THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1970 Chevrolet Nova coupe owned by Charlie Staudter
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Chevrolet sold the hugely popular Nova from 1962 to 1979 primarily as an economical compact family car and yet it managed to find its way into the hearts of muscle car enthusiasts and racers across the country. Today, meticulously modified Novas can be found at Long Island car shows almost every weekend.
Staudter’s coupe boasts a 396-cubic-inch V-8 engine putting out an estimated 450 horsepower. It has a full race camshaft, Demon performance carburetor and a 10-bolt ‘Positraction’ rear differential. The chassis features front disc brakes, traction bars and frame connectors for extra support.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was advertised online by an upstate New York owner. “I retired from the postal service in 2011,” Staudter says. “My lifelong dream was to own a muscle car. So after I retired, I sold a beautiful Harley Davidson (motorcycle), added some money from what I got for the bike and purchased the Nova. The Nova is my retirement gift to myself.”
“The majority of the engine and body was completed when I bought it,” he says. “The restoration is a work in progress. I am currently redoing the interior.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
Staudter advises potential owners to have “money and patience . . . mostly money. It all depends where you want to end.”
“I paid $13,000 for the car,” he says. “I have put another $3,000 into it between interior parts and some minor mechanical work.” The NADA Guides places a “high retail” value of $28,800 on an unmodified 1970 Nova with an original 396 engine.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I grew up in the muscle car era,” Staudter says. “These cars bring back great memories of the ‘60s and ‘70s. During the summer months, I usually just cruise with a buddy that owns a sweet 1967 Chevelle. We do the local gatherings, mostly Broadway Mall (Hicksville) and Bellmore.”