Classic Car Rookie - 1974 Nova SS and the NEW guy. - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 30th-March-2009, 12:36 PM   #1
Tom_624

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Classic Car Rookie - 1974 Nova SS and the NEW guy.

Hey all, last Sunday I bought a 1974 Nova SS and during my pre and post-purchase research I discovered this great site.

Let's see....background...this is my first "classic" car and in recent years I've been more into motorcycles...but since I totalled my 1800cc cruiser I kinda lost the upper hand on logic and with a baby on the way this is my new hobby! That said, I know VERY little about these cars and I'm here to learn. Also, I'm on a pretty tight budget.

Stats:
350/350TH
Edelbrock carb (600? 650? Not sure.)
Headers, not rusted through but nothing special
Dual exhaust
Alum. intake

Good things: It drove home 200ish miles at 85mph with no issues whatsoever. Strong motor, straight lines, solid frame, good interior, lights/signals/wipers/speedometer all work. Not so good: No AC or PS, the brakes are below average and it needs some body work and paint.

Right now I am putting in an MSD ingnition (6AL), distributor, plug wires, etc.

Plans:

Add powersteering. I think I have found a guy with the necessary parts at a good price so I just have to scoop them up then learn how to install it. Thoughts?

Secure dash. The original dash is with the car (and placed in position for the pictures) but the previous owner had it removed and all of the tabs sheared off. I'll wrangle with it and attach it somehow. Advice?

Bolt down the seats. The bucket seats are out of a GTO and right now only 2 of the 4 mounting screws are functional. The seat still works (slides forward and back, reclines, etc) but obviously it shifts a bit and won't pass inspection. I'm thinking this will be fairly easy but I've never done it...tips?

Brake work. I THINK it is disc in front, drum in rear but I haven't checked yet. If so I'd like to do what I can to improve the brakes on a budget. Pads and have the drums turned? Suggestions? I did pads on my bike and my '86 Bronco but that is the extent of my brake work.

Needs body work. The passenger side quarter panel is rusted out and was bondo'd at some point and that bondo is now rippling and trashed. A few small quarter sized rust spots elsewhere but nothing major. Trunk/floorpans are solid.

Paint. I'm in the dreaming stage here...I've already pictured it in many different colors. Right now I'm thinking gloss gunmetal gray with flat black Z28 style racing stripes. I know the 74 Nova never had any stripes but I'm doing this car for hobby/fun/kicks, not for accurate restoration or anything.

So that's my story so far...and here's some pics. Any tips and advice would be MUCH appreciated. I'm located in northern Virginia (NoVA!) if that matters.

















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Old 30th-March-2009, 12:56 PM   #2
NovaResource
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_624 View Post
Hey all, last Sunday I bought a 1974 Nova SS and during my pre and post-purchase research I discovered this great site.
First, welcome to the forum and congrats on the purchase. It appears to me that your '74 is not a real SS.
- the "SS" emblems on the fenders are from a 1973 Nova (1974 SS Novas had decals, see pics below)
- the chrome trim around the side windows was not available on SS
- the side window frames should be painted black
- the steering wheel doesn't have the correct "SS" emblem
- SS had black painted sport mirrors
- the rear taillight panel shodul be painted black (I can't see yours)

That probably doesn't make a difference but I just wanted to make sure the previous owner didn't scam you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_624 View Post
Right now I'm thinking gloss gunmetal gray with flat black Z28 style racing stripes. I know the 74 Nova never had any stripes but I'm doing this car for hobby/fun/kicks, not for accurate restoration or anything.
Actually, 1974 SS Novas did have stripes:







Reproduction stripes can be purchased here:
http://www.stencilsandstripes.com/pr_chev_nova.asp

Best of luck with yours and welcome to the Nova enthusiasts community.
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Old 30th-March-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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Welcome... The car looks like a nice start to a great and expensive hobby but if you were into bikes before then spending money is nothing new to you. Although that new baby might slow things up a bit, congrats on that by the way.

My advise to you at this point is... Do what you like to the car and don't worry about making mistakes, you can always do it again. There are two schools of thought when building classic cars. Some guys are purists and others like to modify things. I like to build a car the way I like it. If I like the "SS" emblems from a 73 and they never came on a 69, I'm going to put them on anyway because I think they look cool.

Just remember that it is your car and you need to be happy with it. If you like the Camaro style stripes then go for it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it.


Last edited by Something69; 30th-March-2009 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 30th-March-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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welcome to steves!!85mph for 200 milesthat turbo 350 must been on fire....what gears do you have??You must have 2.73's...Nice car ..welcome!!bm
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Old 30th-March-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
aron69nova
 
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Originally Posted by batman09 View Post
welcome to steves!!85mph for 200 milesthat turbo 350 must been on fire....what gears do you have??You must have 2.73's...Nice car ..welcome!!bm

I drove a 70 chevelle with a th350 and 2.54 gears for 500 miles at 90mph in december. not one hiccup and it got 22-25 mpg
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Old 30th-March-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
2doorpost
 
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Think I been seeing that car on the web for a little while- looked like a good car for the money-

Good luck with it and welcome to the Site !!!!!
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Old 31st-March-2009, 11:53 PM   #7
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Just remember that it is your car and you need to be happy with it. If you like the Camaro style stripes then go for it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it.
Welcome to the forum! Great bunch of folks here and lots of expertise!

^^What he said twice!! What makes this hobby so great is that you get to do exactly what you want with your car. Not that many things in life that are that way, so make the most of it!

Dave
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Old 1st-April-2009, 12:01 AM   #8
72ss427
 
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Go for it man. Welcome. There are some cool guys here who will help you out a lot. Do your car the way you imagine it. Mine is going to be a 72 SS 427. They never made one, but mine will be. It's going to be Cortez Silver with black SS stripes like the 70 Chevelle. Good luck and don;t be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 1st-April-2009, 12:30 AM   #9
sproosemoose
 
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welcome to the site and congrats on the little one! looks like you've got a clean start there. the interior looks good and some of the 73/74 interior pieces are hard to come by in good shape. should be a good foundation for a project.
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Old 1st-April-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
Tom_624

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Wow, thanks for the great welcome! I'm looking forward to learning all I can here.

NovaResource: Yeah, I was 50/50 on whether or not it was an SS...honestly I had no idea what the differences were. The seller never stated SS, said he didn't know too much of the history. I wasn't worried about SS vs. non-SS but I do like the black grill and SS emblems so I probably would have thrown those on regardless. Wish I had the black trim and mirrors though!

Something69: That's my thinking exactly. There are probably purists out there that would crucify me for it but I don't care if this thing is a Frankenstein...I'm just trying to make it look cool to me and I don't really have that well defined. Part of the journey!

Batman: I have no idea what gears I have. None. The guy I got it from would buy up cars, fix them up and flip them...he got stalled on this project and sold it midway. He wasn't really into original restoring so I'm not sure he knew what he had and I wasn't really into asking too many questions like that because I didn't know to ask. It looked good to me, drove great, had potential and was in my price range. Sold!

Everyone else, thanks for the welcome...can't wait to get my car looking like some of your rides!

I haven't taken a close enough look yet but since the seats are GTO buckets replacing a bench (I think) then presumably the mounting spots are different. So how will I go about attaching the seats? Anyone done this? Tips?
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Old 1st-April-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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Welcome to the site, the one thing I have noticed is it seems from what I can tell your car is a drum brake car too, so the cheapest way to change it would be a donor car for the parts. The after market do sell complete bolt on kits, but they're a little more money. Keep an eye on our Classified section, you may find what you want there.
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Old 1st-April-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
Bluesman
 
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Oh yeah! A lot of us have fooled around replacing seats. Check out the threads in the body and 3rd gen threads.

Dave
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Old 1st-April-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
NovaResource
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_624 View Post
NovaResource: Yeah, I was 50/50 on whether or not it was an SS...honestly I had no idea what the differences were. The seller never stated SS, said he didn't know too much of the history. I wasn't worried about SS vs. non-SS but I do like the black grill and SS emblems so I probably would have thrown those on regardless. Wish I had the black trim and mirrors though!
Glad to hear the sell wasn't trying to get more by calling it an SS. As far as the mirrors go, look for them on eBay. That's where I got mine. They were optional on Novas and other non-Chevy X-bodies (Pontiac Ventura/Phoenix, Buick Apollo, Olds Omega/Skylark).
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Old 2nd-April-2009, 06:47 AM   #14
74 hatchback
 
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Wecome to Steve's, nice car you got Tom, glad to see another 74.
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Old 2nd-April-2009, 02:18 PM   #15
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Wlecome. lots of great info and great guys on here. About your seats, more than likely all you'll need to do is pull them out, roll the carpet back, reinsattl them, mark where the missing bolts og, then install some kind of mount in the floor to hold them. It's best if you can make up some kind of reinforcemnt plate for these bolts so that in the case of something horrible happening they dont pull out of the floor. I'm betting that the outer tracks, the ones closest to the doors are bolted down in the factory spot, and the inner tracks are loose with no bolts. Or just the fronts of the tracks are bolted down, and you need to do the rear. You could always drill the holes needed and run the bolts all the way thru the floor and use a big washer for reinforcement. Then weld, or have them welded to the floor. Just an idea, kinda of a hillbilly one, but an idea. Or you can spend the big money and have the factory mounts welded into the car, and then try and find some stock Nova seat tracks, again these are expensive.
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