The car has been generally reliable.
The brakes are terrible, but I think all Novas are like that.
The rear washer no longer works, the hose inside the tailgate seems to have disintegrated!
It has started to rust quite badly, especially where it is dented although that's my fault.
The exhaust kept scraping on the back axle, especially after the car was lowered. I fitted a sports exhaust-this was stolen, so I had to have a standard exhaust modified to clear the axle. The middle pipe soon fell down again though.
The bulbs on the dashboard have a mind of their own! They stop working for weeks and then they become fine again. The speakers also seem to have dodgy connections.
The bootlid doesn't fit properly it's not straight. This means the seal cannot seal the car and on cold wet nights the car literally fills with moist air. In the mornings it is literally dripping off the inside of the windscreen, or worse it's frozen on the inside!
The tyres wear very unevenly.
The MOT was almost fine, but both rubber CV joints had to be replaced.
The worst point is the inner front wheelarches-they were so rusty I was driving along the other day and the drivers side one literally fell out. It was made of pure rust and disintegrated all over the road. Now I have no inside wheelarch, I will have to have a new one made I think. Novas don't have plastic wheelarch liners like most cars so they rust very badly in this area.
The Nova is a fantastic car. Mine is a white 1.2 mark 1 model. Following a serious frontal crash every front panel needed replacing so I fitted the newer mark 2 wings, lights, bumpers, grille etc. It looks a lot nicer now, all colour coded bumpers and stuff. On the interior I fitted GTE bucket seats, the original ones were stained, ripped and generally useless.
I've also fitted the SR alloys and lowered it 40mm. There is much less body roll than before, but the front passenger wheel rubs the inside wheelarch on full left lock. As the inner wheelarch on the other side has fallen out this is not a problem on that side.
It has always been so quick, obviously being an 18 year old Nova fan I don't advocate speeding, but it doesn't half go fast! It did 115mph once downhill on the motorway, not bad for a 1.2! Must admit though I hate going fast on the motorway as the car only has 4 gears. Its so noisy doing 115 in 4th! I did look into getting a 5 speed box fitted, but it would be too expensive. It goes so fast most people think it must be a 1.4 when they come for a ride. The acceleration leaves supposed sports cars standing in my wake.
One thing though-buy a Nova and be prepared for it to be broken into. I've had to fit so many new windows and repair the locks, it's a real target for thieves. This is why the insurance is so expensive, even for my 1.2. Imagine me trying to insure the GSi model! It would cost upwards of £5k. I've concentrated on making mine into a GSi lookalike, I'm very pleased with the results.
Buy a Nova and you'll get a slightly crude and dated car, but its so much fun to drive and nowadays every Nova is unique. People laugh when I say it, but soon they really will be a classic. In 2 months it will be 2003 and the Nova will celebrate its 20th birthday. Buy one now before they become too rare because prices will shoot up!