Kevin Brown with Iowa-based YouTube channel Junkyard Digs and his buddy phoenix rescue a 1973 Chevrolet Nova that suffered significant damage in a recent barn fire with a goal of driving the car back to the shop and surviving doing it.
Phoenix saw a Facebook post about the fire and noticed the front of the car in one of the photos, one thing led to another, and Junkyard Digs purchased the vehicle.
At one time, this was a pretty cherry-looking muscle car, but despite it having Keystone wheels, big tires, and side pipes, it has an inline 6 under the hood.
The grill has melted, the front harness burnt, the body panels are warped and wavy, and the windshield is cracked. However, despite the fire, Phoenix points out that the interior is not in horrible shape.
Upon initial inspection under the hood, it was quickly determined that minimally battery terminals would be required, and of course a fresh battery, but on a positive note the coolant looked fresh and the engine had oil. The only other obvious need was a set of tires.
After freeing up some stuck throttle linkage, cleaning up the points, and a few cranks and a seeming lock up, it was determined the best course of action was to pull the valve cover looking for sticky valves. The spark plugs were pulled and soaked with PB Blaster and then ATF.
After several eventful attempts, another battery, the starter was swapped. The starter was swapped again. But the following day, the old girl came back to life.
Revival of the Burnt ’73 Nova and Drive Home After 30 Years
At the end of the day, the Nova drove itself out of the barn, and Kevin introduced the car to Mook, who simply reacted — “it looks like a toad.” Mook later asked Kevin if she could have the car… and he said yes! This takes us to Junkyard Mook’s Channel…
After sitting for a short while, Mook and Kevin survey the Nova, get it to meander to life, and Mook takes it for a drive, just to get acquainted.
Putting the Burnt 1973 Chevy Nova Back on the Road ~ Part 1
As many projects do, Mook starts out by giving this barn fire survivor a much-needed bath and does deep dive into the interior to that cleaned up, then sets her sights under the hood…
Part 2 ~ On-Lift Underside Review and Suspension Upgrade
Time brings change, and what was once called the ‘Toasty Toad’, has been renamed the ‘Spicy Nova’ — Shout it from the rooftops!
The Spicy Nova finds its way to the lift so Mook can get a solid read of what’s going with the underside of this car, and proceeds to handle the suspension…
Part 3 ~ Under the Hood and Machine Shop Prep Tear Down
After a minor hitch on the suspension at the tail end of Part 2, Mook tells us she needs to figure out what she wants for ride height and gets back on the job, this time under the hood. She and Kevin pull the inline 6 and Powerglide and tear down soon-to-be fresh mill, a Chevy 350, readying it to head to the machine shop…