Street Feature: A Rare Rally Nova Built For Show and Go!

The Rally Nova is a little known option that was only available for a short time and it ran in extremely low numbers. This particular Nova is a true, original Rally Nova and not a clone. It’s one of only 7,700 Rally Novas ever made. While it came from the factory with lots of cool additions to the look of the car, it was entirely an appearance package. This car came from Chevy with an inline 6-cylinder engine and a 3-speed, manual transmission—by no means a tire frying machine, but definitely a good looking car!

The Rally nova appearance package gave the car an entirely different look from the other options. You'd get the look of a fast car, but the insurance payments of a 6-cylinder.

This particular ’71 Chevy Rally Nova in a stunning deep red color belongs Chris Anderson of Puyallup, Washington, and he has had it for quite a while. “I drove this car the last week of high school,” he explained. “It was a father son project.” Chris and his dad spent a lot of time working on this car and restored it from the ground up, leaving only the upholstery stitching to be outsourced. “Over the years I’ve upgraded different things on it,” Chris explained. “It’s been a big family project.”

The Rally Nova package came with enhanced looks from the stripe kit, vinyl top, drip rail chrome, and even the driver side sport mirror. It did receive some minor performance enhancements that come from a heavy duty front sway bar and a rear sway bar, but that was about it. “It’s really an appearance package that wouldn’t make your insurance go up,” Chris explained.

The stock interior with the addition of the low-back, mini-headrest seats out of a ’70 and ½ Camaro is a really cool look that also adds some comfort to the car.

The motor has been in the car for 20-years now, and two winters ago Chris pulled it out and freshened it up. It’s a small-block 350 that’s been bored .30 over, balanced, and weight matched.

The small-block V8 provides much more power than the straight-6 that once lived under the hood of this car.

Chris also installed a custom high-capacity oil pan, port-matched and polished heads, 280 Isky camshaft, performer intake, and a 750cfm quadrajet carburetor. The transmission is a turbo-350 automatic and the rearend is an 8.5 inch 10-bolt with 3.08 gears. Although it wasn’t originally meant for speed, the Nova is now a force to be reckoned with!

The quadrajet carb is right at home on top of that engine and under that hood!

For additional interior enhancements, Chris has put in a B&M Street Bandit shifter, and the audio system has been upgraded to a 1200-watt stereo with a CD player and 12-inch subwoofers. The rest of the interior has remained largely stock. There is a lot to be said about the stock interior on a car like this – GM definitely had it right when they were doing their interior back in the muscle era. It’s just the right balance of function and form.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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