Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
Subscribe to the Free

Interior Assembly - 1963 Chevy Nova

Pilot’s Quarters

Jake Amatisto Feb 18, 2014
View Full Gallery

Our $2,800 Nova's interior was a complete disaster when we drove it home last year. It had it all; a droopy headliner, a torn up bench seat that didn't seem to fit quite right, plenty of hanging wiring, a filthy dash, and broken arm rests—it was a wreck, but it was our wreck. The ravaged stock interior did its job for the few months we drove the Nova, that is, until it was time for the cage and we ripped it to the bare floor.

The faded blue interior was sad and depressing, but we aimed to make it like new with the help from a few manufacturers, our favorite semi-gloss spray paint, and a bit of elbow grease. With a list of components needed to restore and revamp our million-mile Nova's cockpit, we contacted one of the largest muscle car restoration facilities in the country, Year One Inc., out of Braselton, Georgia. We actually took a tour of Year One last year and we were impressed by the entire operation. Besides being heavily involved in a lot of the car movies over the past decade, such as The Fast & the Furious and The Dukes of Hazzard movie, Year One is also a huge supporter of the muscle car community in general. They regularly throw big car shows and are constantly sponsoring events, helping to support our passion for hot rods and muscle cars.

Starting at the bottom, we ordered molded 80/20 loop carpet in black to replace the deteriorating, cough-inducing carpeting the Nova had. Since we're trying to build the car as light as possible, we decided to eliminate the rear seat, which meant extending the carpet in the back; luckily we had carpet remnants left over from another project that we were able to use. We also contacted Year One for a front and rear door panel kit in black, the window cranks, which actually came on 1965-67 Novas, and all the necessary weather stripping for the doors and trunk. The one-year interior door handles were also ordered. Year One actually offers their Chevy II door panels for convertibles, four doors, and the coupe in all the various colors and configurations. The sill plates were another addition from Year One, which we felt really helped finish off the interior. The seats we chose are Corbeau Classics, which come in black vinyl and are actually very lightweight, much lighter than we initially thought, and unbelievably comfortable. The brackets the seats come with are rugged and easy to install, too. To fit the contrast of the car, Corbeau's cam lock harness belts were ordered in red. Corbeau also offers their harnesses with a latch style release, but we went with the optional cam lock setup.

We also installed a Lokar's Competitor Series throttle-pedal in black, brake pedal pad, and a black 24-inch Hi-Tech throttle cable kit. Other components such as the TCI Auto Outlaw shifter, Flaming River Steering column, Eddie Motorsports steering wheel, and Classic Instruments gauge cluster also make up the Hardtop Hellion's cabin.

Manufacturer Component Part Number
Classic instruments 1962-65 Nova Gauge Cluster PN NO63VSW---F
Corbeau Classic I Bucket Seats 20051
Corbeau 5-Point Cam Lock Harnesses 53007B
Lokar Competitor Series Throttle Pedal XBAG-6149
Lokar Brake Pedal Pad XBAG-6167
Lokar Hi-Tech Throttle Cable Kit XTC-1000HT
Year One 1962-65 Nova Loop Carpet 6267XBLK
Year One Black Door Panel Kit AB663S55
Year One Window Cranks WC6766
Year One Weather Stripping CC7500 and CC100
Year One Interior Door Handles CD611P
Year One Sill Plates OH3000


1. The Nova’s interior was a disaster, but we had the allies needed to make it like new again.


2. At least once the carpet was gone, there weren’t any gaping holes in the floor, although we couldn’t say the same for the roof at that point.


3. Once the floor was thoroughly vacuumed, it was time to fit in the period correct black carpet from Year One.


4. Using sharp scissors, we cut the proper clearance for the floor bars.


5. The carpet kit from Year One covers the floor of the Nova in two molded pieces, but because we ditched the rear seat, it left a void that showed the bare floor. We had to make a third section of carpet that we extended up the rear firewall for a clean look.


6. We dig Corbeau’s Classic Bucket’s; they fit the interior styling of our older muscle cars and they are pretty light in weight.


7. The pads of the seats are super comfortable and are removable.


8. Corbeau’s seat brackets are sturdy pieces, too.


9. They bolt to the factory Nova floor and are completely adjustable.


10. Year One also sent us the correct door panels for our project, which easily slid into place after painting the blue on top of the door in semi-gloss black.


11. The window cranks and door handles came from Year One’s inventory as well.


12. We decided to hide our Pertronix Second Strike ignition box in the glove box. This piece works in conjunction with the Ignitor module in our Pertronix distributor to provide a solid second spark throughout the entire rpm range.


13. Corbeau’s cam lock five-point harnesses keep the driver in place.


14. To mount them however, L-brackets or something similar must be bolted to a secure location like the seat frame or factory seat belt holes. In order to be NHRA legal for drag racing, you can’t have the plate bolted to the floor.


15. The seats are pretty firm, which positioned us comfortably enough to see over the cowl hood.


16. Monitoring the vitals is a piece from Classic Instruments. It bolts in the stock location and is a definite upgrade from our stock gauges. Look for a more in depth article on this installation in an upcoming issue.


17. Year One also supplied us with shiny sill plates for the Nova, which cleaned up the ragged carpet edge at the door openings.


18. Lokar’s Competition Series throttle pedal bolted onto our Nova’s firewall; we recommend installing this piece before putting the engine in due to the angle of the bracket mount. The trick pedal pad is also from Lokar Performance and compliments the pedal assembly nicely.


19. At the center of it all is the TCI Outlaw shifter, that we ordered with a single button; this will control the Hurst Roll Control that we plan on installing soon. The seal the shifter cable is snaking through is from Earl’s Plumbing.


TCI Automotive
Ashland, MS 38603
Corbeau Seats
Sandy, UT 84070
Flaming River
Berea, OH 44017
Earl's Performance Plumbing
Bowling Green, KY 42101
PerTronix Performance Products
San Dimas, CA 91773
Classic Instruments
Boyne City, MI 49712
Eddie Motorsports
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Lokar Performance Products
Knoxville, TN 37932
Year One
Tucker, GA 30085



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print