At long last, 1964 Chevy II Wagon returns to glory

The Nova nameplate is one of the more storied in the Chevrolet stable, as these cars have had many different looks over the years – some significantly better than others. Chevy got it right the first time, however, when they introduced the Chevy II line of cars. These attractive compact classic American cars were smartly dressed machines that looked like premium models without the high price tag.

The first Novas came in several different trim levels between 1962 and 1965, including the signature coupe, convertible, sedan and wagon models. This line was a hit critically – scoring positive reviews in such magazines as the Mechanics Illustrated, with review Tom McCahill describing it as a "small Mercedes-Benz" – and was a hot seller for The General, carving out a healthy slice of the compact car market going into the 1960s and 70s.

This Chevy II wagon was rebuilt by a Cool Rides Member Mike Zampier recently after it spent several decades bouncing between owners who showed the car varying degrees of love and care over the years.

The original owners weren't especially kind to this model, as it was basically treated as a workhorse for individuals with little interest in this car's potential to be a classic down the line. According to the cars identification tags, it was born during the third week of July in 1964 at Chevy's Norwood Ohio plant before finding a home where it served primarily utilitarian needs.

First there was the elderly couple, who pretty much only used the Nova for trips back and forth between the grocery store, then there was the Junk Man who treated this ride like a whipping boy, before ultimately falling into the hands of an adrenaline junky who outfitted the ride for weekends at the drag strip.

After years of abuse, this vintage ride was finally given over to a gearhead who saw this car's potential greatness. This owner  did his best to make this car more than just a heap of parts from the scrap yard by dropping a stock 350CI with a 350 Turbo hydromatic Transmission, as well as a host of body upgrades to make the machine come to life. However, try as this owner did, the time and money required to truly make this thing shine simply weren't there, so he ultimately sold the Nova to a Cool Rides member who could afford the investment.

Under the hood, the car got a new lease on life with a 383 Stroker and a 700R transmission to improve fuel economy. It was the cosmetic changes that made all the difference, however, as the car was outfitted with a host of new and refurbished paneling and other accents, and the interior was completely overhauled, including the installation of a wood-panelled trunk.

After a long journey, this car has finally found its way into the arms of a caring owner. Do you have a similar restoration story? Share it below: