Ken Salter is a native of Nova Scotia, Canada- one of the parts of the world where they salt the roads. One of the banes of classic cars, the original owner of this Flame Orange 1972 Nova SS, a notoriously picky man by the name of Mr. Stacey, left the car preserved for years—never removing the original plastic seat covers for some years but still removed every bolt and screw he could find to oil and grease it up as to prevent rust. Despite the locale of this car, it was kept mint- we have to say the obsessive attention to detail and perfectionism paid off.
The year was now 1985, Ken Salter owned a 1963 Nova at the time, when rumor came ‘round that Mr. Stacey was selling the car. After seeing the car once, Ken told Mr. Stacey that he’d buy the car then and there, but rather than bills changing hands, what ended up happening was a trade- Ken’s ’63 for the ’72 SS. Ken had it repainted the stock Flame Orange hue to keep it looking nice and changed the tires- when he’d bought the car, it still had Wide Oval bias plys on it then.
Taking a page from Mr. Stacey’s book, Ken did his best to keep the car original, using only GM Replacement parts and fluids. Things were great and Ken made many memories in the car and even drove the car to Ontario for the Canadian Street Car Nationals in 1989. In 1990, Ken got married and he and his new wife soon found themselves parents to a beautiful baby girl. Like many of us have to, it was time to grow up and the Nova was sold. The car went to the other side of the Canadian province.
For 10 years, Ken didn’t see that Nova, figuring he’d never see it again—and for 10 years he regretted selling it. Then, after finding some old insurance documents with the car’s VIN on it, on a whim on a vacation to Cape Breton Nova Scotia, Ken decided to give finding his old Nova a try. A call to a cousin at the Police Department revealed the car was in Shelburne Nova Scotia as well as the new owner’s name.
After working up the nerve, Ken called the phone number and spoke to a lady who confirmed that they indeed had a Nova, but it was not for sale. After missing it for a decade, Ken really couldn’t take no for an answer so easily and called back 2 weeks later, and this time the lady told him to call her husband and work and talk it over.
Needless to say, it wasn’t long after that when the 1972 Nova SS found its way back into Ken’s hands, having bought the car for the second time. It took another 10 years to restore it to the way it had been thanks to quite a few orders to replace the items that were showing the car’s age.
His hard work paid off, and after 10 years the car was back on the street, Ken entered a car show and immediately took first prize for the 70’s category and Ken’s never looked back. Many of Ken’s friends told him they’d never heard of someone buying a car twice—and we have to echo that sentiment. Once sold, cars (especially the ones you love most) never seem to find their way back into your hands.
Now, here’s where things get really interesting. Ken still lives close to where he originally bought the car and Mr. George Stacey is still a local resident. After restoring it, Ken brought the car ’round Mr. Stacey’s place and tells us George was quite excited to see the car again.
Ken has the original papers for the car, and George was kind enough to provide Ken with photos of the car when it was new. We have to say that Ken is one heck of a guy—as you might imagine, Mr. Stacey is getting up there in years and lives alone these days, so Ken stops by every so often with the 1972 Nova SS to chat and go for a ride and Ken tells us he and Mr. Stacey are great friends today.
Ken tells us he isn’t a millionaire per se, but if there is one thing, we can be sure of, it’s his dedication to this car and plans to keep up on it. As long as he doesn’t sell it again, we reckon this 1972 Nova will be around for a long time to come, wrapping up this amazing tale of lost-and-found.