The late 1960s and the early 1970s saw a whole lot of new, smaller cars being offered by American manufacturers; one of the reason was the enduring and growing popularity of the Ford Mustang, which showed that there was a market for smaller performance cars, and the second was that the market itself was slowly shifting away from gigantic automobiles. While they remained popular, a growing number of people wanted smaller city cars, easier to drive, park, etc. Enter the 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS; the Nova was built on the bones of the Chevy II line of the early 60s, and wanted to be everything to everyone, from those who wanted nothing more than a small car with which to do groceries, to the growing number of boy racers who wanted to burn rubber.
Like most small cars at the time, the Nova was offered in a large variety of options packages, including the mighty SS, which entitled you to your choice of small- or big-block V8, in addition to a whole range of visual extras to warn passers-by of your power. Other options included front-wheel disc brakes – not a bad idea – a stiffer suspension, and of course, power steering – another great idea, as the steering was quite heavy. With all these options on, the Nova SS was quite the racer, and offered excellent handling.
The mightiest engines available were big-block V8s of 396 and 402 cubic inches, which developed as much as 375 horsepower. Thus fitted, the Nova SS could reach a top speed 125 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in as little as 6 seconds. The 1968 Chevrolet Nova SS and its SS successors remain, even today some of the most desirable muscle cars of that era.