Dean’s 1970 Nova Super Sport L78

Built From The Ground Up

Dean’s 1970 Nova Super Sport L78

This is one of those cars you spend a while staring at when you visit the local cruise night. It doesn’t catch your eye because of big, shiny rims or a polished blower poking out of the hood. But to anyone with an interest in real factory muscle, this little Nova really stands out from the pack.

For those who may not be Nova history buffs, here is a little lesson on Chevrolet’s infamous L78 engine from this Nova’s owner himself:

“The L78 was released in 1965 for the Corvette and full size cars. It was originally listed as making 425 HP at 6400 RPM in 1965. Then the L72 came along and that made 425 HP at 5600 RPM. So the L78 was dyno’d and became a 375 HP motor at 5600 RPM. Because of insurance concerns and marketing issues, General Motors Corporate policy resulted in the advertising of the lower RPM rating resulting in the decrease from 425 HP to 375 HP as a running change for all models except Corvette. The L78 was released for sale in the 1966 SS396 Chevelle in March 1966 with a rating of 375 HP due to this lower RPM rating as well as somewhat more restrictive exhaust manifolds; it was otherwise identical to the 425 HP ’65 Corvettes. This arrangement gave Chevy two distinct levels of HP they could offer the public.

In April of 1969, Hot Rod tested a stock L78 automatic Nova, and recorded a best 1/4 mile time of 13.87 @ 105 mph.”

Now that’s muscle (and right from the factory)!

Only 3,765 1970 Nova SS L78’s were produced and a mere 800 automatic rolled off the assembly line, making this a true collector car. Dean’s car was built on September 12, 1969 (a very early 1970 model) at the Willow Run Factory. It wears a Fathom Blue paint scheme and a black interior with bucket seats, console, and an AM/FM radio. It still bears its original L78 engine, TH400 transmission, and 3.55 Eaton Posi rear. Apart from one repaint, this Nova is completely unrestored with barely 68,000 miles on the odometer.

Ground Up Parts Featured In This Build

1962-1979 Nova 14 Inch Air Cleaner Lid With Die Cast Emblems, 396, 375 Horsepower

Part #: ACQ-396-375
big block air cleaner

$155.00

You Save: 14%

1962-1979 Nova Big Block Chrome Valve Covers Tall Without Left Side Slant

Part #: ALS-1065XT
valve covers

$89.95

You Save: 10%

1970-1972 Nova Grille Emblem, SS

Part #: TK-8871
ss grille emblem

$49.99

Best Price Available

1970-1974 Nova 396 Fender Emblem

Part #: TQ-409
396 fender emblem

$28.99

Best Price Available

Shop our huge selection of Nova Parts!

1962-1979 Nova Parts

We want to see your Built From The Ground Up Ride!

Submit your car to be featured here!

Share this car with your friends!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

More Articles From Ground Up SS396.com

jim's 1974 nova
Nova

Jim’s 1974 Nova Custom

This 1974 Nova was given to Jim from Julie, a close friend of the family who he will always treat as his second mother. Julie purchased the car brand new

Read More »
1969 Chevy Nova
Nova

Michael J’s 1969 Chevy Nova

Chevy Novas Run In The Family Michael’s first car was a Chevy Nova, and coincidentally so was his wife’s. When the pair spotted this 1969 Nova sitting forgotten in a

Read More »
Ryan m's 72 Nova
Nova

Ryan M’s 1972 Nova

Both Ryan’s mother’s and father’s first cars were Novas, she had a 1972 Nova and he had a 1975 Nova. When Ryan was just nine years old his dad got him a

Read More »
ashraf's 1970 nova
Nova

Ashraf’s 1970 Nova

Roosevelt High School’s 1970 Nova – The Coolest School Project Ever! “Men who get kids interested in cars and racing safely are good.” -Ashraf Ashraf, a teacher at Roosevelt High

Read More »