High Tide: 1978 Chevrolet Nova Rally – Sold?

by | Jul 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

August 22, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

July 28, 2021 Update – The seller of this unique Nova just lowered their asking price from the original ask of $19,900 to an even $18,000.

The expression “A high tide lifts all boats” is a very suitable expression when it comes to classic cars, as the quickly rising prices of a certain car tend to lift other versions as well. A prime example is the Chevrolet Nova. As the late sixties and early seventies versions often now command $40,000-plus asking prices, we’re starting to see the late 1970s variants rise to new heights. Exhibit A is this 1978 Nova Rally coupe originally listed in July 2021 on Craigslist in Gill, Massachusetts (Springfield) and presented as a nicely detailed street machine for the current ask of $18,000 (it was originally listed for $19,900). Comparing that price against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool​ confirms the private seller has their Nova priced right in line with this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $19,500 after factoring in a sixty-five percent premium for the Rally Package and all of the luxury options rarely found on these cars.

For 1978 Chevrolet discontinued the one-year-only Concours trim to make room for the newly downsized Malibu. Consequently, the Nova Custom inherited much of the Concours’ exterior finery but lacked the stand-up hood ornament displayed by the Concours. Upholstery choices included all-vinyl or Edinburgh woven sport cloth/vinyl. More basic versions of the 1978 Chevrolet Nova had the same grille used during the prior two years while adding a gold-tinted Chevy bowtie emblem at the leading edge of the hood. For ’78 Nova was also available with Rally equipment, which included yet another front-end layout: a diamond-pattern grille with horizontal parking lights and black headlight bezels (basically the ’76-77 SS grille), plus triple-band striping and color-keyed Rally wheels. All Nova drivers faced a new dual-spoke, soft vinyl-covered steering wheel; the same one found in the Caprice and Malibu.

Any 1978 Chevrolet Nova could be ordered with a 250-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine, a 145-horsepower 305-cubic-inch V-8, or a 170-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V-8. Law enforcement agencies in 48 states were driving Novas by now, as the sales brochure boasted. Production dropped almost 100,000 for the model, to 288,000, making Nova the only Chevrolet series to show a sales decline for 1978. Sales of the Nova hatchback body style lagged well behind regular coupes and sedans, and base models handily outsold Customs.

We see this Nova as the perfect example for someone who either wanted or had a souped-up Nova during high school but who also wants the luxury of bucket seats and air conditioning when not playing stoplight dragster.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1978 Nova Rally custom, (1XY27), 350 CID Goodwrench engine 4BBL est 330HP, Muncie 4speed rock crusher close-ratio transmission, Hurst shifter, Eaton positraction rear with 411 gears, Magnaflow exhaust, shatterproof bell housing, cold air conditioning, tilt wheel, deep maroon metallic paint, cabriolet vinyl top, tinted windows, approximately 12,000 since build, tinted glass, Cragar mag wheels. This car runs and drives excellent, no issues, A real head turner/trophy winner. car is a 95 out of 100 points.

Do you have a Nova Story you would like to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!

  1. High Tide: 1978 Chevrolet Nova Rally – Sold?


  2. High Tide: 1978 Chevrolet Nova Rally – Sold?

    how many and what years did they make this body style of nova

    • High Tide: 1978 Chevrolet Nova Rally – Sold?

      Steven, according to https://novaresource.org/production.htm, Chevrolet produced 288,109 Novas for the 1978 model year. Of those, 6,903 were RPO Z26 models, better known as the Nova Rally, such as the car we featured here.


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