Gunners Garage

TODAY'S HOT ONE – CHEVY II NOVA

Sometimes things are right there in front of your face and you don’t see them. This happened last week when we were trying to balance the carbs on my MG and couldn’t get them right. We tried and tried and every time the front carb couldn’t be tuned. The mechanic, Vince, said something simple was wrong and probably staring at us. He was right. The gasket between the front carb body and the intake manifold was broken and hanging out — right there in front of my nose.

It’s the same with naming books and articles. We had a Chevy II / Nova item cooking and the Title was “Chevy’s Gas-Sipping Sizzler.” I liked it, but no one else did so it was back to the drawing board and nothing seemed just right.

Then it came to me in the middle of the night (or was it an afternoon nap at work?) Whatever, I thought it sounded great: “Chevy II / Nova: Today’s Hot One.”

“The Hot One” was a term used to advertise the popular ’55-’57 Chevys. I think, but I’m not 100 percent sure, that Jim Wangers coined the slogan when Chevys ran well at Pike’s Peak. Anyway,author Pat Chappell later did a book called The Hot Ones and it sold fantastic.

In ’62, when the first Chevy II arrived, a lot of car magazines compared it to the ’55 Chevy. Even back then, people were collecting ’55 Chevys. Today, people are collecting Chevy IIs and Novas in a very serious way. Every show or cruise I have been to this summer seems to have at least one of these cars. Like ’55 Chevys years ago, some of these Nova are stock, some are set up for racing and some are Resto-Modded, but all of them are cool. So, if you ask me, the Chevy II / Nova really is today’s “Classic Chevy”- or, if you prefer, Today’s Hot One. What do you say? Click “comments” and let us know.

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