1967 Chevrolet Nova Nightmare: A Rolling Black Hole Where Light Fears to Tread

Black holes are some of the most awe-inspiring objects we know of to exist in this Universe. They have a few defining traits about them, including their massive size (some are as large as entire galaxies) and gravitational pull. A pull that is so strong not even light can escape it. Which is the same feeling one gets when looking at this modified Chevrolet Nova.

The Nova, or the Chevy II as they’re also known, are some of the most sought-after vehicles of our time. Initially produced by Chevrolet between 1961 and 1979, the moniker has somehow become one of the pillars of today’s custom industry and a real treat for collectors.

During the life of the small American car, five distinct generations of the breed have rolled off the assembly lines, each of them with their share of fans. The early ones, however, remain the preferred choice for garages and buyers.

The Nova we have here was put together by Chevrolet in 1967, and that makes it a member of the second generation, the one whose design was influenced by the Super Nova concept of 1964.

We have no details on where and how the car spent its normal life, but we do know it now is anything but a normal Nova. And that’s owed to an unspecified garage that modified it so heavily it has now become hard to recognize. And hard to see, too, on account of all its blackness.

The build is described as a “high-end rotisserie restoration” but just by looking at the thing’s specs you realize that’s an understatement, when talking about both the visual and mechanical upgrades.

The car’s original exterior lines are still there, although they are very difficult to distinguish under that black cloak it wears. The only things that break the darkness of the thing are the strategically placed emblems in a dark kind of bronze.

1967 Chevrolet Nova Nightmare

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

The same bronze color is used on the thing’s wheels, which in this case have been supplied by U.S. Mags. All four come in the same size, 18 inches, and wear unspecified rubber.

Behind each of the wheels is a braking system that comprises Wildwood hardware, but also an E-Stopp-sourced emergency brake system.

Beyond that comes the Nova’s suspension setup, one that for all intents and purposes is right there at the top of what the custom industry has to offer. At the front the Nova got a 4-link Total Cost Involved (TCI) pro touring setup, while the rear benefits from a TCI 4-link suspension. On top of that there is a RideTech management system to handle the way the Nova looks on the road.

Higher up and under the hood sits a 427ci small block engine. Made entirely from aluminum, it was handled by Motown and gifted with a Holley fuel management system. We have no details on how much power the unit develops, but we do know it’s sent to the rear wheels through a Currie 9-inch rear end and a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission.

Behind the engine bay, the habitat opens up to reveal a flood of leather, dotted from place to place by bronze-ringed holes. The rest of the interior, just like the car’s skin, is drowned in black.

The dashboard of the Nova is equipped with digital gauges, a major departure from the instruments the Nova originally had on. A lot of modern pieces of equipment have been fitted inside, including a 10-inch touchscreen running a backup camera, a Focal stereo sound system, and Vintage air.

1967 Chevrolet Nova Nightmare

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

The engine of the car can be started with the push of a button, and there’s an alarm system on deck to protect it from evil-doers.

In this heavily modified form, the Chevrolet Nova has earned the nickname Nightmare – a fitting choice if you ask me for something that has the potential to extinguish light itself – and that’s even written under the hood of the Nova.

The Chevrolet Nova Nightmare is getting ready to go under the hammer at the end of January. Auction house Barrett-Jackson will try to sell it during its first event of the year in Scottsdale, and it will do so with no reserve – meaning there’s no way to estimate how much it’s going to fetch. For reference we’ll tell you valuation specialist Hagerty places the value of an unmodified Nova from the same model year at around $44,700.

The car is selling complete with restoration photos, the original Protect-O-Plate, and brochures. Oh, and there’s also the title of Top Builder the car snatched during the Goodguys 2022 event,

If the Nightmare is too much of a custom Nova for you, remember there are at least two other worthwhile builds based on the same car on the auction block for the same event, both of them from the same generation. 

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