Rubbish Cars We Love: Vauxhall Nova – Means ‘Doesn’t Go’ in Spanish. Figures.

NovaThis car really is rubbish. The biggest little bucket of bolts ever to grace the urban causeway, and yet we love it. Just.

The Vauxhall Nova appeared all brand new and sparkly in 1983, though it’s much better known as a second-hand jalopy, often parked somewhere near an all-night newsagent.

It’s sad, as once upon a time the Nova was driven by kids cool enough to own a pair of British Knights, but now it’s almost exclusively favoured by the ‘mod car’ crowd. Those apprentice chavs who can’t seem to wait to crash their stolen widowmakers into a bottle bank round Tesco’s car park.

The mod (modified) car scene has swept over Britain’s quiet cul de sac’s like a toxic plague. It’s also referred to as cruising, which makes us feel quite old at hecklerspray, because cruising meant something quite different in ‘our day’. It was illegal back then too.

The Nova is undeniably king chav in mod world (the ‘Novadose’). Frequently adorned with a vast array of skirts, spoilers and Day-Glo stickers, the once semi-proud Nova name has been reduced to laughing stock amongst anybody old enough to vote.

We’ll ignore this fact for now and just concentrate on the good old days. Let’s call them the early-nineties. Reservoir Dogs had just done the rounds, U Sure Do continued to rule the clubs, and we were all still embarrassed to buy condoms.

If you owned a Nova back in the day you had proper street cred. If you owned an SR model in red you could have had sex with anybody you wanted. Only a Peugeot 205 XS got you more action.

The Nova was an unsettling driving experience. Set low down, it felt as though someone had torn the seats out and replaced them with gym mats. The gear change belonged in a forklift truck, and let’s not forget the interior design. The 1.2 litre’s (much used) wine cloth and matching carpets evoked the feeling of a 1970’s Ford Mustang, but without giving the driver any sense of self worth whatsoever.

The brakes were never happy to stop unless an announcement was made a good two minutes before a junction. It didn’t matter though. Bang, crash, wallop, you got a ding and you travelled on regardless. The Nova’s brisk acceleration came in handy on such occasions, so long as you kept all on-board passengers to a bare minimum. One, preferably.

Normally in this feature we like to dig out some claims to fame about our chosen car. Something akin to "Ewan McGregor drove a Nova around the set of The Island", or "Johnny Depp bought a Nova for his wife’s birthday". But to be brutally honest, we’ve come up a bit short this time. Unless you consider Sean Bean apparently driving one before he got the Lord of the Rings gig to be in any way impressive. No, thought not.

It’s not a famous car, the Nova. It’s not loved by anyone much – even its owners if truth be told. There are a few websites around dedicated to attaching exhaust pipes bigger than barrels to its rear end, but they’re all run by people who can’t leave the country without it infringing on their ASBO. That doesn’t count as love, more like misguided glorification.

If any car’s reputation was ever built on rose-tinted memories it’s the Nova. Memories and those three spoke hubcaps that can still look okay in the right light, or strategically placed shadow.

If we had more cash than our £2.78 lunch money we would definitely buy a Vauxhall Nova. If only to enjoy burning out the clutch on the way to the scrapyard – assuming of course its after-market New Delhi tyres don’t just evacuate the road on the first wet roundabout.

Get yourselves on the other side of this link to see what eBay’s got to offer on the Nova front.

Our choice for the week is a faded blue 1992 model with service history and electric windows. It starts at just £50.00. Though don’t blame us if it ends up killing you.

If you’re still struggling to take the plunge, then this little tale of misery won’t help seal the deal…

In 1993 a woman from Pontefract only managed to park her Vauxhall Nova after eight hours and fourteen minutes of trying. This is despite having a whole 63ft to manoeuvre, which is roughly equivalent to three parking bays. She also crashed into two lampposts, a shop front and two adjoining cars in the process.

She was absolutely a crap driver, but if you want to discover just how little help she got from the Nova you’ll have to go buy one and find out.

[story by Chris Laverty]


  1. Burlington says

    Huh, don’t think I’ll be trying soon. I’m very proud of the fact I’ve never owned one of those shitheaps; I mean, why would anyone have ever chosen to buy one? You’ve really opened my eyes there.

  2. OLas says


  3. says

    for all you fucking numbnuts out there i know a few novas that would kill any of the shit tips you losers drive. keep playing with your tails whilst im shagging your mrs or mother/nana.

    Thanks =D

  4. says

    where could i buy the molds to re create new nova shells or where could i find someone to create them for me cause i know they stopped makin them ovbiously bit i would buy a new shell if someone could make it through propper law methods!

  5. Dimi3 says

    Hi there folks,

    I have an opel corsa A, just like the nova. Well…I bet to you all mother fuckers that no ass hole (talking about you) can eat corners like I do with my Cosra A. just to give a tip thats all.

  6. Iceman says

    Love these guys claiming that they’ll beat us all in their novas/corsas…. You’re probably the same guys I left eating my dust on my Suzuki GSX-R750 K6….

    Cars are for girls :-)

  7. Dimi3 says

    EErrr… mmmm. You are compering a bike with a car !!! (come on thats bulling)
    ehhhh all I can say that is a yamaha R1 was beaten by a 911 turbo!!!!

  8. Novadex says

    I have owned a few Novas, i didnt go out and perchess my second because the first one was shit… Ive a owned a few newish cars but none have come close, i hardly have any problems with my car apart from general wear and tare. i take it you have owned a few Novas to come up with such a detailed slag off Chris???

  9. says

    Funny and nicely written.
    Ahh the good ole Nova, I have never come across a car that provokes such strong responses from people. They are a Marmite car. You tend to either love or hate them, people mostly hate them though.

    The chavs & boy racers have mostly moved on to other cars now. Although a fair few remain.

  10. says

    WTF? I challenge you to a dual!!!!
    I bet i can loose you on all corners in my nova, yes some are tips chavved up to the max with there “max power stickers that add 10bhp” on them!!!
    But for the people that really spend money on them where it counts it is a great car to drive and own. My Nova has never once let me down which compared to my 205 GTI
    that snapped 4 drive shafts in as many months, The Nova is a legend in its own right!!!

  11. says

    What a biased, one sided argument you present Chris Laverty. Have you ever owned one of these cars? If so, I think you’ll find it comparable in build quality to anything else built between 1983-1993 for a similar price (think Ford Fiesta mk3, Fiat Panda, Peugeot 205, Austin Metro, Citroen AX et al). Depending on engine size, you will also find its performance similar to cars of this era with similar sized engines, the 1.2 may not be fast but it was never intended to be. The Vauxhall Nova was, and still is, a cheap car to drive, maintain and insure. It is mechanically bulletproof and when parts need to be fixed, they are readily obtainable and very simple to fit. This would explain why so many young people buy them as not everyone can afford an expensive first car. You can look at the other end of the specturm where people will spend thousands on a good Nova shell and all the ancillaries to make it into something which will shame cars 10 times the build price on the racetrack. Your quote “In 1993 a woman from Pontefract only managed to park her Vauxhall Nova after eight hours and fourteen minutes of trying. This is despite having a whole 63ft to manoeuvre, which is roughly equivalent to three parking bays. She also crashed into two lampposts, a shop front and two adjoining cars in the process.” Is perhaps a very weak ending to your ‘article’. It simply proves nothing about the abilities of the Vauxhall Nova.

  12. says

    It truely is a shame the poor Nova got adopted by most of britains effluent population (the comments posted above prove this beyond a doubt, badly spelt containing lots of abuse declaring that ‘their Nova will kill you from a set of traffic lights etc..) when the nova is actually quite a cool little car. Its got old enough now for there not to be too many good examples left (by good example i dont mean carrying 7 tonnes of fiberglass and a sunstrip with the word ‘Barry’ on it) and the shape is starting to be regarded more ‘Retro’ rather than ‘boxy’ lol I totally agree, the brakes were less than perfect, the steering wheel looks like an afterthought, wedged through the firewall at a ludicrous angle, offsetting it from the line of the pedals and drivers seat by almost 3 inches, an unsatiable appetite for rusting, even if kept in a dry garage, and suspension that would feel more at home on a car made of jelly. But start to modify the car (and again, by modify, i dont mean a spoiler bigger than the hoover dam and a front bumper that would shame a snow plough) and you realise the potential the car has over any other small car in my opinion. Nearly everything from the vauxhall range of the same era bolts onto it! A set of 2.0 ATE callipers from a Cavalier GSi and suddenly the Nova stops with a ferociousity a set of 4 pots would be proud of! A not so difficult engine swap, and a 150bhp C20XE can be nestled in the bay in less than a day giving more than enough poke, and a reasonably priced set of dampers with a modest drop, and low and behold, it goes around corners too! Take it even further and remove most of that ‘retro’ interior, and a weight figure of around 700kg is easily achievable. All this stuff can probably be sourced from a scrapyard, and you end up with a little car that is so unbelievably capable on a track day, that very rarely will you be overtaken by anything (which gets the Nova haters extremely wound up and resort to calling you a ‘Chav’ after you post videos of your exploits overtaking Nissan Skylines on Google Video.)

    In my opinion, anyone who says Novas are ‘shit’ are terribly misinformed, and have either only ever driven a standard one, or never driven one at all, and are drawing their assumptions from the huge number of badly modified Barry mobiles there are out there. If you saw a sierra cosworth with a sunstrip wider than runway 3 at Heathrow and a fiberglass bodykit held on with sellotape, you wouldnt automatically think that all cossy drivers were ‘twats’ would you? And I emplore anyone reading this to not take any notice of the badly spelt abuse from the Nova owners who have given the poor thing such a bad rep, and i suggest any disbelievers who think that im talking bollocks, should pop down to Castle Combe at the next action day, and find out for yourself how capable these little cars are.

    And by the way, i like the article :-)

  13. Ted says

    All those that complain about the brakes on a nova and the other driving habits your right. But hey if you can learn ho to drive its then not a problem. cars might be for girls but there also for those of us who dont dive up the outside of a que thinking we are clever and the trying to push into the front as soon as a lorry heading the other way apears. Ys theres a fair amount of chavs around with stupid tail pipes but they dont only have novas theres a fiar amount of other cars that look as bad. And one final thought how many 1980’s unloved cars cane you still get brand new spares for easily and off the shelf? Some companys must think its still worth the money to produce them and as mines 14 years old and done 150,000 miles without any major problems that arnt fair wear and tare you wont here me complainig about mine.

  14. john s says

    some nova’s suck. yes, but so does any car that isn’t looked after well or modded well.

    a decent nova will out run and handle modern cars on and of the track.

    Chris laverty you sound like a very sad twat with no life. are you still a virgin?

    and iceman (cool name for a gay biker) dont kid yourself we all know you ride a honda melody and your only hate nova’s because your sick of getting cut up by them. bitch!

  15. draper says

    funny article there buddy, i actually got the link from a nova website aswell !! as already said most people who own novas realise the rest of the world hate us (1 of the main reasons i like mine so much) but for sheer pound per smile per mile factor find me somethink better ?? youll find that most ‘enthusiasts’ have the same view of you regarding chavs aswell, give it a few years and the nova will be iconic and the saxo will be the new nova

  16. jamie t says

    i have bought a 1.2 nova flair today blue j 1992 plate hahaha for a run around car in the winter months were gonna be having! reading this did make me laugh, but there are some nova’s out there that are really smart with c20let engines from a calibra turbo! which must fly along the road! fair play to those people id love to do it to mine but unfortunatly mine has rust along doors etc so not worth the conversion! take care peeps

  17. novablond says

    i think my nova is ace 2be honest ive had it resprayed n kitted up n i love it, wudnt have anything else rite now.

  18. says

    There is only one comment that needs to be made about the Nova. Jack and Vera Duckworth had one. The true Grand-daddy and Nana of the Chavs. Nuff said.

  19. novachic says

    nova’s are the best an all i can say is that there is no car on this planet that can beat mine, some can look chaved out but if you mod em right you can ave a top car that will stun every1.

  20. Tempral says

    I have a company car…but I bought my 5th nova a month ago, y? Because theyre addictive, it’s hard to have as much fun in any other car and with reasonably basic mechanic skills there is NOTHING you cant fix or change yourself, a DIY’ers dream!

  21. Ash says

    Nicely put.

    I’ll agree, it IS a shit car by todays standards but it didnt stop me buying one and loving it! lemme put it this way… compare the nova to its competition back then.. the fiesta mk2? come on, be serious. the thing was a shit heap that rotted beyond repair within ten years. Citreon AX. awful to drive, ugly as sin, and so cheap a new piece of interior trim would come off in your hand every week! the 205 matched it for quality and entertainment value, but other than that, the nova pretty much stuffed the competition. but move forward ten years or so – the nova still beats most of the competition! compare a nova to a saxo. which would you rather have? same goes for corsa’s, 106’s, clio’s, etc…

    In the right hands, a Vauxhall nova can be a superb car. my mate used to have a Nova with a heavily modified C20LET engine a couple of years ago.. it was brilliant to pull up against a bunch of sniggering chavs in a done-up saxo at a set of traffic lights and then blow them away. awesome little motor.. lets just hope mine is something to be proud of when its finished!

  22. Mr Unicorn says

    Oh dear Chris, you seem to be incredibly misinformed, you say how bad novas are and chavs drive them, I’m a big fan of the nova and have owned more than one, i dont wear burberry or lacoste, yes i am a cruiser, and “back in the good old days” the law of cruising was exactly the same you dumbass, there was no law saying, you can’t sit on a carparkwas there?? yes i’ll agree you get people giving novas and owners a bad name, these people insist on having a straight through exhaust with a big bore and a dodgy bodykit while having a car full of fellow chavs while having a 1.2 in the engine bay, these people we (real cruisers and non chavvy nova owners) are all for getting these people tied to thier own towbars and a brick placed on the accelerator, and no doubt people will agree with me, as for the nova being slow, well due to its very easy mechanics, which i learnt most of my mechanics from, after a 1.4 engine conversion with port polishing and uprated carb, all done by me, it was quicker than the mazda 323 2 litre V6 i own now although this is down to the weight too, which would increase MPG, Novas are the best budget toy you can get and the engines are bulletproof, they are still to this day raced in Rally’s and on tracks, can you think of any other 20 year old car that is used for this regularly?? the only bad thing about the nova is the security bulnerablites it has, but that is all!i am sickened you wrote this bullshit and you need to be hit over the head, you obviously produce a very one sided argument which is pathetic, your not a reporter or anything of the kind, you can call yourself a fictional story writer at most, you obviously have never driven a decent nova or you are of the “Ford” genre in which case you need to make a story, id like to see you make the ford sound good in anyway, no doubt you’d insert quotes like “you can have it in any colour aslong as its black” to make it sound good. im wanting to buy my now third nova thats how much i think of them.

  23. babiee coley says

    MR.UNICORN …. I have just read your comment and i totally agree i hate the way people always moan at the youth today about sititng in a car park with your friends and mototrs there is no law saying no to this so i think people who moan need to just get over it and face the fact it has been like that for years and is not going to change xx so well said mr. unicorn

  24. A_Powers_26 says

    People mown at kids i agrree and the rich kids laugh at the novas however i am 16 years old and consiering buying a 1.2sri to drive learn and insure and mod for 3,000 to start off with simply due to the cheapness and cooolness.They were built as a small economical car however uses change over the time and know they are the ultimate car for the young talented and tastefull driver who wants to look good and leave others looking at their max power sticker in the distance in their 8,000 new hatches from the show rooom . Let me knwow your veiws

  25. says

    Well for starters chief they didnt make a 1.2 sri so ull b doin well if u find one! unless u meant to put 1.4.

    For all you nova lovers/haters out there, just letting you know im currently on my 6th nova , its a 1.4 sri standard item that i take to many shows and it gets lots of attention.
    I also have a 1.2 merit+ with a c20xe engine sitting snugly under the bonnet wich i am yet to find many things that will beat it in a str8 line, absolute quality when pulling up next 2 the likes of scooby drivers who think they are the boy!

    Novas are without doubt a decent motor from their time and still today the sri and gsi models have the looks and a higher spec than many small hot hatches!
    As for chris and his slating of the nova all i can say he is yet to come across one which hasnt bin drivin by the chav nextdoor.
    Get ureself down to performance vauxhall show this year at pod and u will see wat novas are all about!

  26. mr novataken says

    why does everyone hate novas?

    yeah ok they are a twoc’ers delight and its rare that you see one that hasnt got an exterior made purely from fiberglass and got 5 heads with caps on bobbing around inside, but the fact remains that there a cheap little car!
    they perform well for the price you can get hold of one for, i agree with lee, you can do just about do anything you like to these cars, be a an engine conversion, to changing the complete brake set up, ive bought one recently and am more than pleased with it an am looking forward to the project i bought it for!

  27. says

    i think novas are well built and the motor lasts, i mean look you still see novas going about. yeah they maybe moded but i admit some of them do look nice, i think my nova looks brill yeha i do race alot around town and yeah i do have 6 sub woofers in the boot with 4 amps. and i do listen to rnb and drum and bass, so what. i have the nova 13 sri with twin turbo and waste gate refrub engine and it does fly around, in all totaly i have spent around 5k on the car its self, but then again it does have 300bhp. some people might call me a chav or a boy racer but no i mod cars up for shows e.g ive been in fast car and maxpower ive been to halford car shows and been on pink. but no matter what i think my nova would beat any other car on the street today i mena i have raced a nissain skyline gtr r35 and thought i was going to lose but no i won in the end. and yes i did get my car for only around 200 but to insure the car and extras its only 1.220k thats all. think about what i ould be paying for a new car for a lambo ect ect. so get this in to your minds the novas are the tits of a car, yes theres other better car that do look nicer and sometimes i do think why i still have my nova but then i tihnk about the fun and rep ive got in my town for it. so think about it the novas are the best old time car you can mod or even keep standed

    thanks craig

  28. sweeney says

    whoever made that pile of shit up i just wasted my time reading obviously does not no a thing about cars because for very little money you can get a 2.0 turbo engine out of a calibra and put it in a nova and they can be tuned to 500bhp+ which would kill anything that tries race it at the lights. just take a look on and type in nova turbo and watch the videos of novas beating 50,000+ cars like the bmw m3. i respect everyone who drives a nova except the dik heads that just put a huge exhaust on a 1.0 or try racing one around corners you’ll soon be smoked. my mate had a standard 2.0 turbo nova and beat a subaru impreza wrx sti from the lights….and i mean anhilalated it you should have seen his face! take a look on aswell for cheap and good looking novas

  29. sweeney says

    and to that twat that finks an escort will piss on a nova haha i bet even a cossie would struggle to keep up with 2.0 turbo or 2.5 v6 nova

  30. says

    haha the way to make a novar good is to put a 2ltr engine in and put a smart not tacky body kit on nd that guy abouve sounds very much like a tosser

  31. Gilbert Wham says

    “and they can be tuned to 500bhp+ which would kill anything that tries race it at the lights.” Shortly to be followed by you being killed as you torque-steer into a tree. 500hp is a lot through a FWD econobox drivetrain is it not? Now a Lotus Carlton on the other hand…

  32. JoelB says

    Me too! I love crap cars me!

    Niki 650
    I’ve been the proud owner of Niki 650 (that’s 648cc of twin cylinder power for you losers, somewhat less than my BMW K100 road bike).
    And taken it from Tasmania to Queensland (around 3000km) and actually got home.

    Lada Niva
    I’m currently the proud owner of a Lada Niva, lots of power with a Weber Carb. Unfortunately, I’ve also got a Geiger counter… (ooh! an ellispis)
    Yes, you guessed it, the gearbox is radioactive. Ex-Cherno? Whatever, I don’t rest my drinks on the centre console anymore.

  33. Shiru888 says

    i drive a ’92 Nova Merit and i haven’t had a single problem with it since i’ve had it!

  34. Dannyboy21 says

    A Vauxhall Nova is a corsa with a different bodyshell, they might be the nicest looking car in the world as standard, but can be made 2 luk good, and not only “chavs” drive novas, so basiclly tht all that up there just proves ya talk shit and dont know your cars, I own a nova and do car bodywork as a job, so im not a novice, as you obviously are.

    much love.

  35. dbnpr2 says

    mr gsxr man put it back in the cerial box get a fuckin car you lame little twat bikes suck you can race my nova any time you feel man enough what a bunch of losers

  36. coatseynova says

    Anybody whom dares DIS a nova needs stringing up!!! The NOVA along with the PUG 205 and many other hot hatches are a symbol for modders all over the world .They are NOT for Little rich kids .Chris Laverty who the F**k are you to slag of such a car . CHAVHATER WHAT DO YOU DRIVE ? ARE YOU A LITTLE RICH KID THAT HAD HIS CAR AND INSURANCE PAID BY MUMMY AND DADDY.

  37. Luke G says

    Nice one Danny boy!!! You tell those pathetic people, it depends who has done the nova up, its like any car if you put nasty sh*t on it, its going to make the car look crap, whereas if you keep it as basic as possible ie sideskirts, lowered supension and a good paint job it looks beautiful! SO NOW NOW CHAV HATERS DON’T WORRY YOURSELVES, GO AND LISTEN TO SOME DEPRESSING MUSIC AND HAVE A LITTLE CRY

  38. who dares wins says

    a nova is a gokart like the advert sed back in 1990s its like its on rails!! they are really nippy and the engines are bomb proof and really easy to work on but then again i suppose most of the people slagging them off havnt seen a nova with a c20 let in it and im sure spending 10 grand on somethink you consider fast would never give you the buzz that a nova would vauxhall should still make novas imagine nova VXR with paddle shift gears hmm i wonder if the mountings are the same as a c20xe……

  39. H says

    Ive owned 6 novas and in my F reg one was up and down the motorway, one trip was approximately 400 miles with no problems. I have always had standard 1.2 merit versions and had bodywork repairs, delocked them, good alarm, lowered suspension and a gsi kit.

    If they are soooo rubbish as people say how come 5 of my Nova’s got stolen?

    They are nice looking cars and admittedly the brakes are spongy and the suspension too high but if you fit better brakes such as mintex and lower the suspension they are very nice to drive. I had great fun but then I got married!!!! Oh I forgot to mention Im not a chav and Ive had 6. Great cars and look the business!!!

  40. says

    These comments take me back to the early days of the skoda,Ive just finished recommisioning an 86 12 nova ,which both of my daughters had as their first car,as they moved on they left the car with me to scrap or whatever.As it was such a reliable car I decided it was too good to scrap so i decided to do it up to use as a runabout cos its cheap,easy to work on,no complicated electronics,and by the looks of it Im gonna have fun pissin everyone off.The only thing I find crappy is the thin plastic dashboard which would make Clarkson throw up..other than that I dont know what some of you are getting uptight about,then again,being an old fart,i don’t have to prove myself ..

  41. says

    Novas are simple and basic, and thats a good thing nowadays as you dont have to pay ridculous servicing charges like you do with beemers and modern stuff that the average DIYer cant touch. Everyone that says they’re shit cars have clearly never owned one. The days of chavs with neon light and jap bodykits have thankfully gone and the rest of us nova enthusiasts own them as they’re simple to get big power out of with a simple engine conversion. The majority of std novas were crap as they were designed for nipping around town, obviously if you get some knob cheese trying to stop suddenly on std 1.2 brakes it wont happen.

    Novas were given a bad reputation years ago by chavs and most people dont realise that chavs drive saxoz and corsas nowadays so get over it! Yes novas rust but your average one is 20 years old now so what do you expect, what they make up for is dead reliable mechanicals and the fact that there cheap to buy, run, maintain and modify pisses off most chavs as there french 106s or saxoz are always going wrong.

  42. says

    Chris Laverty, I think you were a few years too late with this report.

    You will not find a Nova on every street corner anymore, as they are becoming an enthusiast’s car. Good shells are getting thin on the ice and many are being deployed as track and show cars.

    That report was sligtly pathetic to be honest!

  43. thedoc says

    Well its a couple of months now since i gingerly put the nova on the road and its running fine As you say Bo Lee ,theyre getting to be quite rare and the chavs have moved on.Ive only seen one apart from the one used by my newsagent while his Volvo was being repaired…even he says he cant bring himself to part with it as its simple and reliable…so for now its my runabout,its standard apart from a black and silver two tone body,bit of an SRI copy only because I had to replace the sills so I couldnt resist the two was only intended to be temporary transport while I sorted something but Im getting quite fond of it so Im havin fun at the minute…will let you guys know if I decide to move it on….

  44. nova_owner says

    Oh haha how misguided and possibly slanderous that post was Chris.

    BTW get your facts straight, Nova does not mean “does not go” in spanish, the term “no va” does however.

  45. says

    The vauxhall nova has had its day and in the eyes of most sane, mature, respectable, succesfull, mortage owning, family people, etc etc it does tend to look a bit “chavvy”

    But I can asure you that if you fancy being a of the opposite of anything in that list above or perhaps want to experience something I garantee is truly amazing then a mod’d nova is right up your ally.

    So cheap to buy and ok to insure. Once you spend a few quid on 2nd hand(or brand new parts) bucket seats…new steering wheel…rip out all the interior…re-upholster the back seats…replace the suspension and swap a few of the standard engine parts from its “bigger” brother nova engines(or just dump a cavvy or calibra engine in it)…you will not believe how much fun it is…

    Check out for a few pics or nova’s im sure plus a whole load of links for performance nova website(check out some of the specs of the seriously tuned nova’s…they will really surprise you just how much can be done to the looks and performance)

    Anyway…I just wanted to add my own piece…ive owned a nova for 3 years…mod’d it severely (and been sorely hit by its tendency to rust) but have loved every minute of driving it and will continue to own one(most likely as 2nd car just for weekends or track days…yes i will own a sensible car aswell soon) for a few more years as I have become very attached to the kind of statement I make being seen in it.

    So please…before slating it you really should at least arrange a test drive in one…just check papers or internet sites for sellers that will alow a test drive or for track days with a supernova up for a test run(50 or 100 pound usually covers insurance for the test run)

  46. Cambo says

    I am a Nova owner and have always been a Nova enthusiast and i would just like to say to all the people that have just disrespected the Nova Get It Right Up Yae the nova is a excellent car Due to its shell shape can be modified in many different way engine bay holds a good size engine for those delicate transplants and interior although standard interior is rather unpleasant to the eye once recovered they are excellent seats. But most of all the driving of a Nova compares to no other in the dry holds like glue in the wet rear end like to slide but this is gd if you like this sort of thing and i must admit i do so once again to those who disrespect the NOVA GET IT RIGHT ROYALLY ROUND YOU AND F**K OFF


  47. barry says

    i am also a nova owner and totally agree with cambo if u diss the nova get it rite up yi ive got a c20 let engine in it and it will piss all over any modern car!!! THE NOVA PRAYER

    Our Father who doesn’t recognise any other car.
    NOVA be thy Name.
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Tyres will be done.
    On Earth as it is in Cookstown
    Give us This Day or SR, SRI, GTE, GSI
    And praise our NOVA
    for we would KILL those who TRESPASS against us.
    and lead us not into TROUBLE
    But deliver us from TRAFFIC BRANCH and SPEED TRAPS
    For thine is the 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 8v.
    forever and ever.

  48. dan234 says

    I have kept my nova GSI besides still owning a new car, it delivers the fun I need.

    I am sad that you slate a great car that helped many conmuters get to work as it was quite affordable in its time and very reliable. i FEEL ITS DONE A LOT FOR THE COUNTRY AND MANY FAMILIES

    People who dont have the skill to write new innovative stories or good literature, and just talk shit thats been said before to annoy others and insult randomly should really dissapear…

    I say leave the Nova alone to die in peace

  49. lostboy says

    Well im proud to say i own a Nova (currently a 1.2) and i got to say, even as a 1.2 it out accelerates most other cars on the road, and as for the only ‘chavs’ owning one, well id like to see a ‘chav’ own one and keep one going as there now retro cars and sell for a fair bit of money (for a well looked after one) the only people you will see driving a Nova are enthusiasts who know how to rebuild an engine/modify a car without sticking a stupid homo body kit on it, Nova’s rule, End Of

  50. Ironlung says

    ah, but did you have the 1.2 merit saloon?

    that’s why im hardcore. screw you hatchback freaks. the saloon prepared me for when they put wheels on sheds. still waiting…

  51. VTR King says

    Novas are absolutly diabolical. To those that say “my Nova will beat anything round a corner” My saxo VTR will roast any Nova round the bends and on the straights. Sheds on wheels. Just tonight i seen one catch fire, just cruised past in my VTR 😉

    saxp VTR for the win

  52. terence says


  53. JEFF RALFSON says

    i know some people hate em , but for me i love em , yes i was a boy racer when i was younger, and it was my first ever car the nova sr in white 😉 one thing i havent seen is stick some low profile tyres on em and you have a comfy go-kart, takes corbers like nothing out now.

    yes it broke down most mornings and had some truly horrific interior design, but my god i love the shape of it.

    i am the proud owner on a fiat panda (1988) so know i have no style whatsoever, but my god i still fantasise about getting another nova and a permanant mechanic to follow me 😉

  54. novataken says

    y’all chat bull my novaz a beast. i hav a 1.2 redtop it kicks out 138bhp. with a top speed of 128mph and 0-60 in 7.6 secs. the nova is the best hatchback eva built . it just depends wot u do to it. i mean iv had a new exaust system n air induction kit along with some 2.0 disk brakes of a monaro to stop it. altogether this car has cost me

  55. CA22 says

    I’ve got a black 4 door saloon (1.2) that was given to me by a friend for free… I probably wouldn’t have chosen it but needed a car, and I have to say it’s great. There’s nothing wrong with it (only done 38,000 when I got it 3 months ago… now 50) and it’s surprisingly nippy. Bit of rust in the wheel arches, and the back of the exhaust came off because of rust the other week (not while I was driving), but it hasn’t let me down yet. Mine doesn’t actually have an interior, just 5 seats – no door trim panels, no glove box – nothing, and can’t be bothered to buy one atm, I can’t complain about the interior looking crap! It really is great fun to drive too! My only complaint is that the chavs all seem to want to break into – they’ve damaged a door and ripped the lock off the boot. Bastards! Got a new lock set though :)

  56. schooly says

    If a Mexican automaker put out a car called “wontgo,” wouldn’t you laugh at it? “Nova” means “does not go” to anyone with two brain cells to rub together who speaks Spanish.