There's a reason the 1966 Chevrolet Nova SS L79 is always such an in-demand classic: it's the truest factory muscle car around. The L79 motor was already the high-compression hot small block for the Corvette, and the Nova was the only way to get an even lighter package. It was a single-year offering with less than 5,500 made. So over a half-century later, it's truly a rare treat to find a numbers-matching example that is well-documented and exceptionally restored.
Every once in a while the stars align correctly to deliver an outstanding car. That feels like the case of this 1966 Nova SS. The second generation of this car was only offered for two years, and the L78 was only a factory option for this first one. The design was built to be a true sleeper muscle car but with sharper lines than its predecessor, a touch of Coke-bottle curves, and a terrific hardtop profile. So while the 2nd gen had a short run, it also left a lasting impression. This example takes the classic fundamentals and turns the desirability up a few notches just on its appearance. The factory-correct Chateau Slate is the kind of color you'd expect to order on a modern sports coupe, and the level of gloss and shine would even make a BMW M3 jealous. That's because this was given a full restoration, and all evidence points to cost taking a back seat to quality. Form-fitting chrome bumpers, proper Super Sport badging, clean glass, and clean lines are all quite stylish. There are just the right touches of black on the rockers and SS wheel covers that look great against the silver. It is a very sophisticated-looking coupe. So many people may just suspect this to be a cool cruiser...as long as they don't read the fender badges.
The black interior was restored to the same high quality and correct standards as the exterior. You know that just by the look of the upholstery. The seats have a terrific-looking vinyl that includes the classic textured pattern and bright trim embedded in the seatbacks. And since this is the kind of rare car you're going to want to show off, you can tell they also made sure you'll leave all the windows down on this hardtop. The carpeting, door panels, dash, and all other fundamentals have the right level of attention. It's beautifully vintage with all the right details, like the working dome light, classic rubber floor mats, bias-ply spare in the trunk, and the Delco AM radio there for display. There's even an ignition lock guide on the sun visor, just to make this feel like you're always on your way home from the Chevy showroom. And speaking of driving, you just know this real-deal SS was made for enjoyment on the streets. Front bucket seats, a center console with floor shifter, and a handsome sports steering wheel are all there to make sure you know this is more than just a looker.
Under the hood is one of the best small-block motors of the muscle car era. The L79 327 cubic-inch V8 is a legend for an advertised 350 hp right off the showroom floor. This numbers-matching powerplant even has its correct Holley four-barrel carburetor. Because people will want to see this icon, it is ready for show duty with the polished air grabber and valve covers in the tidy engine bay. But a car like this is really meant to be driven. After all, the lightweight hardtop coupe body makes it one of the best muscle cars on the streets, especially when mated to the numbers-matching Muncie M21 close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. It's a true street machine package direct from Chevy, right down to the way this one loves to let you feel the road. But while this is a fun driver, it's also made to be impressive from every angle. The undercarriage photos showcase the ultra-fresh presentation where you even have factory-style tags and markings added.
An exceptional coupe like this needs the right documentation, and so the sale comes complete with the bill of lading, warranty card, owner's manual, and some period-correct literature. This was the surprise boulevard king in 1966, and today it will be nearly impossible to find this rarity restored to a higher standard. So if you're looking for the king amongst kings, call today!