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The 1974 Nova: The End For Muscle Cars?

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By Mark Weisseg

By 1974 it was all over. The fast muscle car world had gone over the edge. Regulations, insurance companies and fuel prices did in our hot cars. So, should we consider this 74 Nova a fast muscle car? Yes and No.

I know that sounds like a chicken way out but here is my logic. If you stand back twenty feet the car certainly looks good enough. It has that all important fast back look to it. The interior still had the qualities we liked back then. Then engines were generally V8 engines and looked mean enough.

However, the engines were choked off and the power was limited to say the least. Now the Yes side of the equation is that the car was still fun to drive and had the looks to get you by without dumping a lot of money. Even today the car holds its looks but our tastes have changed for horsepower.

I imagine someone would drop in a LS 1 or better engine and make this car come to life. It still is a light car so power to the wheels would be very good. In fact you might have issues with fishtailing if you do not address the very light back end. Another positive would be that the car would be a good entry level car for those who are not dripping in money.

Let’s face it. Our hobby has gotten very expensive. Nobody thought in 1974 that a ’69 Chevelle SS in the year 2016 would grab so much money. So, I have thought this through a bit further and given this car a thumbs up. It’s never going to be a high dollar car or a car people dream of owning. The car is a budget car. It’s a great first step into the collector car world and then maybe it’s a trade up vehicle. So, don’t snicker at this car yet. We all started somewhere.

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