Smith's 1973 Nova Custom

Discussion in 'Under Construction' started by Smith, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    I will start this thread by saying it's going to progress slow for now as I just forked out the cash for the car, hopefully I'll have some free/smaller things to do for now though.

    A little history on the car, it's a 1973 Nova that started it's life as light green metallic in I believe in West Virginia and was taken to Ziebart to be rustproofed at 935 miles (have paper work on it). In 1988 it was repainted the original color and had some dents fixed by Rainbow Paint and body (not sure where but I'll look next time I'm around the paper work and update). From what I have been told (haven't carfaxed/checked/whatever to be positive just going on word of mouth) the original owner was military (according to the second owner that we originally bought the car from) and at some point moved to Shreveport at which time was then sold to an elderly lady who owned it awhile but eventually upgraded to a car with power windows and put the Nova up for sale and that is when/where my family originally became the 3rd owners of the car, around 1993-94ish.

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    After becoming the owner of the car my dad saved and slowly acquired the parts necessary to restore it. He got the original bumpers re-chromed, bought a parts car to steal door panels and other interior parts off of, replaced all the original weather stripping, emblems, new carpet in the interior and many many other things. A friend of the family at the time was an old school body man who worked out of a shop in his back yard and kept the car nearly two years and fixed all dents, removed door trim, and did an incredible job at painting the car. After getting it back my dad did some finishing touches on it such as adding a wooden steering wheel and a few other things a mid-thirty year old deemed appropriate in the mid-90's. Which brings us to these pictures of the car (only ones I can track down as I guess my parents didn't have a camera at the time and before the digital age of smartphones).

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    During the time of owning the car my dad bought and moved a house that him and my grandfather started restoring themselves, which we all know takes time/money/other sacrifices along the way with the car ending up being one of them. After promising me the car over and over for my 16th birthday my dad sold the car in 99' along with all the parts to build a 383, some rear end parts, and other things to a local guy for $5000 so he could put doors all throughout our house and do a few other finishing touches to get us moved in. Although he loves our house, and I love my dad for the sacrifices he's made to provide for my sister and I, it's been a decision he's always regretted and one I've kind of never let him forget because I wanted that car bad since I was a little kid always wanting and dreaming to drive it but never ever getting the chance other than in my dads lap.

    Like I said, he sold it in 99' to a local guy younger than him who got rid of a lot of the parts, moved the shifter from the column to the floor, chunked in some shotty ricer like bucket seat, put a blower on it, removed the ac, and several other things. After all of this he tried selling it back to my dad a year or two later, to which he declined due to price and above said mods. After my dad declined the guy made a killer deal with another local fellow that we will refer to as Bob, that if he would have made my dad we would have probably owned the car again then. Well Bob and his family owned it, drove it a little and then decided to pull the motor to replace it with another that never seemed to find it's way into the car. The car sat for several years with Bob not wanting to sell it and many people trying to buy it including myself trying to inquire about it after I had my license, a job, and a little money put back. Well, one day the car was gone and no one really knew who Bob sold it to so pretty much just gave up the dream of owning a piece of my childhood..........that was until this past Monday, Feb 9th 2015.

    On this past Monday a guy from Shreveport who we will call Tom, randomly walked into my family owned furniture store which is about an hour south of Shreveport. Tom walked into our furniture store because it is in a smaller, everyone knows everyone type of town. Tom came in to ask if the secretary of our store knew where someone lived because he was trying to file for a lost title on a car, we'll being a small town she knows said guys mom and called her to tell her, after talking to the mom on the phone she told our secretary "You know that's Terry's old car he's asking about...". Well, my dad keeps a picture of the Nova on the wall of above his desk at our store and while the secretary was on the phone Tom noticed this and asked to see it, after our secretary handed him the picture Tom said, "this is the exact car I have sitting in my driveway that I came down here looking for the guy about...". After figuring all this out Tom left to do a few things and said he would be back to talk to my dad and ask about the car and all.

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    After Tom returned my dad called me and asked if I'd be interested in buying a Nova and I said I really can't afford it at the moment to which he replied what if I said it's your Nova? Well after talking to my dad and him talking to Tom we set up an appointment to see it that Wednesday here in Shreveport. Of course, last time I saw the car it was in pretty good shape, just missing a motor. Went and looked at the car and it was in a little bit of rougher shape than expected but still super solid minus a fender and taillight panel. Tom agreed to sell the car for what he paid for it instead of asking price due to how bad I still wanted it and he said it would be a hell of a story to tell when I got it built like I wanted it. Also Tom had bought it from a good friend and the person who Bob sold it to, and shortly after buying it a grand national Tom had been wanting came up for sale and the money he got from me buying the Nova is going towards that. Made a year loan with no note on the car that I'll work to pay off quickly and then Tom delivered the car to my dads shop on Friday. I was just able to go down and check it out now that it was mine and in my Dad and I's possession.

    Took a bunch of before pictures today so I would have a good base before touching anything.

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    and then took out my Porter cable and some Adam's Swirl and Haze, Fine machine polish, and detail spray and did a quick 30-45 minute test just to see how it would turn out and I think that with a little touch up paint and a polish it'll be decent enough for now.

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    Plans for now:
    Immediately pay back car as fast as possible.
    Cheapish/small stuff to just mess with the car.
    Find an LS drivetrain and supporting parts to get it on the road, then move to whatever. Like I said, goal is to pay for the car and then get it cruising and all "restoring" can come after.


    For those that are TL;DR....I bought a car that I've always wanted, happy to have it, and hope I can build it how I want slowly since I don't have Chip Foose and crew at my disposal :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  2. Cheeny23

    Cheeny23 Resident Wop Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,624
    awesome dude, welcome to the old car club

    Sent from a cannoli smuggling warehouse.
     
  3. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    Thanks man! Definitely excited to be a part. Lol.

    Edit: September 2015

    Using this post from now on to link builds that have/are helping me with the researching and rebuilding of my Nova!


    Romancommander and his 73' nova thread, he did a pretty extensive restoration that as of today (September 2015), is still a work in progress. He's done some pretty sweet subtle modifications and is a wealth of knowledge

    http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=281657

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    Tarantula and his 74' nova thread, he not only has a thread but also a video for almost everything he's done, shows several ways to do things!

    http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162621


    Also his rebuild/installing his LS motor, etc
    My 74 Nova "Reborn" 2 -- LS Rebirth
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sh...m/forums/showthread.php?t=645482&share_type=t

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  4. WhiteMike

    WhiteMike Active Member

    Messages:
    755
    Such an awesome story and glad you got your childhood dream car back! Gonna be a hell of a fun project!
     
  5. Khaos

    Khaos Bed Dent Club Founder

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    20,566
    Badass man! Looking forward to this thread for sure. One of my favorite cars!
     
  6. mike.

    mike. Well-Known Member

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    8,955
    Nice, and get ready to :spendmonies:
     
  7. Tylers88

    Tylers88 3 GM's and a Jeep

    Messages:
    6,631
    Awesome story, like the color, sucks it's rougher than you remember but the important thing is you have your dad's old car back And honestly it's not in horrible shape just a little rough around the edges. Even a stock 5.3/60E combo would be plenty to get in trouble with and cruise, probably even get pretty good mileage.
     
  8. slow4.7on20s

    slow4.7on20s Weld Wheel Hoarder

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    184
    Looks good can't wait to see the progress I just bought my dads 68 chevy 2 from him
     
  9. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    Thanks, definitely going to be a project. Have a few friends who like to get their hands dirty so hopefully it'll be a fun experience.

    Appreciate it! Hopefully this thread will provide and not go stale.

    Haha, right!? I have no monies now, paying for it will take all of it for awhile. Lol.

    Glad you read the story, to me that's what makes the car even more badass is the background and way it came back full circle. I agree about the shape but like you said it's not horrible at all, it's super solid other than that rear panel, driver fender and just a spot or two of surface rust. Once my buddy gets his 99' z28 rebuilt for TX2K it'll get put in the shop and our the weather. Also agree on the motor, I could get one of those cheap just to get it on the road and having a good time, time will tell on which route I'll go.

    Awesome man! Post some pictures.
     
  10. slow4.7on20s

    slow4.7on20s Weld Wheel Hoarder

    Messages:
    184
    Yea I got a picture of it at the end of my trucks thread I need to get some updated pictures of it since I started changing some things on it
     
  11. Tylers88

    Tylers88 3 GM's and a Jeep

    Messages:
    6,631
    Agree the story makes this car, same reason I have held onto the 88 for this long, my dad got it in 98 and drove it until 04 when the transmission went out, sat for a couple years, new transmission got put in 2 weeks after I turned 16 so that truck is part of me, still have guys I went to HS with asking me if I have it/what I have done with it recently.
     
  12. Graystone

    Graystone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Very nice. I have a 70 ss that was my dad's before he died. use to help him restore it when I was in middle school. Will never sell it.

    Never was fond of the 73 changes. But the rear panel and grill and bumpers will swap out.
     
  13. BOO5TED

    BOO5TED Resident Smartass

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    20,191
    Congrats on the car dude. You need to recreate the childhood pic of you with the car, sans shirt. :naughty:
     
  14. 04SSHD

    04SSHD Master Debater Staff Member

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    1,484
    awesome story! Congrats on getting your hands back on your car!
     
  15. GeoffSFAs10

    GeoffSFAs10 Well-Known Member

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    1,835
    Thats awesome dude!!
     
  16. DeanH1290

    DeanH1290 Well-Known Member

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    4,899
    Glad you got the car back! These builds mean so much more when they have such a sentimental value. Definitely exited to see where this goes!
     
  17. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    Ah, yeah I remember seeing a picture now.

    Heard that man. Definitely nothing wrong with keeping it if financially feasible.

    That's awesome, dude. Can't blame you, I don't plan on selling this one either after everything that's happened with it. I use to not be the fondest myself but they've grown on me, will probably stick with them for now.

    I'll be sure to snap it to you :rofl:

    Thanks for reading guys and really appreciate it!
     
  18. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    Smith's 1973 Nova

    Original owners manual and ticket from where it was taken to zeibart, had more when we first had the car but they've disappeared since.
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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  19. Graystone

    Graystone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,302
    you might be able to get a reprint of the factory window sticker. I have the original from mine from the dealer. It takes some searching but the dealers kept copies on file
     
  20. Smith

    Smith Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,151
    I'll definitely have to look into it. Original was with it at one point, definitely wouldn't mind having a reprint though if possible.
     

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