Chevy Nova - Did You Know?

Chevy Nova AC Kit

You might have seen this car countless times in movies, or your uncle had one in the ‘70s and 80s. But how well do you know all about the Nova? Test your knowledge with these quick facts about the popular classic muscle car.

There Are Five Generations Of Chevy Nova

Do you know that the Chevy Nova wasn’t just one model? It actually started in the ‘60s with the first generation Chevy II Nova and was produced from 1962 - 1965. The first generation had the Chevy II Nova SS, a super sports car that launched in 1963, with Chevrolet introducing the V8 in 1965, which had better horsepower at 195hp with a weight of around 2,500 pounds. The second generation was simply aesthetic enhancements of the Chevy II Nova, which was available from 1966 – 1967. The third generation Nova was the longest, 1968 – 1974, and had many modifications and enhancements. The fourth generation from 1975 to 1979 was Chevrolet’s attempt to follow stricter safety regulations, but it didn’t sell well during this era. The last generation Chevy Nova was from 1985 – 1988.

The Chevy II Nova SS

The Chevy II Nova SS that came out barely a year after the first generation Chevy II Nova, is the only convertible model of the Chevy II Nova and was available for only a short time. This car was the top choice of muscle cars in its era, and is still sought after today. Additionally, the 1967 Nova SS coupe was the only model with a console-mounted shifter, and the cars could either have a four-speed manual transmission or a powerglide automatic transmission. It is historically relevant for being the only model with this transmission choice, as other models had column-mounted shifters.

Chevy Nova Not Selling Because of the Name?

What about the myth that Chevy Nova didn’t sell well in Spanish-speaking countries because of the name “Nova”, which somehow was interpreted as “it doesn’t go” or “no go”? Well it simply isn't true. Car fanatics have debunked the old rumor and the myth is even mentioned on It actually did sell well in Venezuela and Mexico, and overall did decent sales in Spanish-speaking countries generally because fluent Spanish speakers know the difference between “Nova”, and “no va”.

No Other Car Inspired The Design

The Chevy Nova was completely original, the name “Nova” which means “new” somewhat suggests that concept. During the years Chevrolet made the Chevy Nova, there was no other car that looked like it in design. The unique design was inspired by Chevy's losses to Ford in the competition for compact cars. Chevrolet decided to pursue an ingenious idea, and in 1961 they rolled out the first generation of the Chevy Nova, the 1962 Chevy II Nova. Additionally, it is historical for being one of the fastest developments of a new car in GM, taking only 18 months for the Chevy II Nova to be produced after the designers initiated the work.

Chevy Had A Terrible Version of the Nova

With the 80s bringing consumers smaller, more efficient cars, Chevrolet teamed up with Toyota to produce a front-wheel drive compact car to badge as the Nova. It was produced from 1985-88 and was the ugliest model and a total disrespect to the Nova name. We bet that there isn't even a version of it around today that someone would proudly drive.

1986 Chevy Nova

Yenko Nova

Don Yenko, who was a muscle car expert, a car racer, and also belonging to Yenko Chevrolet, redesigned a series from Chevy Nova third generation. It is called the Yenko SuperNova cars, which were a total of 37 cars. Twenty-eight of the super cars had Chevy 427cid V8 engines, although they were later changed to 350cid V8 engines in 1970.

The name “NOVA”

Chevrolet didn’t put the name “Nova” on the Chevy Nova cars until much later towards the end of the ‘60s. It was simply known as the Chevy II until the name “Nova” was used to describe the Chevy II's highest trim level.

Nova Clones

Lastly, Chevrolet's success with the Nova led to the creation of the X-Body clones Oldsmobile Omega, Pontiac Ventura, and Buick Apollo. Put all the models together and what do they spell?


Got any other interesting Nova knowledge, please share with us!

What's the difference between the upgrade kits, and which one should I consider buying?

This is a common question that comes up when looking to troubleshoot your AC system and understanding which kit makes sense to solve your problem.  Tim took some time to explain the different kits and considerations when making your decision.  Check out the video below and learn how a kit can make a difference in performance and reliability.



Hey everyone, today I'm here with Tim with Classic Auto Air's Original Air and we're talking about upgrade kits so Tim tell me a little bit about the different upgrade kits and what I would normally get, so for example a stage one kit? Our stage one kit comes with the compressor, compressor mount, both of the hoses that connect to the compressor and the filter dryer or equivalent grade. And a stage two kit? Stage two kit would get everything in the stage one kit, plus the condenser and liquid lines. All right, and then I'm guessing everything is in a Stage Three kit? Yes, you get everything that's in the stage two kit, plus the evaporator and valves.

So Tim, tell me a little bit about these compressor upgrade kits. Why is this a performance upgrade? The main reason is that it's going to draw significantly less horsepower, two to four horsepower as opposed to the 15 to 20 horsepower that the original compressors drew. Great, I always like performance so anything else about it? Well, you can run them up high, high rpms about 6,000 rpms while the air conditioning is running, it's gonna turn the air conditioning off while you're maxing out. Awesome, what about reliability? There's next to nothing that's more reliable. The original compressors were plagued by shaft seal leaks, causing all the other problems associated with it. This is very nearly a bulletproof ompressor. So these condenser upgrades, what are the benefits of the condenser that comes with this kit? Well, most cars came with a tube and fin style condenser. They were great or the original R12 type systems but almost nobody uses R12 anymore. So what the new car manufacturers do is they go with a parallel flow condenser like this. They're all coming with 134a and this will actually make up the difference. In these original cars that we're dealing with, the 25 to 40% of efficiency loss, this condenser alone will make up that difference.

Great, and do I need to modify or do anything for this? Nope, just bolt in and install it just like the original. So on stage three kits that includes everything, a little bit more of an investment but why should I consider investing at Stage Three? Well, there's a number of reasons. The first is that you're gonna basically solve the majority of the problems that you're running into. An old air conditioning system that we're dealing with compressor failure, this is gonna solve it. Potential valve problems, this is going to solve it. All of the normal things that are going to happen over the course of the years these cars are out on the road, this will solve. It'll also eliminate every trace of contamination, and contamination by far is the number one cause of any component failure in the air-conditioning system.

When you're saying contamination, that's like going from an R12 to a 134a? No, it means oil, traces of a passed failed compressor or anything. Because it's contaminations like fragments that are going circulating through this system that get in the compressor and cause your valve reads to get damaged your compressor would even lock up and then once that compressor locks up, it starts to spread things out throughout the system. The dryer or the equivalent is designed to just help filter out some of that, but it's not going to filter out all of it and then your oil degrades. So for example, if you bought a compressor upgrade, stage 1 kit, you still need to make sure that anything you're reusing, the evaporator, the liquid line, the condenser, anything else that's in the system is clean and free of contaminations or you'll be replacing a compressor once again. Same thing even a stage 2 kit, the evaporator can still have contamination. So you get all this you spend $800 or whatever the kit costs, and your kit your air conditioning doesn't work and we find out well that the evaporator wasn't flushed out properly and now you have a seized compressor because the contamination from that compressor goes straight from the evaporator, through this suction hose into the compressor. You have a failed or contaminated compressor that's not pumping or sucking properly and you're calling us and saying, "My AC compressor doesn't work right", and it's because you had contamination in the evaporator. Besides that is the time down, additional parts I'd have to buy, all these things that I just spent initially and got the upgrade kit, the stage 3, because I felt like my system had been upgraded anyway or I've chased a lot of issues, this could probably solve majority of my issues, especially if I'm going r12 to 134a? It'll solve all of your conversion issues and essentially this is a conversion from r12 to 134a because there's nothing else in the system that will be affected by that, but it will save you the time too that you're not gonna have you playing the part of the mechanic who thinks that you have a bad suction valve, changes the valve, the system gets recharged and still not working and then you find out no it's this valve or that the compressor wasn't functioning properly, whatever the case may be. In one fell swoop, you have basically everything that holds refrigerant in your system replaced solving a good 90% of the problems, if not all of them.

Well if you have classic car and it's got the factory a/c system and are looking for reliability and you are looking for dependability, maybe some performance gains, that it just kind of makes sense to consider looking at one of these upgrade kits.

Car Show Theft Prevention Tips

Car Show Theft

Stolen. Not a word you would expect to say or think of at a charity car show, but thefts do happen at car events where many of us assume that others will respect our vehicle and property. Cameras, shift knobs, diecast models, rare literature, and manufacturer branded items are just some of the many things that get lifted from cars on display. It’s quite easy considering that almost all the cars are unlocked, windows are down and hoods are open as we share our pride and joy. To avoid the disappointment and anger that a theft can bring, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t Bring It – If your show car also serves as a daily driver, or you use it for trips and errands, consider cleaning it out before going to a car event. Your significant other or kids may have left something of value in your ride that you may not want to lose.
  • Backpack – If you carry a nice DSLR or video camera, keep a backpack handy and carry it with you while at a show or event. It’s also handy for throwing in snacks and drinks, and will make it easy if you decide to buy that part you happen to come across. If it’s not in the car, it can’t be stolen.
  • Lock It Up – If you are at a car show or car auction where you will not be within sight of your car for more than a few minutes, consider locking it up. This includes putting the windows up and closing the trunk and hood. Don’t take for granted that other car enthusiasts are as respectful as you.
  • Throw It In The Trunk – Most classic and muscle cars have a sizable trunk that locks. Use it! Just grab all your stuff and put it back there. An effective way to deter theft is to keep items out of sight.
  • Trunk Enclosure – A trunk enclosure allows for you to display your trunk openly, but has the capability of having all of your stuff hidden behind panels. Check out Alien Enclosures to see how they work and how cool it is to have a functional trunk without distracting from vehicle coolness.

Car shows are awesome and we love to share our enthusiasm and passion for cars with everyone. However, not everyone has the same level of respect for property and nothing can ruin an awesome day than to discover something has been removed from your vehicle without permission. Keep these tips in mind and may you never have to experience a theft at a car show event.

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Parallel Flow A/C Condenser

Seeking better performance from your AC system? Consider changing from your traditional tube and fin condenser to a parallel flow condenser. Modern condensers are more efficient due to materials used and increased surface area.

ac condensor

A little history on the automotive air conditioner condenser. Copper was the preferred metal used with R12 to allow for efficient heat exchange as refrigerant flowed through the system. Condensers were designed as one continuous tube wrapping back and forth across a plane to allow for heat to radiate away from the system. Although more expensive, eventually aluminum began replacing copper as a more effective way to provide the necessary cooling. From the tubes being made of aluminum, to also the fins manufactured from aluminum, ac systems continue to evolve.

Today, manufacturers utilize parallel flow condensers with R134a. Using multiple tubes rather than just a traditional single tube, parallel flow condensers maximize contact with the refrigerant to increase the transfer of heat away from the system. This allows the automotive air conditioning system to run even more efficiently than the tube and fin setup.

In summary, here is why you should consider investing in a parallel flow condenser as an upgrade to your tube and fin setup:

  • There is more metal surface area available for the refrigerant to pass over leading to more efficient heat exchange.
  • Our Parallel flow condensers are built to be direct bolt-in replacements of the OE unit – no modification needed on your car.
  • Refrigerant utilized can be either R12 or R134a, and is ideal if you are considering upgrading to R134a.

Here at Original Air, we manufacture our own line of parallel condensers that are direct/exact fit for your original factory AC system.


Auto Air Conditioning Evacuation: Not Just Testing For Leaks


At Original Air, we’ve heard plenty of stories of non-professionals troubleshooting AC issues for hours, only to find a simple mistake they had been making or overlooking. These cases always boil down to a simple piece of advice: if you are not a licensed AC professional, please do not evacuate/charge on your own. Going to a licensed professional is always worth it to ensure that the job is done right.
Now that we have gotten that bit of advice out of the way, we've also seen many cases at Original Air of even the most experienced car people who don't understand evacuation. Even licensed AC professionals could use a quick summary, so this overview is for anyone who wants a review or a general understanding.

  • There are three main purposes of an AC system evacuation: to check for initial leaks, to remove air, and to remove moisture.
  • Initial leak check: When you evacuate an AC system, the low side should reach a minimum of 28-30" Hg within a short period, if everything is in order. If that's not the case, you know something is off.
  • Removing air: This purpose of evacuation is essential to your AC system because there is only so much available volume within the system. Removing the air leaves room for the refrigerant and oil. Air removal also eases the initial charge of refrigerant into the system.
  • Removing moisture: Finally, removing moisture is possibly the most important purpose of evacuation. This is because moisture is the leading cause of AC system failure. Moisture, when combined with refrigerant and lubrication, will turn acidic and will eat up your AC system from the inside out, which is as bad as it sounds.
  • We recommend 30-45 minutes of evacuation at 28-30" Hg of vacuum because moisture won't be drawn out by the vacuum pump unless it boils and the longer the evacuation, the more moisture will be removed. Running it for too long will result in reaching a diminishing point, but 30-45 minutes is the sweet spot, in our opinion.

In summary, evacuations should be 30-45 minutes at 28-30" Hg and you'll need a new filter drier. Let the AC system sit for 10 minutes. If the vacuum loss is less than 2" Hg, you’re ready to charge. After charging, you'll need to do an electronic leak test. But all that being said, don't do your own AC system evacuation if you're not a licensed professional. For any further questions or concerns, contact Original Air today!

When Should I Replace My Hoses?

When to replace the hoses in your car is generally a concern for car owners, as it affects both the efficiency of the car and the safety of its passengers. However, it can be complicated to know when it is the right time to replace your hoses. Of course you do not want to replace a hose that is perfectly functioning because you want to save your money, but waiting too long can cause serious problems for your vehicle. 

69 camaro

Radiator hoses are exposed to high temperatures and are given the important responsibility of transporting coolant to the engine. It is pertinent, then, that the radiator hose is not damaged, since a damaged radiator hose puts the engine at risk of overheating.  

So how do you know when to replace your radiator hose? 

  • It is always better to replace the hose before it fails entirely. No one wants to be stranded on a highway somewhere because your car broke down. Preempt potential problems by being aware of when you should replace your hoses. 

  • The most obvious indicator is if your coolant is leaking, then you need a new radiator hose. 

  • Be cognizant of the current status of your radiator hose. If there are cracks, bubbles or bulges in the hose, it is time to replace it. 

  • When the car has cooled down, touch the hose. If it has a crunchy quality, it is time for a new hose. 

  • The estimated lifespan of common radiator hoses varies. Some say they last about five years while others say ten. Oftentimes, it depends on the car itself and how many miles it has been driven. 

Knowing when to your radiator hose needs to be replaced is valuable insight and is beneficial to both you and your car. For more information about replacing radiator hoses or purchasing an engine compartment upgrade kit, consider contacting Original Air today. 

Third-Gen Chill Thrill - Upgrading A/C on a '87 Firebird Formula

Written by 

Original Article Here

For full step by step please visit this article

In ’80, Pontiac introduced the new R4 A/C compressor to some of its Trans Ams and Firebirds. Weighing in at nearly half the mass of the long-in-the-tooth A6 compressor, the R4 continued in the F-body line through ’92. It has earned a reputation as an unreliable design because it was prone to body and shaft-seal leaks, and seizing up due to the lack of an oil pan for oil storage.

Aftermarket replacement compressors have been available to consumers since the ’80s, but their focus was on reproducing the original, flawed part, without coming up with something better. Enter Classic Auto Air of Tampa, Florida, whose Original Air Group is dedicated to designing direct-fit upgrade A/C kits using modern R134a refrigerant (it’s no longer called freon!) in classic Pontiacs.

 “There’s a growing demand for replacement A/C components for Third-Gen F-bodies, and ’80s-era G-bodies,” says Classic Auto Air’s marketing/product development guru Dan Acosta. “The factory R4 compressor has proven to be the most common cause of A/C component failure in Third Generation Trans Ams and Firebirds. Most of these vehicles had factory air conditioning, and many of them are in need of repair and/or updating.”
1987 Pontiac Firebird AC upgrade Factory Issued Compressor
This Third Generation Firebird Formula has logged 96,000 miles since new, and still retains its factory-issued R4 A/C compressor


It’s time for the Stage 3 kit to be installed. Classic Auto Air’s team slid the new condenser into its space and made sure it mounted onto the two lower OE bushings. (Steps not shown: The men attached the upper OE bushings; aligned the upper-radiator-support cover and bolted it back into place; and aligned and fastened the air-plenum brace to the core support.
So far this year, Classic Auto Air has introduced direct-fit kits for ’86-’87 and ’88-’92 V-8–powered T/As and Firebirds. (Kits for ’82-’85 Third-Gen F-bodies and ’82-’87 G-body Grand Prixs are in the works; custom systems for these years are already available.) “In addition to keeping your vehicle worry-free cool, these high-performance kits reduce parasitic horsepower loss, which results in as much as a 5hp gain, and can safely operate up to 6,000 rpm,” Acosta says.

Classic Auto Air suggested its Stage 3 upgrade kit for the subject ’87 Firebird Formula equipped with GM’s corporate L98 350ci powerplant. Follow along as Classic Research and Development Lead Technician Mike Oliveras installs it.


Classic Auto Air says that the above steps can be accomplished by DIY mechanics, but evacuating and charging the new A/C system should be left to a licensed A/C professional. This particular vehicle took approximately 1.69 pounds of 134a refrigerant. The A/C technician must calculate the amount of 134a, which is generally 70-80 percent of the amount of R12 specified for the vehicle. That information is usually found on an evaporator-case decal or in the vehicle’s service manual.

Oliveras connected the discharge fitting to the D-port of the compressor, followed by the condenser and suction fittings to the S-port of compressor, and routed the former to the accumulator. He then installed the suction hose to the inlet of the accumulator. To complete the project, he reinstalled the air plenum and MAF.


Classic Auto Air’s Third-Gen A/C Upgrade Kits

Stage 1

Compressor upgrade, which replaces the unreliable and poor-performing R4 compressor with the dependability and efficiency of the modern rotary-style compressor
PN 23-261
MSRP $399.99

Stage 2
Engine compartment upgrade, which combines the Stage 1 kit with a direct-fit, high-performance parallel-flow condenser
PN 22-230
MSRP $699.99

Stage 3 (shown)
Deluxe engine compartment upgrade, which combines the Stage 2 kit with a new evaporator, effectively replacing all A/C components that contain refrigerant and lubrication, thereby eliminating any chance of system contamination
PN 22-230D
MSRP $749.99

Restoration versus Replacement

When it comes to restoring and replacing classic car parts, you obviously want to be sure you're making the right decisions for your car. If you're trying to decide whether to restore a classic car part or replace it entirely, look no further. Original Air has the answers you have been searching for. 

When should you restore and when should you replace? 

  • Restore: if you’re looking to keep the original, date-stamped parts that cannot be found elsewhere. If that is important to you and your project, restoration is the way to go over replacement. 

  • Replace: if the parts are available and serviceable. Depending on the classic car, the part you are looking to fix might not be available anymore, but if they are, replacing is the way to go. 

  • Restore: when it comes to evaporators and condensers, restoring can be nearly half the price of replacing in some instances. However, the downside of restoring these parts is that is difficult to accurately determine how long it will last, as those parts cannot be examined on the inside without being destroyed. 

  • Replace: if the original part is beyond repair but also important to the vehicle, replacing it is the best option. Many people restore classic cars with the intention of taking them to shows, but if you'd also like your classic car to be able to safely drive distances, replacing parts for functionality is the right choice. 

Determining whether to replace or restore a part can be a difficult decision when it comes to your classic car. You'll want to be sure that you aren't wasting your time or money. For any further questions, be sure to contact Original Air today!

Where to Buy Muscle Cars Online

When shopping anywhere on the Internet, there are two rules. First, make sure the site you are purchasing from is secured. Second, if it feels like a scam, it most likely is. If it’s too good to be true, don’t trust it. With those rules in mind, the Internet has a wealth of knowledge and resources for finding every kind of muscle car you can imagine. There are three primary ways to safely purchase a muscle car the web, each with their own positives and negatives. Prioritize your needs for purchasing methods and what makes you feel most confident in purchasing from the Internet.

Online Car Auctions

There are lots and lots of car auction sites out there. Some big, some small, with varying degree of price, quality, and location. Some of the most well-known and well -respected auction houses are Mecum, Barrett-Jackson, and Each of these sites list some of the most sought after cars in the world and they are some of the most trusted auction houses in the business.

We prefer to use eBay Motors. It offers a certain level of security and buying options. eBay can be a slippery slope and people have been known to fall for scammers, but we refer you back to rule number 2: if it feels like a scam, it most likely is. When spending any large amount of money, be sure to contact the seller and develop a rapport with them as best you can before you purchase anything and do your best to see the car before purchasing. If you haven’t purchased from eBay before, here is a useful resource with some simple steps on how to go about doing so.

Online Classifieds

The classifieds are a dodgy group of websites, so the rules apply here heavily. Do not mistake them for dealers. These are websites that advertise independent sellers. There are many out there that have not been updated for years, so I would stick with the first page of Google when searching for these sites. Here is a little list of some of the best classifieds out there (in no particular order). Again, be always wary of scams, no matter the site.

  • Craigslist – We know, we know, this might be an obvious choice, but it is one of the best resources from gauging local prices in the area, and it deserves a mention. Craigslist offers anything and everything so be prepared to spend some time searching here to find what you are looking for. Again, be careful of scams.
  • Forums – Find yourself a model specific forum ( and delve into the classifieds section ( if the forum has one. Forums are great for information on any muscle car you can think of, so use them wisely.
  • Autotempest One of the most top rated sites that encompasses almost every major listing site out there.  It sorts by distance according to zip, make and model. It is honestly one of, if not the best way to search classifieds.
  • - One of the most muscle car -specific sites available.  While this site is straight out of the 90s, it provides you information to outside listings that you may not be able to find your own search.

Online Muscle Car Dealers

These dealers tend to be higher priced but carry a lot of rare and beautiful cars, so they’re at least a useful source to look at some great cars. Like a lot of auction sites, they can be small and regionally located. We always recommend going with the larger sites if you’re going to buy just for safety’s sake, but as with any online purchase, always assume a certain amount of risk.

If you do shop online dealers, do your best to see the car before you buy. This is an investment, not an Amazon purchase. Listed below are some of our favorite dealers.

 The Internet has completely changed the way we purchase everything, so always be careful. Finding the best deal online takes time and energy, so be meticulous and most importantly, have fun. We wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t fun.

The Chilling History of Auto Temp Control

It’s 2017 and we’re just on the tip of commercially producing self-driving cars. Automatic controls for our automobiles is all about the natural development of the evolution of the car. Cruise control, automatic transmission, automatic windows; we strive for comfort as we travel. Your automatic temperature adjustment in your car has been in development for almost 100 years now.

  • 1919 - The Kool Kooshion seat cover that uses small springs to hold drivers about a half-inch above the car seat, allowing air to circulate underneath them and behind their backs.
  • 1921 - The Knapp Limo-Sedan fan, a small electric fan that can be added to the inside of a car.
  • 1930 - The first example of a somewhat modern A/C feature the “car cooler” is developed. It uses water evaporation to cool air, which is then blown in through the open passenger-side window. A cool looking device no less.
  • 1939 – Packard begins to offer the next level in air conditioning as an option. The system, however, is in the trunk as opposed to the dash. It required you to remove the drive belt from the compressor to turn the system on or off. It roughly cost about $275 at a time when the yearly income was $1400. This option was short lived because we swiftly dove head deep in World War 2.
  • 1953 – The return of air conditioning returns in the form of a rear mounted system like Packard.


         1953 Chrysler Imperial with factory trunk mounted “Airtemp” system. Photo Source.

  • 1954 – The first front-mounted A/C systems were put into production by Pontiac and Nash. Nash combined the heater and AC in one in-dash system, bring the standard that most cars have today.
  • 1964 – For the first time, drivers can set a preferred temperature, and the system will automatically adjust the A/C and heat. Cadillac introduces comfort control and the A/C game is forever changed.

The rest is all history, with developments in AC refrigerants, standardization of the modern A/C in the AMC Ambassador and by 69 over half of all American cars have A/C. Your modern A/C units were able to be recharged by 2003 with the launch of IDQ’s single can recharge system. At Original Air, we offer many products and services to help you keep your automobile cool when the sun shines down. Be sure to take advantage of this cool weather and send your parts in for rebuild today.