Jeremy Pirnat

Year 1976
Make Chevrolet
Model Nova
Body Style 2-door sedan
VIN 1X27Q6K130928
Miles 82,000

Engine 305
Heads stock, original
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Carburetor Rochester 2GC 2-bbl.
Ignition stock HEI
Exhaust stock manifolds and single exhaust
Estimated peak horsepower 140 HP @ 3800 RPM
Estimated peak torque 245 lb/ft @ 2000 RPM

Transmission Turbo Hydramatic 200
1976 Chevrolet Nova
October 2, 1996: My name is Jeremy Pirnat. I'm a 23-year-old computer progammer in Jacksonville, FL. It was refreshing to find your NOVA INTERNET SOURCE WWW pages. It's nice to know that there are still some people who like Chevy Novas. In general, Novas are overlooked by most car enthusiasts. They never got the audience enjoyed by more popular sporty models like the Camaro and Corvette, and that's a shame. Read on to hear my story . . .

Although I majored in computer science and work as a programmer, I got into auto mechanics as a hobby. Since I was 15 year old, I've owned seven cars (four of which I restored). My friends were always interested in driving the more "refined" Integras and Preludes, but I didn't much care for the newer Japanese makes. Besides, they were expensive (my parents told me I had to make money to buy my own car), you couldn't work on them and they were stolen a lot. After owning two Camaros and a Trans Am, I was forced to get a car that provided better gas mileage. Reluctantly, I bought a Plymouth Caravelle. It's kind of a mundane car, but at least it has the turbo engine. Still, I yearned for the days when I had V8 power . . .

1976 Chevrolet Nova rear One day, I met one of my dad's friends from work. He told me that he had retired, and was buying himself a new car. He was going to sell his current car, a 1976 Nova, and wondered if I was interested. I had been searching for a "third car" for my wife and I to use on weekends (or if one of our cars broke down), so I unenthusiastically told the guy I'd look at this Nova.
1976 Chevrolet Nova front To my pleasant surprise, the car turned out to be a real cherry. It was a two-door coupe in near mint condition with only 82K ORIGINAL miles. It had an immaculate interior with the original equipment, including the factory Delco radio in the dash! The car was powered by the smaller, 305 2bbl V8 engine with automatic transmission. There was no air conditioning, so the engine delivered full power all the time. When I went on the test drive, my foot slipped on the gas pedal and the wheels peeled rubber. It was then that I knew I had to have the car. It was a real bargain for $650. Not to mention that the guy that sold it to me had been the original purchaser. This Nova had been a one-owner car for 20 years, and he had the service records to prove it!
1976 Chevrolet Nova engine I'm currently doing some minor work necessary to completely restore this gem. It has a little hood damage and a bit of rust on the passenger-side fender, but I was able to find lots of spare parts. Also, the Nova was surprisingly cheap to insure. Strange, because the 1976 Camaros had exactly the same running gear but would cost me and additional $400 per year in insurance premiums.
1976 Chevrolet Nova side One last thing: When I was driving the car to Jacksonville on I-95, a kid driving an Integra (the older model) tried to pass me using the RIGHT lane, trying get around me in order to cut me off. When I heard his little engine revving up, I stepped on the gas. In an instant, I got a rush of V8 power and torque that pushed me back down into the seat. We raced up to 100 mph, but the Integra's front bumper never got past the rear part of the Nova's door. Finally, the kid gave up. Here's the kicker- I didn't even have the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor yet. So much for Integras.
1976 Chevrolet Nova inside Unfortunately, Novas seem to be a disappearing breed- especially the 1975-1979 style. The majority that I've seen are ready for the junk pile. Oh, well, more spare parts for me!
1976 Chevrolet Nova rear October 3, 1996: A few weeks ago when I went to register the Nova at the Florida DMV, the Volusia County clerk told me that the vehicle qualified for their reduced-rate "antique" registration! ANTIQUE! I was outraged! I'm older than the car, and I'm certainly not antique... yet! Yes, we "antique" people like to refer to ourselves as "classic." When I got back to the parking lot and saw the Nova sitting amid row after row of Probes, Miatas, Altimas, Contours, Intrepids, Sebrings and Altimas I began to realize how different it looked. Truely an icon of engineering days gone by. I also realized how few of them I see anymore. Once, these cars (primarily the 1970-1979 models) were EVERYWHERE!

What's a modular engine control regulator? A distributorless ignition system? A self-diagnostic onboard computer command relay? What ever happened to the basics? What happened to: Has REALLY big engine. Goes REALLY fast. Gets REALLY crappy gas-mileage. Produces GOBS of V8 torque.

Old habits die hard.

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997 Aren Cambre.