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Discussion Starter #1
A few subtle differences Ive noticed between 63 and 64. Grill, rear end, etc. Is there anything on either of them that would NOT easily be interchangeable? Are the floor pans different since the 64 would have had the optional 4 speed? Mine is a 63 apparently but has lots of 64 items on it leading me to have LOTS of questions. Was looking for identifiers that could not easily be unbolted and moved between cars.
 

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There are a bunch of small differences. Let's ignore the minor ones, and just mention a few big ones:

-grille, side trim, rocker trim.
-no convertible for '64
-no 300 series trim for '64
-5-lug front hubs and brakes for '64, which are bigger
-totally different 5-lug wheel mounting rear axle for '64
-230 6 cylinder and 283/195 as well as 283/220 available in '64

Now core support, turn signal switch, obviously wheels and other things are different. But the rest of the car is pretty similar, especially in construction, and so many parts interchange. Floor pans are all the same except for floor humps on floor shift models (convertible floors are narrower) for all '62-'67 (including 2 door hardtop, sedan, 4-door and wagon), with very minor differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ally.

Here is my dilemma. I have a 63 that has been horribly abused by some ******* during its lifetime. Everything I can find on the car tells me it’s a 64 with perhaps a 63 grill (easy enough to change) and maybe a VIN tag was moved from a 63 (also easy). It was repainted and it has 5 lug wheels front and back and the rear diff is a 10 bolt with removable cover that would be on a 64-later.

So I was hoping that there was some structural part of the car that would be unremovable that would help me identify the car for sure one way or the other.
 

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Tell us as much as you can about your car. What model of Nova do you have? SS? Sport Coupe? 2 door sedan? 4 door sedan? What type of chrome side trim is on the car and where is it located? In 63 and 64 the VIN plate was spot welded to the drivers side door jamb. If it's been removed or is from another car, it's probably attached some other way..rivets, screws, etc. How is yours attached? Is there a cowl tag on the firewall? If so, the year will be on it and the bottom line will have Fisher Body option codes. There were no 4 speeds in '63. A '64 4 speed will have a 2L on the cowl tag. Can you post a picture of the car? Answers to any or all of these questions could help identify the year.

Bob
 

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Pictures would help.

Is there a VIN or cowl tag on the car? That would help tons. Failing that, a '63 hardtop or 400 series car would have the 'Nova' emblem on the front fender with no holes for an emblem on the end of the quarter, when a '63 Nova (400 series) would have holes at the rear part of the rear quarter for the emblem. For 100 series, the emblem will be at the rear on both years.

The core support on a '63 has a smaller opening at the radiator; '64 is larger to accommodate a larger radiator for the 230 6 cylinder and the 283 8 cylinder engines. One other way you could tell a '64, all else missing, is at the front lower corner of the engine bay, on the sheetmetal just above what would be the subframe rail. It would be found on this sheetmetal just a little rearward of the core support. On a '64, there will be either a fuel line coming through a hole (V-8), a rubber plug to cover the hole for the fuel line if the car came with a 6, or just the empty hole if there is no fuel line or plug. '63 does not have this hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I really appreciate the help everyone. To me, half the fun is chasing down all the info, etc.
A little background...I bought this car from my best friends dad. He owned it for 33 years before selling it. My best friend was supposed to get the car when he turned 30 but he was killed in a motorcycle accident 7 years ago. His dad called me one day and said he was going to sell the car because it had been sitting for 5 years and needed attention. I didnt want it to go to a stranger so I bought it. Bless his heart, but as much as my friends dad loves classic cars he is NOT a gearhead and only knows what he has been told. So what I know about the car is what I have found in my own research:
-originally an inline 6-3 speed on column
-was originally blue/blue and repainted black
-5 lug front and rear wheels
-a 283 from 1967 installed with 67 muncie M21. Was told from a truck which might explain the 168 tooth flywheel, 11” clutch, etc
-homemade engine mounts, wrong yoke/pinion angles, all terrible

Currently have engine out of it and doing proper V8 and 4 speed conversions kits so everything is done RIGHT. Maybe this should be it’s own build post ?

Assuming the hole for fuel line would be on the drivers side that is the pic i snapped from in the engine bay. The tag on the firewall is missing as well. Pretty sure his dad told me that SS trim was installed as well at some point, I would guess at time of paint. I have pics from when it was painted but nothing from those pics shows different trim, etc. Included a pic of all the junk I’ve removed so far.
 

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I'm going out on a limb and say this is a '63. The major determining factor for me is the 1963 Nova 400 sport coupe (non SS) mid body side trim. A 1964 nova 400 (non SS) sport coupe also had mid body trim, but it was quite different from '63. I have never seen anybody remove the side trim from a '64 and replace it with '63. In addition, good '63 trim is not easy to find. The grill is '63 and so is the hood diecast. The VIN is '63, although it appears the spot welds may have been drilled out and the tag re-attached with small inboard rivets. As Frank (Ally) mentions above, the 64 had a Nova emblem just ahead of the doors and above the mid body trim. No emblems on this car. However, the pictures don't go far enough back to show the rear quarters where the '63 was placed.

Bob
 

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The emblem on the rear quarter panel is correct for 1963. Can you give us a picture of your dash? The '64 had a thin chrome molding all the way around the center section of the dash. The '63 didn't have this molding.

Bob
 

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Got to put in with Bob, thinking it's a '63. Like the fact that you are taking a great looking car and straightening out the cut corners to make it right.

You took a picture of the right spot, wrong side. That same spot on the passenger's side would have the hole, but I bet you don't have one there. I have seen the occasional fender or door replaced with another '62-'65 door, but not all the trim changed to a '63 from another year.

Keep us updated with the updates, and the pictures are well taken and informative.
 

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Swapping the rear axle and front drums to 5 lug units from 64-67 models is pretty commonly done. The steering stops on 63 lower control arms are different then the stops on the later 5 lug lower control arms. If you have 63 arms and later 5 lug spindles the turning radius will not be as good/tight.. Also, the front strut rod mounts are bolted in on a 62-63 front clip from 64 on the mounts are riveted to the front rails and core support.. Yours are bolted thus more evidence of a 63.. If this was an 63 or 64SS there would be peak molding running along the top of the fender and continuing all the way back to the quarter panel and wrapping down towards the bumper. If there was peak molding on your car at some point there would be holes where the moldings use to be and looking inside the fender and quarter panel in the trunk area you would see the holes if they have been filled.. Your car has no SS chrome dash trim.. Another SS option is bucket seats. 400 series cars could be ordered with them but they would have had a bench as the standard on a 400. If this car was ordered with bucket seats there would be two floor braces where the bucket seat tracks would mount. Theses braces bridge the trans tunnel in the middle of the car.. SS instrument clusters have a clock in the middle of the cluster all others do not.. Your hood bar is a 63 trim piece with the Chevrolet sitting on top of the bar. 64s are different..

I’m thinking this is a 63, 400 series car, non SS..
 

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