Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1974 Chevrolet Nova SS – Arrivederci Supersportivo

(Update: I goofed; the SS package was still available in ’75 & ’76)

Roshake77 found this ’74 Nova Supersportivo in Italy; and you wonder were they’ve all gone to. Well, it looks to be in good hands, and it’s pleasantly original too, right down to all of that striping and graphics.

1974 marked the last year of this generation of the Nova SS package/trim line.

It looks straight out of the brochure.

It’s easy to forget that the Nova SS package was still soldiering along in 1974; it would make its last outing in 1976.

Stripes were increasingly out in the mid ’70s, and Euro-style was in.

It started started in 1963, when it was mostly show and not go, as only six cylinder engines were on tap.

Starting in 1964, the tell-tale V8 badge appeared in the fenders II. The 283 was available in both two-barrel (195 hp) and four-barrel (220 hp) versions, making it the undisputed hot rod of the compact class in 1964.

Its peak years were either 1966, when the high-winding 350 hp 327 was the giant killer of the day.

Or 1968-1969, when the big-block 396 with up to 375 hp was on tap. Things drifted downhill from there, performance-wise.

Actually, things took a slight turn up in 1974, when the optional four barrel 350 (5.7L) V8 added ten hp, and was now rated at 185 hp. And a four speed was still available too, although the THM-350 automatic was a more pragmatic choice.

The revised front end that appeared along with the 5-mile bumpers in 1973 was, like so many in that era, a bit of a let down, especially since the fender wasn’t changed, so that its original line was still visible behind the fill panel. The rear side windows were increased in size, to go along with the low-budget refresh that would last just two years.

The Nova and the even more popular Duster were the hot compacts in 1974, which were enjoying a renaissance of sorts after falling out of fashion during the Mustang’s heyday. In fact, 1974 was the best year ever for Chevy II/Nova sales, with 392k units. Somewhat curiously, the majorly restyled 1975 Nova’s sales dropped significantly, but it came back in ’76 and’77.