After the rear-engine Chevrolet Corvair was outsold by the conventional Ford Falcon in 1960, Chevrolet completed work on a more conventional compact car that would eventually become the Chevy II. The car was of semi-unibody construction having a bolt on front section joined to its unitized cabin and trunk rear section, available in two- and four-door sedan configurations as well as convertible and 4-door station wagon versions. The 1962 Chevy II came in three series and five body styles—the 100 Series, 300 Series and Nova 400 Series. A 200 series was also introduced, but was discontinued almost immediately. The sportiest-looking of the lot was the US$2,475 ($23,944 in 2022 dollars Nova 400 convertible—23,741 were produced that year.
Available engines for the Chevy II in 1962 and 1963 included Chevrolet’s inline-four engine of 153 cu in (2.5 L) and a new 194 cu in (3.2 L) Hi-Thrift straight-six engine. All Chevy II engines featured overhead valves. A V8 engine was not available in 1962 and 1963. With no documentation proving it, the legend of a dealer installed V8 engine being in a 1962 or 1963 model year Chevy II is a myth. Refer to the GM Heritage Center 1963 Chevrolet Nova information available on the GM Heritage site. In addition, that documentation does not list a V8 engine as a possible dealer installed option.
In 1962 and 1963 the Nova option for the Chevy II was available in a convertible body style, and a two-door hardtop was available from 1962 to 1965, although the hardtop was dropped when the 1964 models were first introduced, but subsequently brought back to the line later in the model year. Like all Chevy two-door hardtops, the body style was marketed as the Sport Coupe.
For 1963, the Chevy II Nova Super Sport was released, under RPO Z03. It featured special emblems, instrument package, wheel covers, side moldings, bucket seats, and floor shifter, and was available only on the 400 series sport coupe and convertible. Cost of the package was US$161.40, equal to $1,542.77 today.
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