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I like Nova’s but have never owed one and my knowledge on them is limited to what I’ve read online. I have an opportunity to buy a ‘73 Nova Custom hatchback. Vin# 1Y17D3Lxxxxxx a van nuys California car he says he bought it from California from the previous owner, he is the 3rd owner and has had it for 7 years.

According to the vin It originally was a inline 6/power glide car and now has a sbc 350/4bbl with a th350 auto.
Not sure what the rear gears are and the owner said he doesn’t know as he just cruises it and has never even done a burnout in it as that will tell you if it is or not, at least that’s the fun way to find out.

Custom paint job, done right, all door jambs and inside hatch area and under hood all painted to match, all weather stripping is good and all trim appears to be intact. He mentioned the front grill is aftermarket.

The car drives as nice as it looks, I wouldn’t says it’s fast, but it has good acceleration and sounds good with dual exhaust.

power disc brakes on the front/rear drums, power steering.
Has a fiberglass cowl hood so he removed the hood springs as it was too much tension for the lighter hood and too hard to close. He has the original springs and hood latch release.

The only issues are the fuel gauge is in-op and the bottom of the door panels, the vinyl is ripping away from rubbing on the sill plates when opening and claiming but nothing major.
Also the front wheels slightly rub something when you make turns and makes some noise but he said it has always done that without any issue as long as he has had it.

Has aftermarket oil pressure and water temp gauges and runs steady at 180 even in the VEGAS heat, and oil pressure is about 15-20 psi at idle and about 40-50 depending on speed while driving and the engine is clean and he says it doesn’t leak at all.

Everything else works, all lights, dash lights signals, and heater/fan works.

He’s recently put 4 new shocks, rear shocks have coil over springs on them, and bushings on the front and rear, new spark plugs, wheels and tires and new fluids all around including the rear axle.

He put a 3rd gen camaro center console which houses and iPad that’s hooked to the stereo which is a nice kenwood setup with subwoofers in hatch area..

He is asking $13,000 USD, I was thinking of offering $11,500 and go from there I was just looking on advice on what you guys think and if it’s worth buying.
Thanks
 

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1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
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From the pictures and description seems like you are getting a lot of car for 13K. If you like it I say go for it. You couldn't build one for that.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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4,933 Posts
WELCOME to SNS .... You're gonna like it Here ..... Best Nova Site !

73 Hatchback --- Nice cars , but, I like the "Trunk Model" , between th' two. just a personal thing ......
 

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Hi I've got $11k in mine and it's not that good yet.
I'd check for rust holes in the floors, rust out in the trunk, frame, etc.
Then check to see just how much bondo is in the body.

If that checks out, write the friggin check.

It's the body work that's expensive.

I bought mine barely running, but with a fantastic body that had just been stripped down. ( I have the before and after pictures). That cost me $5600 to get home.

Add another $5k in paint and I'm close to where you are now. hood deck lid and doors removed for paint just like yours.
Don't forget it was barely running.
Add in tune up and a new edelbrock (it wasn't smoking and had decent oil pressure) about $500 total. Plus a gauge pack.

Now I still need a windshield, and interior. Windshields are cheap, interior not so much.

I'll have $15k in it when I'm done I think.
 

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:waving:Welcome from Wisconsin! Solid advice from Corbenstein. In the end, it's your money, and your decision. Good luck in what you decide.
 

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Agree with the above comments. If you can, scoot under the car and look for rust in the floor pans and rockers. If you don't see any rust, at 13K it is a good deal, at 11K is great deal. If you see some rust, then you need to decide how much work you want to do and what that value is worth to you so you know how much to knock the price down by.

Good Luck!
 

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Also agreeing with the others. Rust and body work are your biggest enemies. If you aren't dealing with those, then you've got an excellent basis for whatever you want to do (and maybe just keep it as-is).

I found out the hard way how much it cost to build a decent car. You'd spend twice the $13k to build a car as good as that one, and 3 - 5x to really go through a car in its entirety. I don't believe you can ever build a car as cheap as you can buy one, and it's best to start out with the best (most expensive) car you can afford. You'll save money in the long run.
 

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72, 2 Dr, 383, 700r4
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Not bad, I got that much in a resto mod and I'm not done. Like the others said get underneath, floors, bottoms of fenders, around front and rear windows, dash under the cowl, open the doors and look at the bottom, where the roof meets the drip rail that's where the demons reside. Typically I consider mechanical secondary to the body. The body and frame can be lots of money and labor. Personally I like the hatch. Good luck you will love Nova's and the SNS support group.
 
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