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A Grand Monday: Vauxhall Nova

Published 10 March 2014

The Vauxhall Nova is the epitome of the everyday modern classic. Launched in 1983 as General Motors’ answer to the Ford Fiesta, the Nova improved on the tired and cramped Chevette hatchback on almost every level, with a spacious interior, good choice of engines and a wide variations of bodystyles – although the hatchback was always king.

A glance at DVLA records show that Nova numbers are limited to just a few thousand these days – with just 2752 licenced cars on the road – but there’s still plenty of bargains to be had.

Indeed, a quick flick through Honest John’s Classics For Sale section shows a glut of well cared for examples, with £1000 being more than enough to secure a well-cared for Nova.

We’ve spotted this five-door 1985 Nova hatchback with a 1.2-litre petrol engine being advertised for £1000. The car is described as ‘well cared for’ and has covered a modest 63,000 miles, with plenty of history and receipts. What’s more, it has tax until the end of April and eight months left on its MoT. We also think there’s room to negotiate on the asking price, with a faulty fuel gauge listed in the advert.

The big bugbear of the Nova was rusty wheelarches, but this hatchback looks clean and solid from its pictures, with striking red paintwork and original hubcaps.

Nova hatchback models are becoming quite rare now, with many lost in accidents to inexperienced drivers or the whims of GTE enthusiasts. We think this stunning little car would be the perfect daily runner, with cheap insurance and good fuel economy being its chief benefits. Alternatively, it would make a great concours project for any diehard Nova fan, with solid bodywork and a clean interior. 

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