The formula was a good one: take a lightweight car like the Chevy II and stuff it full of Corvette V8 prowess. This 1962 Chevrolet Chevy II (also known as the Nova) is a road-ready example of that formula in action, and it offers a host of upgrades and a top-flight restoration that make it a first-class cruiser with a ton of eyeball appeal. And yes, it's got a 4-speed manual gearbox too! Subtle colors help give Chevy's most popular compact a bigger presence, and you're probably not going to see this one coming until it's too late. They're not big cars, which is why they're so potent out on the road, but in dark colors you have no choice but to treat them with respect. The sinister, deep black paint and bodywork on this car was done to a very high standard and remains in excellent overall condition after only 1,376 reported miles on the build. And because it's so fresh and has seen so few miles out on the open road, there are really no signs of use to speak of. It's not a perfect trailer queen that should be sealed away in a museum (although we would rate it as a borderline show-quality classic), of course, but if you like to drive, there aren't many better Bowties for the job. The steel underneath is laser straight and shows off near-perfect gaps, clear evidence that the builders really took their time when they were putting this car together. Tasteful pinstriping on the hood and deck lid add a touch of sophistication to this black beauty, along with just enough contrast to break up the black finish a little. Nice chrome and brightwork, including the factory grille, bright bumpers fore and aft, and finned rocker panel molding give it just enough flash to get some extra attention as you go rolling past. The interior is extremely well done too, offering fresh upholstery and carpets throughout, all in bright red to perfectly complement the car's miles-deep black paintwork. Period correct low-back buckets up front are in fantastic shape, as is the matching rear bench, and the rest of the interior is on the same high-end level and manages to pretty much stick to the factory recipe throughout. The door panels were restored to stock as well and look completely untouched, an aftermarket 3-spoke steering wheel was swapped in for some added sportiness, and the plush red carpets on the floors are protected with black 'Bowtie' carpeted mats. A Hurst shifter with a cue ball knob manages the 4-speed manual below and it's a whole lot of fun racking it through the gears and hammering down the throttle. The factory gauges in the dash cover the basics, but an AutoMeter tachometer was neatly strapped to the steering column and a trio of aftermarket dials were hung underneath the dash to augment the original pieces. Above that aftermarket gauge stack is a factory-style A/C unit from Old Aire Products that pumps cold R134a air throughout the cabin. And just above it, an upgraded retro-style AM/FM/Cassette radio lives in the center of the dash, while a set of seatbelts were added up front for safety. The back seat was upholstered to match the low-back buckets up front and the super-clean trunk carries a correct mat, a full-size tire, and a relocated battery inside a dedicated tray. Factory Nova's didn't come with V8s until 1964, but nevertheless, the powerful 350/375HP small block V8 that was swapped into this lightweight car looks as if it always belonged. Donated from a 1970 Corvette with all the machine work completed by the pros at Arlington Machine Shop, it utilizes authentic finishes and equipment combined with polished and chrome dress-up pieces, and it has a great period-performance look with plenty of horsepower on tap. Upgrades include double hump heads, a Comp cam, Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 4-barrel double-pumper carburetor, a giant aluminum radiator with an electric fan, and an HEI ignition. So, it's not just pretty, it has plenty of pop for the modern environment, too. The Muncie M21 4-speed manual transmission is plenty tough for V8 duty and channels power to a 10-bolt rear end with 3.73 posi-traction gears, borrowed from a 1964 wagon. Sanderson shorty headers feed into a burly Flowmaster dual exhaust system that gives it a sinister voice and you'll note that the chassis is in great shape with clean floors and lots of newer hardware, including a strut-rod conversion kit with a 1-inch sway bar up front, and multi-leaf springs with adjustable drag shocks out back. Shiny Rallye wheels really fill the wheel wells nicely and keep the '60s performance look intact, and they carry staggered 195/70/14 front and 225/60/14 rear BFGoodrich T/A white-letter radials with plenty of grip. This is one mean little Chevy II with a ton of firepower on tap. If you like the promise of light curb weight coupled with heavy horsepower, all wrapped up in a show-worthy vintage package, then perhaps this Nova deserves a much closer look. Call today!