1970 Chevrolet Nova 230 6 cylinder. from North America


A well-built, well-designed, tireless, cheap-to-keep servant


Right off of the dealer lot, the car suffered a vibration between 65-70 MPH. Dealer had no idea how to fix. Cousin (fresh out of tech school) replaced right rear shock absorber - problem solved.

Starter solenoid went bad - didn't engage starter pinion properly - ground flywheel - had to replace flywheel - 31,000 miles.

Thermostat stuck, caused overheating - 37,000 miles.

Distributor bushings needed replacement to address hesitation just off of idle - 46,000 miles.

Just the usual - brake shoes, tires, valve cover gaskets, belt changes, exhaust system replacements.

Front end held up well - occasional idler arm replacement.

Carburetor needed periodic rebuilds (3) to maintain drivability.

Springs (more rear than front) started sagging after about 8-9 years (~ 85,000 miles).

General Comments:

Interior held up reasonably well - bench seats split after several years of family (read:hard) use.

The 230 cubic inch straight 6 cylinder engine was excellent - no issues with bottom end, valve guides, rings, pistons. Valve tap developed after wrong PCV valve started sludging up motor. Luckily, a rough idle called our attention to the problem before the sludging got out totally of hand.

2-speed Powerglide transmission never had any reliability problems.

Fuel economy nothing special (14 MPG average - mainly city driving), acceleration from a stop none too speedy. The same bulletproof Powerglide mentioned above didn't help either parameter - a TurboHydraMatic 3-speed would have helped both.

Decent handling despite manual steering - just a bit tough to park. Rear wheel drive has its advantages.

Manual drum brakes were reliable, and stopped well - with a bigger engine/more accessories, that might not have been the case.

A well-built, well-designed, tireless, cheap-to-keep servant. Quality was fantastic compared to that of subsequent model years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2007

15th Feb 2007, 06:38

GOOD review. It was detailed, specific, and covered relevant issues pertaining to the car. Too many of these are vague or biased. This one is what they all should be like.

1970 Chevrolet Nova 230 C.I.D. straight six. from North America


Bought new, has served and will continue to serve me well, saves lives, RELIABLE <--underline


Absolutely nothing went wrong with the car from 1970 straight through to 1992. This could be do to the fact that the car only had 22,000 miles on it in 1992.

1977 car was broadsided by a speeding red light runner, brought car to dealership where bought and passanger side quarter panel, door, and front fender was replaced. Looked beautiful again.

1992-present: Car was involved in hit and run accident, SUV hit driver's side quarter panel. Crunched it and bent the frame. Still drivable (As I still drive it=) ). At this point all that was done was the driver's side tail-light was replaced as the original had been destroyed by the SUV that slammed into it.

Water pump replaced at about 25,000 miles.

Exhaust system replaced at 25,000 miles.

Master cylinder replaced at 28,000 miles.

Bench seat started to completely dissintigrate as of 1995.

Master cylinder replaced at 50,000 miles.

Radiator replaced at 50,000 miles.

Radiator replaced at 79,000 miles.

Master cylinder replaced at 79,000 miles.

All mileage designations are estimates. IE: "Replaced at 79,000 miles" = possibly 78-81,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car has saved multiple people's lives. The strong construction of the 1970 Chevrolet Nova is what kept every occupant in the car alive and barely ever injured in some of the serious accidents the car has been involved in.

1977 broadside

1992 quarter panel hit and run

2001 broadside.

Everything in this car is original except for the passanger side quarter, door, and fender. Also, the bench seat was replaced with that from a 1973 Pontiac Ventura in 2004. (Nice seat! heh)

The 230 cubic inch straight 6 cylinder engine is an AMAZING engine that has never ever ever in (going on in two months) 36 years. Ever broken down, never (I can't stress that enough).

These engines will never die, never. Having a nova with a straight six is having one of the most reliable vehicles ever built. Decent fuel economy at 15 MPG avg (city).

Don't expect stunning performance like the SS novas though with a straight six. The 230 cubic inch has 140 horsepower at the engine and the 250 has 155. At the wheels it's probably around 100 and 105 respectively.

Transmission fluid has never been changed lol, and the trannie performs immaculately. (Will be having the trannie flushed soon ;)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2005

20th Sep 2009, 22:46

I would be reluctant as in changing the transmission fluid, when it has never been changed to begin with. It may ruin your transmission. Then again, you only have 22000 miles on the car, which I guess would be OK to change it?

21st Feb 2010, 22:49

Yeah just make sure the trans fluid isn't burnt, because if you change it when it's like black in color, the new fluid will make the clutches fall apart. Additionally those cars are becoming rare, so make sure you park it somewhere where some airhead soccermom using her celly won't run into it with her SUV.

1970 Chevrolet Nova 350 CID 5.7L from North America


Too fast


Terminal was corroded, cleaned, no other problems.

General Comments:

This was my first ever self bought car, I saved for a vehicle and I found this gem. Engine was dropped in it, with a TH350 backing it. 18 years old when I bought it. My dad had a 1986 Nissan pickup that was ugly as sin, and I always said I could be on the way from work in my nova smelling like sweat and diesel fuel, and still pickup a hot chick, couldn't do that in a 4000 dollar suit in that Nissan.

Car had awesome power, I actually heated up a set of tires and they separated on me, luckily they didn't tear out my rear fender wells. I think it got roughly 5-6 miles to the gallon, but that was due to a 500+ lift camshaft and ported polished heads, the whole works. Off the line it was the fastest thing I have ever driven, to this day it remains the fastest car I have ever ridden in. I remember racing a Mustang Cobra with two friends in my nova, and my friend of 8 years said "We are MOVING!" It triggered me to look to see how fast we were going, when I looked I saw the last of the orange needle disappear. Speed-o registered 120.

If you want to build a fast machine to out run rice rockets or even other muscle cars, this could be one of your top choices, save an earlier year nova. Weight ratio to horsepower, and squat-and-go style make this #1 on the track.

Not very economical on fuel, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2004