Steve Mitzuk’s 1974 Chevy Nova was patiently waiting under the open sky of Montana in the spring of 2014. It was more than just metal; it was a real piece of American history, imbued with the patina of untold stories and the tenacity of a time-tested classic. The dependable chassis and long-lasting paintwork of the automobile were the unwavering proof of its legacy, a legacy that Steve was destined to play a part in. Over the years, Steve saved his money to fix it up the way he wanted, and the car deserved. A worldwide slowdown called COVID gave him the time and solitude, he needed. When the outside world went silent during the pandemic, Steve found sanctuary and meaning in his work on the Nova.
Steve saw more than just a car; he saw a companion for the back roads, a silent partner waiting for a second chance at life. He understood that this was the start of an epic tale. In his hands was more than just a car, it was a blank canvas that he would painstakingly rebuild into a roaring tribute to the classic Nova spirit. The transformation took place in Steve’s garage, a sacred space where the passage of time seemed to accede to the will of renewal.
This 1974 Nova Gets The Heart Of A Corvette
The Nova’s engine was the starting point for the restoration. The original 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder was an inline workhorse, but by this point, it was better known for its oil leaks than anything else. The car’s utilitarian heart had done its job and needed to be replaced with a new one. Steve swapped it out for a healthy 355 cubic-inch small-block from a 1977 Corvette.
This new organ wasn’t simply a muscle car replacement, it was a symbol of American might, reborn with aluminum heads, an Edelbrock RPM intake, and headers that roared their approval. A COMP Cams 268 XE cam was installed in the Nova’s new alloy-and-steel heart, giving the engine a distinct mechanical harmony. The aluminum radiator, Hedman headers, and 625 cfm Speed Demon carburetor all contributed to the Nova’s exceptionally strong comeback.
Steve’s self-help program for his Nova didn’t stop at the engine. Although worn and faded, the interior still proudly displayed the distinctive houndstooth design. He started designing a new interior, taking his time and paying homage to the past.
With each component put back together, the Nova became more than just a relic brought back to its former splendor; it became a connection between different generations. Steve’s family was excited to see the old car come back to life with a roar. They took delight in the realization of Steve’s goal and shared excitement in the rumble of its freshly rebuilt engine.
Steve’s Nova was now humming with unprecedented vigor, ready to take on the streets that had turned surprisingly silent. More than just a piece of machinery coming to life, it was a metaphor for enduring adversity and proving that beauty and innovation can thrive in spite of it.
The family cruises to the local A&W in the Nova quickly became occasions for multi-generational family fun. In the midst of the familiar sounds of rock and roll and the aroma of freshly cooked hamburgers and french fries, the Nova was the center of attention and the topic of many talks.
From its infancy to its rebirth, Steve’s Nova became an integral part of his life and the lives of people around him. The once-forgotten Chevy, now a shining symbol of Steve’s dedication, breathed new life into not only its own engine but the spirits of everybody who came into contact with it. A tale of rediscovery, family, and the eternal legacy of American muscle, Steve and his 1974 Chevy Nova’s journey continues as the tires roll and the engine purrs.
Let’s See Your Chevy!
We love to see other enthusiast’s rides, no matter where they are in the build process, finished, or if you’re simply enjoying them in their current state. All we need are a few photos and some information about you and your Chevy. That said, the more information and images you submit, the more we can show (and talk about) your car to the rest of our readers.
We’re looking forward to seeing what you are doing to keep the Chevy Hardcore lifestyle alive. If you want to see more cars built and owned by our readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all the pertinent information, so we can include it in our Reader’s Ride section. You can send your submissions to [email protected].