1986 Chevrolet Nova 1.4 from North America


This car was a legend in its own time


For the first 250k, nothing much more than basic maintenance issues.

After the odometer reached about 250k miles, the head gaskets started leaking, the engine would frequently run hot in the summertime and the gas gauge broke.

But I really can't complain because the car was not given the maintenance and TLC it deserved.

General Comments:

This car was actually a Toyota Corolla (it was a joint venture between Chevy & Toyota). After owning this car I became a big fan of Toyota.

When I bought this car new in '86 I paid $8,900. for it.

For a period of nine years when I drove this car, I lived 75 miles from work. Hence each week I put between 750-1000 miles on the car.

The car was extremely dependable, especially when maintained properly.

For a small car, it was very comfortable. I am a relatively large man 6'2" 200+ lbs, and I never had a comfort issue.

The body stayed in good shape until its untimely demise.

One night my wife and I were watching TV, when we heard the sound of bottle rockets outside. I looked out and there was the engine of my Nova up in flames. I hosed it down, the fire dept came, but it was too late. My 11 year old Nova with 350,000 miles was nothing, but a burnt memory.

My family (wife and 4 kids) loved that car. It served us very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th March, 2005

29th Mar 2005, 12:09

Your car made it to 350,000 miles only to be destroyed by bottle rockets.

A sad end indeed.

29th Mar 2005, 12:43

I'm curious, how did your car catch on fire when it (presumably) wasn't running? I suppose things like that do happen on occasion, but still, it's odd.

29th Mar 2005, 22:16

I also have an 86 Nova. Mine has been consumed with rust and now I'm afraid to re-plate it again, as I'm afraid I'll have to get it inspected before I can put it back onto the road. Everyone I've spoken to, has had problems with the head gasket, btu I guess that's to be expected, especially at such high mileage.

26th Aug 2010, 21:29

Hey, I live in Montreal Canada, and my grandfather has recently given me his Chevrolet Nova 1986. I have been waiting to have this car for a very very very long time. It's basically like driving a go kart on the highway haha.

As for the comments I have just read, this car has little to no rust whatsoever, and the car only has 82k. Yes I understand that I am 18, but I am taking care of this car on a weekly basis.

I am surprised the body of the vehicle has held up very nicely, due to the fact that winters are long and rough. The salt was my biggest concern, because over time, it will start to eat away and corrode the body itself.

Thanks for listening. I would love to read some of your comments.

1986 Chevrolet Nova Base 1.6 from North America


I can't' believe this thing's durability/reliability!


CV boots cracked open, rear brake shoes wore out, battery needed replacing, and alternator brushes need replacing, tires are now worn out.

General Comments:

I can't believe this car is still running! I had bought it with intentions of it only lasting me until I bought my next 325is E30, but it hasn't died yet! I get unbelievable gas mileage, especially on the highway (400-550km per tank).

I had bought this car from my mechanic who had purchased it from the Kidney foundation. It was originally a donation car.

The only complaint that I have, is that the car has rusted out terribly. The front fenders have rusted through, and the rust is now attacking the rear quarter panels. I believe that this is because the previous owners did not wash it (elderly couple)

When I had bought this car, friends of mine made fun of me, saying that I was only a margin away from taking the bus to school. 2 years later and they still can't' believe that the car is running, especially in sub -20C temperatures!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th August, 2004

11th Mar 2005, 15:05


After wearing out the tires, replacing a battery that was just too old, and letter her slowly rust away, the car has yet to die. I dunno what keeps these things going, but I've attempted to replace the car with a 94 Ford Aspire. What a terrible mistake this was, as the Ford may be better on gas, but it lacks the upper end power that the Nova had.

I think I'm gonna sell the Aspire, and go back to my Nova and invest a good 500 CAD in her body and get her up to snuff.