A while back, we told you about the “Heavy Chevy” Chevelle, a sporty-looking trim package that added things like a blacked-out grille and hood pins. But Chevy didn’t stop at the Chevelle when it came to adding a go-fast appearance option to its lineup.
Enter the Chevy Rally Nova.
Only available in 1971 and 1972, the Rally Nova package gave you SS style without the SS performance—and perhaps more importantly, without the Nova SS price and insurance premium.
The Rally Nova option was exclusively available on the coupe, and could not be ordered in conjunction with SS package’s 200 horsepower 350ci L48 V8 (though buyers could opt for the 165 hp 350).
In other words, it was all show with—maybe—a little bit of go.
Similar to the aforementioned Heavy Chevy Chevelle, the Rally Nova’s go-fast look was accented by a unique stripe package, rally wheels, a blacked out grille and rear panel, and body-colored sport mirror on the driver’s side. But the Rally Nova kit also meant that other options were eliminated, like some external brightwork and other shiny accents.
There was a small vestige of performance included in the Rally Nova package too, in the form of an upgraded heavy duty suspension.
If you like under-the-radar GM performance cars, you’ll probably appreciate this story: Pontiac’s Sleeping Goat, the GT-37.
We spotted this particular 1971 Rally Nova at the recent 2023 Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals. It is impeccably clean…
…but far from stock.
Remember how we said the Rally Nova couldn’t be ordered with any serious performance engine options? Well, someone remedied that by stuffing in a glorious 454 Chevy big block under the hood.
From what we could tell, it’s mated to a TH400 transmission, but alas we couldn’t track down the car’s owner to get the full scoop.
This specific car is also missing the Sport Mirror and the unique wheels that original came with the Rally Nova, so we’re not sure if it began life as a Rally Nova or is now a tastefully-done tribute car.
But it doesn’t matter to us—it’s super clean and all sorts of amazing, either way.
All told, Rally Nova production only ran from 1971 to 1972, with a little over 40,000 Rally Novas produced out of the 400,000+ total Chevy Nova models made during that timespan.
So seeing any Rally Nova is a rare example of a budget-friendly car with gobs of go-fast style—just don’t tell the insurance folks about the 454 lurking under this one’s hood!