How to ID a Real SS 1970 Nova

by Bobby R. Goldsmith

The 1970 Nova Super Sport was the last production model year that featured the 396 big block high performance engine. From 1971 and on, no Nova SS would roll off the line with anything bigger than a 350 small block under the hood. This fact, coupled with the fact that the VIN code for the 1970 Nova features no code for the SS package, makes authentication of a purported SS car to be incredibly difficult. There are a few things that you can look for, though, in order to authenticate whether a Nova is truly a Super Sport.

Step 1

Examine the badging. For the 1970 Super Sport Nova, there were only four SS tags on the body of the car: one on the trunk lid, one on each front quarter panel, and one on the grille. The SS badges on the front quarter panels will list the CID of the engine: 350 or 396.

Step 2

Look at the engine to see if the type matches its badging. There were only a handful of engine types that came with the 1970 SS Nova: the 396 big block (L34 and L78) and the 350 small block (L48, L65, and LM1). If the Nova features any other type of engine, but is claimed to be a Super Sport, it is not.

Step 3

Examine the grille. The 1970 SS Nova features a black grille that contrasts with the white SS badge. If the car sports a chromed grille, it is not an SS.

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