1965 CHEVROLET Nova- Sister D, Vancouver, BC Print
Written by Double Dragon
Thursday, 12 June 2014 19:51

1965 CHEVROLET Nova- Sister D, Vancouver, BC


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

This 1965 Nova is a 'bookend' that has been parked with a 1970 Nova for decades now. The two Novas have been off the road since the late 1990s and were owned by two sisters. To retain their privacy I have named them Sister D and Sister J. No, they are not nuns! They are two sisters who both happened to own Novas both of which are featured here in the 20 YEARS PLUS section of this website.

The 1965 Nova was owned by Sister D for many years. She bought it second hand and drove it for general use. Aircare records tell us about the use of the car in the 1990s. By this time Sister D retired and used it sparingly.



The Odometer Readings are given to AirCare inspectors by the motorist and cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.

1998-01-29 09:04:29 15,000 1999-01-27 169 ppm 0.40 % 2347 ppm 548 ppm 2.30 % n/a n/a P

1997-01-31 15:42:39 0,000 1998-01-29 178 ppm 0.67 % 2476 ppm 632 ppm 2.25 % n/a n/a P

1996-01-25 13:59:57 113,000 1997-01-22 n/a n/a n/a 395 ppm 2.54 % n/a n/a P

1995-01-19 09:03:20 224,000 1996-01-17 175 ppm 0.47 % 2808 ppm 1246 ppm 4.71 % n/a n/a P

1995-01-06 07:48:29 124,000 n/a 173 ppm 0.48 % 2454 ppm 1129 ppm 8.45 % n/a n/a F

1994-01-13 07:36:18 118,000 1994-12-31 200 ppm 0.29 % 2808 ppm 1091 ppm 3.79 % n/a n/a P

1994-01-11 09:37:28 118,000 n/a 213 ppm 2.74 % 2085 ppm 1234 ppm 9.99 % n/a n/a F

1993-02-15 07:46:18 113,000 1994-01-31 216 ppm 1.16 % 2899

She stopped driving it in 1999 due to failing health. Sister D died in Sep, 2000 in her mid 70s. Sister J was still in good shape and kept her sister's Nova parked where it always had been parked with her 1970 Nova.

Although the car never suffered an accident or major repairs the usual parking spot was not ideal for preservation of a car. The towering pine trees and continuous rain of Vancouver, British Columbia kept the car covered in water and debris while simultaneously shutting out any sunlight

The Nova has some sentimental value but it primarily was nothing more than an appliance to the sisters. The Nova was a means of getting groceries and commuting to work. Both the sisters saw their Novas as utilitarian economical easily parked boxes. These type of people were the ones that the Chevy II was aimed at. The fact both cars were higher end Nova models was just a pure coincidence that happened at the time the cars were bought used.

The Chevy II had a very quick development program and was an utterly simple car devoid of any innovation whatsoever. GM had good reasons for cranking out this basic car in a hurry. Ford was taking the lion's share of domestic compact car sales with the basic Falcon.

The Falcon was Ford's 'do as little as possible' answer to the compact problem and this had proved to he the right answer to a growing sales issue facing domestic manufacturers of large cars. The Big Three domestic manufacturers had virtually ignored compacts and left that category to the imports and Rambler during the 1950s. At the end of the 1950s the Big Three started losing a chunk of sales to compacts.

General Motors went at the compacts with a really comprehensive approach. The VW Bug was unusual with an air cooled rear mounted engine which inspired Chevrolet to create the unconventional (by USA domestic standards) new compact rear engine air cooled Corvair import fighter. The other GM divisions followed suit and used the Corvair platform to create some very cutting edge cars. Pontiac used rope drive and a rear transaxle on the Tempest to achieve 50/50 weight balance. Buick brought out an aluminum V8 and later the first domestic V6. Oldsmobile had turbocharging.

Chrysler made such a big commitment to the compact issue that they created an entire new 'line' called the Valiant. Chrysler only kept the 'new division' for one model year and then absorbed the Valiant into the Plymouth lineup. But by creating a new division Chrysler announced their intention to create something dazzling and new. The Valiant used a slant 6 engine with an angled cylinder bank to create room for very long straight runners in the tradition of the Ram Chargers. The fuel air mixture was optimized before entering the engine and hence more power and economy was wrung out of a smaller engine.

Ford decimated GM and Chrysler in the compact sales race by ignoring the imports and their radical engineering and simply making a smaller copy of a typical domestic vehicle. The Falcon was a conventional simple domestic car that just happened to be smaller and cheaper to buy. Chevrolet learned this lesson and spent as little time as possible in developing the Chevy II which was a combination of Falcon clone and Chevrolet miniature.

The Chevy II appeared for the 1962 model year and began to sell briskly. The Nova name designated a higher trim level of the car. 1963 marked the addition of the Nova SS option but without V8 engines this was not a musclecar. Once the 1964 Chevelle came out doing gangbusters in sales, the Chevy II was given the V8 283 to cater to a wider customer base. 1965 was the first year the factory put a 327 into the Chevy II and it made for a crazy fast little car. The top 327 with 300 HP made for a power to weight ratio around the magic 10:1. The majority of Chevy II buyers were not interested in muscle cars but just basic transportation and that is what Sister D has with her Nova.

Back when Sister D's Nova was new the MSRP for this car was $2,195.00. This was a small economy car built on a 110 inch wheelbase, 182.9 overall length. The interior is tight with only 55.3 inches of shoulder room. The AMA specs say the curb weight is 2,770 pounds (shipping weight is 2,645 pounds). Even the V8 version of this car only weighs 2,935 pounds with the 283 installed. The Powerglide automatic transmission adds 17 pounds, power steering adds 28 pounds, power brakes add 8 pounds. Radios add 7 to 9 pounds depending on whether they are manual, pushbutton or AM/FM. Even a 'loaded' Nova doesn't weigh very much.

In base Chevy II configuration the standard 153 cubic inch 4 cylinder one barrel produced a measly 90 HP. The Nova came standard with a bit more power from a 194 cubic inch 1 barrel inline 6 cylinder that pumped out 120 HP. The next option up the ladder was another inline 6 with single barrel carburetor but at 230 cubes it managed 140 HP. The 283 or 327 in this car made it into a very quick car.

with 6.50x 13 tires (the base Chevy II made do with 6.00x 13). The Nova Super Sports (both 6 and V8 models) rode on 14 inch rims as did all the other Chevy II V8 cars.

Sister D's Nova VIN 511569O08788 decodes as:

5= 1965 model year (note that the usual VIN pattern is to begin with a 1 for Chevrolet but the Canadian final assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario scrambled up the order of digits).

1= Chevrolet

15= Chevy II 400- Nova model (inline 6 engine)

69= 4 Door sedan

O= Oshawa, Ontario final assembly plant

08788= sequence number


Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 September 2014 20:37 )