy Nova captured the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. This year we’re after you.

Introducing the ’77 Nova. Last year the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department tested a specially equipped ’76 Chevy Nova against five cars submitted by other car makers. They put the Nova through 24 different tests of durability and performance.

When all the tests were over, the LA.S.D. decided to order 222 Novas (the largest single order for compact police cars in U.S. history). The same people who built these Novas for the police build three Nova models for you.

And when you get right down to it, a lot of the things the police look for in a car are the same things you look for in the car you drive. This year, we’d like you to test, a new Chevy Nova. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll know why Nova won its star.

Introducing the 1977 Chevy Nova - Vintage ad

77 Chevy Nova - Police cars

Vintage 1977 Chevy Nova ad - Police cars

’78 Chevy Nova: At $3702 its a steal.

The new Chevy Nova Coupe’s price is almost too good to be true. Because Nova’s one of those rare cars that keeps its own special appeal year after year: A great combination of quality and value.

Police Nova: proven in 47 states. Police departments all across the country have tested and applauded specially-equipped Novas for their durability, reliability and overall rugged performance. They’ve made it the best-selling police compact in Arnerica. Nov the same people who build the Police Nova build a Nova for you. And they both have strong reputations.

16 years of experience. Chevy Nova’s a veteran. It’s been dependably pleasing people for 16 years. There’s been a lot of improvement along the way, and a remarkable four million sold.

Easy on gas. 26 MPG hwy. 19 MPG city. Nova, with its standard 250 Cu. In. 6-cylinder engine and manu. transmission, achieved those EPA estimates. Manual transmission not available in California, where estimates are 21 mpg highway, 15 city, with available automatic transmission.

Your mileage depends on how and where you drive, your car’s condition and available equipment The Nova is equipped with GM-built engines produced by various divisions. See your dealer for details. Chevy Nova. A wanted car. 

1978 Chevy Nova

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest. Thanks for visiting and for supporting a small business! 🤩 


You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

One Response

  1. For those interested in learning more about the Chevy Nova “9C1” Police Car, check out the “Nova 9C1 Police Cars” Facebook group. Many great pictures and information about one of the most iconic police cars ever built!

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.