Every now and then in various corners of the South, I’ll see a guy taking his fully-restored 1969-79 Chevrolet Nova out for a Saturday AM spin, maybe a run to a car show.
And I’m not going to lie. I always feel a little sorry for these men. Of all the cars to pour money into fixing up, of all the “first car I ever owned” nostalgia to be misplaced, they’re clinging to this?
This was one of the ugliest big “little” cars from an age that some Internet wags (and Facebook groups) dub “Malaise Motors.” With good reason.
In college marketing classes, Hell, even in Spanish classes, the story of how Chevrolet pitched this model (which dates from earlier in the ’60s) to the Americas and the world, how they didn’t realize “No va” is Spanish for “Won’t go” is legend.
But damned if these tiny tanks aren’t turning up every couple of days in something I’m watching or reviewing. Thanks to “Stranger Things” and “Peanut Butter Falcon” and “Snowfall” and “Cry Havoc” and “The High Note” and the upcoming “Fast & Furious 9,” this butt-ugly (especially the butt) Detroit “compact” is having a moment.
“Stumptown,” “The Evil Down the Street,” even the animated “Bojack Horseman” features a Nova, here and there. Jared Leto drives one in “The Little Things.” Hey, all the best serial killers do.
Damned if bank-robber Tom Holland in February’s “Cherry” doesn’t have a a street drug dealer driving a late-run 1978 model.
Everywhere I look.
Go figure. Am I being too harsh about its looks? Look at the pictures above and tell me I’m wrong.