Strange, I just bought a brand new 2010 Jeep Commander with a HEMI. So not only do they still make V8's, but I am FAR from being a "millionaire", and I can afford to drive it with a 36 mile round trip commute everyday! Given there is no comparison between the Nova and today's compacts other than class; But it is also undeniable that today's cars have been cheapened up beyond compare, to improve the company's bottom line.
I purchased a 70 Chevelle SS396 375 HP 4 speed with air conditioning. I figure my greatest savings is added health care savings from not moping around. To me cars are a passion, not just a piece of metal with 4 wheels to head to a daily grind. I actually drive mine 5 minutes to work vs the hour commutes many do in the econo cars. You likely have other car(s) anyway, and if you own most everything, worked and saved, have fun. Enjoy your 396 Nova!
I find it odd that anyone would compare an old Nova to a modern econobox like a Civic or Corolla. What sense does that make? There are plenty of V8 powered cars around today that would outperform the old Nova without too much effort. Wouldn't these type of cars have been a better comparison? Most of them get well into the mid 20's for highway mileage too.
Nova 6s were the econo cars; commonplace in the day. A friend of mine bought a Chevelle 300 totally bare bones from ebay also, but has a 427 with a 4 speed. No options, a simple car, no power steering, no power brakes, even a heater delete option. The ultimate sleeper.
Someone that did this engine transplant; wanted the clean, no nonsense built street car. I guess the econo crowd would want the plain 6 reinstalled.
We had our cars shipped to the east coast, as finding nice cars that have not been exposed to salt are harder to find here. My car was built in California, and has found a permanent home on the other side.