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Thread: Nova article - Hot Car 1972

  1. #1

    Nova article - Hot Car 1972

    Hi all,

    A few months ago I used the Nova a few times on visits to my parents and left it parked in their underground car park.

    Soon after another resident stopped me to talk about the car and wanted to know every detail. I initially thought it was the usual Nova fascination/curiosity, but this went further.

    The gentleman (now of more senior years) had clearly been under the car, recognised the work involved and spotted many non VW modifications. Turned out he had been a motor journalist for various magazines in the 70's as well as an importer of Lotus cars, and involved in the racing scene.

    Next time the car was in the car park he managed to find me and Martha as we were leaving so he could see it running and check over the engine conversion.

    This week he had been through his archives and gave me a copy of this article, one I hadn't seen before. Interesting that at this stage it still wasn't called a Nova!

    I thought I would share in case others haven't seen this :-)

    IMG-4289.jpg

    IMG-4288.jpg

    IMG-4290.jpgIMG-4291.jpg

  2. #2
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Hi Jim - I uploaded images of this article on this forum some years ago (in 2012 I think). Although the original Photobucket images were subsequently lost, I have seen them re-published on the Internet since.

    Hot Car 1972 was the first published appearance of the Nova as far as I can tell, and as you say, there was no official name for the car at that time. The blue car is the original prototype, with the one-off cast alloy wheels that would only fit 5-bolt Beetle hubs. This car was driven to Stuttgart during the Winter of 1971 by Richard Oakes and Phil Sayers to show Hans Herrmann (then brother-in-law to Nova financier, John Willment).

    The magazine article asks the readers for suggestions for a name and I asked Richard some years ago if that is where the Nova moniker came from and he confirmed that it was! Apparently a schoolboy had suggested it. This all seems a bit Deja Vu because that is exactly how the 1960's Alfa Spider came to be named "Duetto", but later had to be withdrawn because the schoolboy in question had named the car after a confectionery snack item

    In the case of the Nova, named after a popular brand of Chevrolet of course. Although GM can officially claim first dibs on the name, I think it is more appropriate for our swoopy kit car, unless you take the South American meaning, "no va", which means, "doesn't go". One reason why Chevy sales were poor in Latin America...

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  3. #3
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** BlueNova's Avatar
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    Gosh, Jim ... that takes me back! I knew I'd seen it before ... I had a look through my old Nova stuff and found a copy of the same mag!! I'm not absolutely sure where I got it, but it might have been from Mike Abel who sold me the car around 1986/87.

  4. #4
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    Wow, great insight into the early days of the car and the Company - thanks for posting.

  5. #5
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  6. #6
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    I googled John Willment and I note his involvement with GT40s prior to financing the development of the Nova, and that he provided a workshop facilities to AAD in the early days of the company.

    I'm thinking that John must have offered more than just finance to the company, a man of his experience must have offered design and technical know-how as the Nova prototype was put together?

    ...Just thinking about the trip to Stuttgart back in '71, that must have been quite a ride in a prototype Nova!

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