1968 Chevrolet Nova SS Michael from Wisconsin

The 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS is an old race car that everyone in his home town knew about or had at least heard of. Stories mingling fact and fiction filtered down from parents to children and peers to peers. Famous enough to have its own log book listing all the money it won in various races, this car was on the wall of every young boy’s room. To own it was a dream that seemed too good to be true. Born in 1972, Michael had heard the stories of this famous race car and along with other boys his age, idolized it.

At 14 years old, he bought his first car for $25 – then and there deciding that he wanted to know how cars work. He pushed it home, since it did not run at the time, and went to the library and got a book on how motors work.

Fast forward to 2015, and Michael and his wife went to a friend of theirs child’s birthday party, an event Michael was not exactly enthusiastic about attending. Upon arriving, he randomly bumped into another father and found out that he shared his love of cars. Through the ensuing discussion, he discovered that the current owner of the famed 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS lived in the general vicinity and rumor had it that he was considering selling it. He could not believe it! He knew everything there was to know about the car, down to the fact that it had sat in storage for years, the world having forgotten about it. Inwardly thanking his wife for bringing him to this party, he waited for the duration of the celebration, and upon leaving, called the current owner asking what his price was. The owner initially declined him, but Michael would not take no for an answer, and called him every day until the owner caved and let him buy it. Michael looked at it for 3 secs and bought it on the spot.

He marveled at how everything in and on this piece of history was 100% original. With only 6,500 mi total on the odometer, the car had miraculously remained untouched. Even down to the original endless line paint job gracing the sleek sides had been left untouched.

Knowing that he had stumbled upon a priceless gem, the only changes he made to the vehicle was strictly mechanical – the engine was not running right, so he replaced it. As soon as the papers were signed and the title showed his name boldly as the owner of the vehicle, Michael began to bring it to car shows, wanting others to be able to see and experience this piece of history. While at one car show, he found out that many people had tried to purchase it from the previous owner, but all had been refused. The reasoning? Michael promised he would never change it.

Hemmings Muscle Car magazine caught wind of the buzz revolving around this newly discovered, previously famous race car and immediately reached out to Michael hoping to do a photo shoot and feature him and his new car in their magazine. The writers loved it because of the story behind the race car. Excited and honored, Michael of course agreed. The date was set and when the day arrived, he arrived at the track to find that the original driver from 1968-1973 had come down to the track for the photo shoot as well as to meet Michael. Hundreds of pictures later, and an eight page article in the making, Michael returned home thrilled that fate had dropped this incredible piece of history into his lap – not only was he able to read about this vehicle in history, but he was now part of it. The sleek 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS race car still had some life in her, and now Michael was able to be part of the rest of her story.

Emilie Larned