Table of Contents
The Chevrolet Nova became the official nameplate for the Chevrolet Chevy II in 1969 during the models third generation.
Initially built as a rival to the Ford Falcon and due to the mounting pressure, the Chevy II became one of the fastest new-car development programs in GM history. It took only 18 months for the designers to begin work and produced a car for the production line. It was never intended to be part of a revolution or even bring a new concept to the car industry but was to serve as a basic-type car. Chevrolet wanted to give its buyers a back-to-basics car that simply worked.
What are some of the main features of the 1974 Chevy Nova?
The Nova was built using the rear-wheeled drive X-body, the same platform used for the Buick Skylark, the Oldsmobile Omega and the Pontiac Phoenix and the car featured here is from the final year of the third generation.
This model featured larger parking lights and a new bow-tie grille emblem. The modified fenders added 2 inches to the length of the vehicle to help cushion minor impacts. Under the hood was a 350 cubic inch 5.7 liter V8 engine, the only V8 offered in 1974.
As part of the US bicentennial, a special edition ‘Spirit of America’ Nova was also released in 1974. Painted white, the car featured blue and red accent stripes on the exterior and blue and red fabrics on the interior – including the carpet.
This car saw some new technology, but it didn’t quite work out…
A new feature for all 1974 cars was a weight sensitive relay. Fitted in the front seat, it prevented the vehicle from being started until the driver’s seatbelt had been fastened. However, the safety mandate imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was dismissed by congress under the ruling that this overturned the drivers’ freedom of choice. All 1974 models that included this mechanism were then allowed to have it bypassed and Chevrolet didn’t include it in any future models of the Nova.
Despite the Nova being initially being built for simplicity, it has in fact made a splash on the big screen. My favorite appearance is perhaps in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Although you never see the whole thing, the fans on IMCDB.com are pretty sure we’re catching glimpses of a ’74 Nova.