1986 Chevrolet Nova
A super reliable machine, even at 29 years old
I replaced a lot of things that were ignored by the previous owner... but feel like nothing has "gone-wrong".
Wiper motor failed, thermostat that regulates the cooling fan as well as the fan motor, valve cover gasket replaced. Other than that, only routine maintenance has been necessary.
Bought this car sight-unseen from a friend of a friend for $500. At the time I lived in a city and just wanted something that would get me a few miles back and forth for laundry/food shopping etc. I thought it would last me a year or so, but it is turning out to be super reliable and worth every penny.
I have since moved out of the city and into the country where I belong, and use this car as my daily driver/commuter. It has even managed to take me to Maine (from NY) and back, fully loaded with camping gear and two bikes. Got a little hot after 10 miles of a continuous incline over the Berkshire mountains... but it did it!
I got my car caught up on the routine maintenance that the last owner didn't do. Full exhaust, radiator, timing belt, water pump, distributor, suspension and new tires. All of it is worth it considering this little guy has ZERO rust and only 75,000 miles... still a baby. Since this was kept in a garage, all the interior upholstery and dash are in perfect condition. The paint is still shiny! And no rust! The headliner is starting to fall off though.
As for actually driving this thing; I kind of like that it drives like a go-kart. It's obviously not a performance car, but it is responsive and nimble. Takes a while to get up to speed, but it handles and rides very smooth on the highway. Handles better than my mom's Prius in the snow. Gets 27 MPG on average. Would like to rebuild the carburetor eventually. It sometimes has a slight hesitation, but I can live with that.
I know this car is not very exciting (mine is drab gray), it has the same horsepower as a Smart Car and only has 4 programmable radio station buttons, but I love this car for its reliability and simplicity. I am not fond of frills and enjoy rolling my windows up and down. I like old, solid well made machines that stand the test of time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd January, 2015