A Journey of Love: 1972 Chevy Rally Nova That's Still Running Strong

1972-Rally-NovaThis original Chevrolet Rally Nova was purchased new at Sunset Chevrolet in Sumner, Washington on June 13, 1972. This is one of only 33,319 built in 1972. It was purchased by my mom. She had told me, her at the time 19-year-old son and current owner, she was looking to purchase a new car and asked what I recommended. I told her that the Nova was a pretty nice car and recommended that she look into it. She headed out looking at new cars, and a few hours later she came back with a brand-new 1972 Mojave Gold Rally Nova with black vinyl top.

1972 Chevy Rally Nova with 383,000 Original Miles

I inherited this Rally Nova in 1989 with 78,000 miles on it and drove it as my daily driver for 12 years and upped the mileage to 300,000.
Restored it from 2001-2002 and repainted it white and replaced the engine and transmission with a GM performance parts ZZ4 crate motor and GM 700R4 transmission along with 3:42 Eaton posi- traction. Did more restoration in 2019-2020 adding air conditioning and restoring some interior upholstery for the third time as well as installing a Dakota Digital instrument panel with a few added modules.
Recently, with 83,000 miles and 21 years on the 700R4 and ZZ4 engine, the transmission had seen better days. The Nova's transmission has now been replaced with a 4L60E with HGM controller. The engine is still in great condition, but it developed a head gasket leak. I upgraded the cylinder heads with Chevrolet Fast Burn heads and a matching GM Vortec style intake manifold, in effect turning the ZZ4 into a ZZ4 350/385. The mileage is now at 383,000 miles.
I do all my own work with the only exception being the body restoration and paint. I disassembled the car and put it back together after the body work and paint. Also, the 4L60E transmission was professionally built, but I installed it.
My Rally Nova is still a blast to drive and occasionally race at the track even after driving it for 34 years. I go to lots of car shows and cruise-ins with it along with pretty fun road trips. My Nova turns heads everywhere I go, and it gets tons of compliments. Thank you mom!
Gaylon Nunn
Tacoma, Washington