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1969 Chevrolet Nova SS Is a True Sleeper, Hides Massive Surprise Under the Hood

Although it's not as iconic and popular as the Camaro, Chevelle, and Corvette, the Chevrolet Nova has a truly fascinating story. The nameplate emerged in 1962 as a rather mundane compact to compete with the Ford Falcon. Six years and two generations later, Chevy threw the Nova in the muscle car pit by offering it with big-displacement V8s capable of up to 375 horsepower.
1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod 8 photos
1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod1969 Chevrolet Nova SS restomod
The third-generation Nova (1968-1972) is now a desirable classic. Especially in two-door coupe form and with a V8 under the hood. But to some people, Chevy's 327-, 350-, and 396-cubic-inch (5.4-, 5.7-, and 6.5-liter) powerplants aren't potent enough for the compact. That's why many restomods are being fitted with even larger crate mills.

This almost unassuming, cream-painted 1969 Nova, for instance, packs a gargantuan 502-cubic-inch (8.3-liter) V8. Brought in to replace a rather healthy 300-horsepower 350 V8, the big-block 502 cranks out a massive 730 horsepower and 700 pound-feet (949 Nm) of torque. That's more than any factory Chevrolet out there and a figure that enables the Nova to compete against the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Like most restomods out there, the coupe rides on an aftermarket suspension and a set of modern, 20-inch multi-spoke wheels. The front seats have been replaced by sporty buckets for proper lateral support, but almost everything else is stock.

The exterior is particularly unassuming. Ignore the wheels and the big lip spoiler under the front bumper and this Nova is as stock as they get as far as visuals go. The Butternut color helps too. This yellow-tinted cream is far from flashy and the white "go-fast" stripes are barely visible in certain lighting conditions. What's more, this Nova still carries its original "350" badges.

But you'll know it's not what it seems as soon as the gas pedal hits the floor. The 502 V8 may be somewhat quiet at idle, but it roars louder than any stock engine offered in the third-gen Nova. And the entire car simply twists under its torque when charging off the line. Too bad there are no burnouts in the video below.

I've seen far more powerful Novas out there, but this one is an impressively tasteful build. Hit play to check it out.

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