Bill Bratko's 1965 Chevy Nova Survivor Car

Greg Zyla
Q: I am 59 years old and still have my 1965 Chevrolet Nova that was bought brand new in 1965 and I consider it a true survivor collector car. It was a  6-cylinder with an automatic and was handed down from my mother who did not drive. She had purchased the car for my sister to go to school.

After my sister got married, I received the car to use to go to school. My younger brother and I decided to modify the car. Today, it has a 355 cubic inch V8, 12.5 to 1 compression, dual quad carburetors, 4-speed transmission and a 4.88 posi rear end.

The car is the original paint color but with extra graphics on the trunk lid. Above your article in our paper it states that according to analysts from Polk company, Americans now keep their vehicles an average of 10.8 years, a record high.
I enjoyed reading your recent articles on the rare 1968 Dana 427 Camaro. It's good to know people that keep their old cars or get back into the classic car hobby.
Would you say 47 years is a long time that I've had mine? Hope to see more of your articles, and take care!  Bill Bratko, Wheaton, Il.

A: Bill, your 1965 Chevy Nova is not only a survivor, it is a pipeline to you and your family's past. Although it started as a tame 6-cylinder for your sister, you sure have made some serious modifications that all sound good to me.

I, too, am currently in the process of rebuilding my 1972 Challenger, complete with a new 440 engine topped off with an Edelbrock top end kit and new Hughes Performance 727 Torqueflite and converter. I'll do an article on our progress in the future, but I can tell you now we've used lots of Gojo hand cleaner taking it apart. Stay tuned.

As for your Nova, the pictures you sent sure do tell the story. I'll bet it's a real strong running machine.
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