After finishing the restoration of my '74 Nova I decided to buy another Nova to use as a daily driver. Finding a suitable car here in Maine involved a bit of searching. I found a few completed restorations for sale but those were too nice to use as a daily driver (not to mention expensive too). I also found quite a few rust buckets that would have required way too much work to make them road worthy again. Finally, I found this '77 and brought it home in November 2000.
It's pretty much stock with the following factory options/equipment:
November 2000 - There are some holes near the bottoms of the doors that are full of bondo. I plan to cut those out and weld in new metal (lower door skin patches). There is also some rust in the bottoms of the quarter panels and trunk floor the will require some patch panels as well.
November 2000 - The interior is in decent condition. The front seat appears to have been re-covered sometime in the past, but some of the seams are coming apart. I'll eventually have the seats re-upholstered. I'll also be replacing the cracked dash pad and headliner with better ones from a parts car. Some of the other interior panels (especially those around the rear windows) are a bit faded. I'll use vinyl dye to restore their color.
November 2000 - Here's what it looked like under the hood. Dirty, but pretty much all original. Even had the original radiator hoses!! The transmission, however, was originally a TH200 but has been replaced with a TH350.
February 2001 - Another photo of the outside before I started fixing it up.
Since I'm using this car as a daily driver, I'm "fixing it up" rather than restoring it. On one hand, I am taking the time to clean/paint/detail most of the parts while they're off the car for mechanical repairs. But on the other hand, I'm not investing lots of money into an expensive paint job, NOS parts, re-chromed trim and such.
Winter 2000/2001 - I made the following fixes/repairs prior to using the car as a daily driver during the summer of 2001:
Summer 2001 - I put about 5000 miles on the car this summer with only one major problem. In June the intermediate roller sprag broke in the TH350 transmission (which was a replacement for the car's original TH200). I swapped in a used TH350 I had sitting in the garage and had the car back on the road within a few days.
Continue on to Page 2(Summer 2002 - February 2003 ... Engine and Front Suspension Rebuild)
Skip to Page 3(February 2003 - November 2003 ... Rust Repair and Other Miscellaneous Work)
Skip to Page 4(January 2004 - March 2005 ... Doors, Interior, and Rear Suspension/Axle)
Skip to Page 5(July 2005 - present ... Quarter Windows and Trunk)