AUGUST 2023: A 1975 CHEVY NOVA FOUR-DOOR SEDAN IS AN UNUSUAL CHOICE FOR ITS YOUNG OWNER

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A Chevy Nova with four doors is not typically owned by a car guy who has built some very impressive performance cars and bikes for a living over the years.

Furthermore, a mid-1970s domestic sedan in stock form was not known for its tire-melting power, mainly because legislative overreach had already killed horsepower in domestic cars.

Nevertheless, James Sawkins is a car guy from a younger generation and the proud owner of a 1975 Chevy Nova four-door sedan. James was born into a car guy family and heavily influenced by his dad, the former owner of the Nova.

James grew up with a wrench in his hand because his dad is a dyed-in-the-wool car who challenged and encouraged him to embrace the car culture. In fact, James recalled that his 16th birthday present was a car that arrived behind a tow truck and needed a lot of work before it was ready for the road.

Eventually James built a career in the bike and automotive performance field but was more than willing to buy the survivor ’75 Nova sedan from his dad. James’ dad bought the Nova to drive in the winter but was unimpressed with the car and sold it to James after two years of ownership.

James was impressed with the car’s local history because it was purchased at a GM dealership in Penticton, British Columbia, so it was able to avoid salt and ice because Penticton is situated in the Okanagan region and has a dry climate. The fact the Nova still only has 54,000 miles (90,000 kms) on its odometer is also a major factor in its immaculate original condition.    

Therefore, the Nova has most of its original paint, except for the paint used for the repair of a minor fender-bender. It is also a well-documented car that still has its original bill of sale that lists the Nova’s short list of options, including power steering and an automatic transmission.

James added a minor cosmetic upgrade when he replaced his Nova’s original hubcaps with 1979 Chevy Nova 2-door wheel coverings but resists the urge to make major changes to the survivor car.

In fact, James even wrestles with the idea of minor upgrades such as an EFI fuel system to replace the carb system and make it perform better on the road because he likes its originality. He has the ability and experience to convert the Nova into a monster street machine, but James respects the originality of his low mileage 1975 Nova four-door sedan and sees no need to alter it.

MyStarCollectorCar discovered James and his ’75 Nova at a spring car show, mainly because we were impressed with its originality and documented history. We had to track down James after spotting the Nova in the show and were surprised that a younger car guy with a strong performance automotive background would respect the history of his 47-year-old car and want to preserve it.

It is our opinion this 1975 Chevy Nova with a well-maintained history has a rosy future ahead of it.

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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