Gary Redwing stands by his stellar find, a 1967 Chevy Nova in mint condition.
Gary Redwing stands by his stellar find, a 1967 Chevy Nova in mint condition.

Gary Redwing’s got a four-door king of the road that’s just stellar.

The Chatfield resident has the original dealership bill of sale for the 1967 Chevy Nova four-door hardtop that he has owned for the past 19 years. He purchased the car in 1997 from a man who lived in south Rochester after he found it listed in a newspaper under the antiques column. 

“I was just looking for something from the ‘60s,” said Redwing. “I started out looking for a two-door hardtop in this year range, but everything that I come across was so rusted out that I thought, ‘Why start?’  I saw this…it didn’t need anything and still doesn’t – just normal maintenance, things that need to be replaced or corrected.  I couldn’t believe the shape it was in.  When I got it got it in 1997, it had 19,000 miles on it.”     

Redwing speculates the owner ordered the car because it has a V-8 engine, power steering, power brakes and a radio. 

“A lot of cars never had power steering or brakes because people didn’t think they needed it, but that’s standard equipment nowadays,” he said. 

He also has the owner’s manual, the receipt with what the original owner paid for it – he used a cashier’s check along with what was paid in trade, which was $2,275.35.  The car had to have been about $2,800 or $2,900, said Redwing.  The car also has the protective plate that came with every car back then for the warranty service.  It was new July 12, 1967.

The Nova was considered to be the economy class of the Chevrolet cars of that day, as Redwing outlined the Impala was “the top of the line, then the Chevelle was next, and then this one.  It was kind of the economy family car.  It was smaller and light – no frame under it – with just a sub-frame under the front, like they started doing in the ‘80s with front-wheel drive cars so that it could go faster.” 

Redwing and his wife, Donna, have taken the automobile to car meets and events across the state, something that Gary anticipates this summer, but he isn’t quite ready to take the car out on the road until all the winter’s salt has washed away with spring rains.  He previously has taken it to Hastings and on down into Iowa and beyond Albert Lea and into Wisconsin. 

“I’ve covered some miles with it,” he said. “We go to lots of car shows and some cruises.  I like it because it runs so nice…I don’t have to worry about it being underpowered.” 

That’s when he admitted that the car, which has the original Fingerhut plastic seat covers over both the front and back seats, can make tracks. 

“I’ve gotten it up a bit beyond legal,” he said. “I like this car because it’s good for tinkering and touring and because it’s not hard to find parts.”