Welcome from Ironton... down at the 'V' on the Ohio River. Sorry that I missed your post last year. And yes, we like ALL photos! Just because your Nova needs a little TLC doesn't mean that we wouldn't like to see photos of it!
A couple of answers for you... If VIN on the door post starts with 11837, your car was born as an SS with a V8. Not all VINs match the cowl tag. Lots of 6 cylinder cars have 117 and 118 cowl tags! Fisher Body built the unibodies and, in some cases apparently didn't know in advance which engine was scheduled for the car. So, some 6 cylinder cars got V8 cowl tag numbers.
As you noted, there's no way to be completely sure which engine your car originally had without paperwork, but there is one simple check that almost always works for '67s: If the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump is 3/8", the Nova probably came with a 327/275. If it's 5/16" line, it was probably a 283.
It would be great if you could start a build thread in either the "Car Profiles" or "1st and 2nd Generation Chevy II/Novas" forums. Then, you could post updates as you work on the car.