Chevrolet Chevelle and Nova - Know Your Stripes, Part 2

A Look At The Factory Stripes GM Did On The Chevelle and Nova Platforms

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Don't forget to check out Part 1 of "Know Your Stripes!"

A few months back (September '13 issue) we did a story on getting to know factory-applied stripes. We covered the origins of the factory stripe and how they were applied to Camaro from '67-'72. We scoured just about every resource we could to get the exact measurements so you readers could get your stripes right. In this installment we are going to turn our attention to the Chevelle and Nova platforms.

The Chevelles and Nova combined didn't get as many stripe options as the Camaro, but there are still enough sprayed lines to talk about. Like, did you know that the paralleling SS stripes on the '70 Chevelle were called Z/28 Stripes on the Camaro?

Before we get into the A- and X-bodies, let us give you some history of the factory stripes if you didn't read the first installment. Some of the first stripes we could find happened to be on a '57 Corvette built by GM's styling center. Then in the beginning of the '60s, the Sebring race Vettes and Corvairs got the same treatment with a center stripe with two small pinstripe stripes running along side it. It wasn't until the release of the '67 Camaro that Chevrolet put some sort of painted on stripe on the car. The Chevelle and Nova didn't see some sort of a stripe package till '68, and even then is was pretty small compared to what the Camaro got.

To get as accurate information as we could, we used our connections with GM's archive and National Parts Depot to pull as many factory images and diagrams related to stripes. NPD offers reprints of the Chevrolet Assembly Instruction manuals, which feature technical drawings of the stripes for just about all the popular muscle cars if you don't see what you need here. NPD also offers a bunch of stencil kits to help you paint the correct stripes for your project.

Chevrolte El Camino Tailgate Stripes 2/18

As far as we can tell, stripes didn't show up on Chevelle until the '67 model year. In our research, the D96 stipe package was a set of decals that ran along the lower bodyline. We have seen two versions, one that goes over the wheel well (shown here) and one that doesn't. Since it's a decal, all the measurements help with the placement of the sticker.

Chevrolet Chevelle Ss Rear Black Out 3/18

There is also a debate about the rear black-out panel on the SS cars and whether or not it's factory. We could not find definitive proof, but as you can see in this factory brochure the SS is shown with a blacked-out taillight panel.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle 4/18

In '68 the Chevelle's D96 decals got a bit more noticeable as they were redesigned to go up and over the front header panel, as seen in this Chevy brochure. According to the assembly instructions the decal gets spaced off the front edge 0.12-inch and then 0.16 as it goes over the side on the fender. It is 0.24 above the lower bodyline at the front edge of the fender and then 0.62 above it along the back of fender, door, and front of quarter panel. When it gets to the very back of the quarter is 0.40 above, diminishing to just 0.01 above on the sedans. For El Caminos, all measurements are the same except for the last, which is 0.50 above lower bodyline diminishing down a bit to 0.40 above at the rear bumper. We also see that the lower rocker is blacked out along with the taillight panel.

1969 Chevrolet Stripe 5/18

In '69 the stripe was redesigned again, this time now residing on the side of the vehicle up on the beltline and now its paint instead of a decal. The stripes are now a wide stripe surrounded by a thin pinstripe. The center stripe is 0.66-inch wide with a space of 0.12 and then a stripe of 0.12 all above the belt line 0.12. These stripes taper at each end and that taper starts 11.70 back from the front tip and 28.20 from the rear keeping the 0.12 spacing throughout. The tip of the stripe is 0.55 from the front edge of the fender and 1-inch from the back edge of the quarter.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Different Stripes 6/18

The introduction of the '70 Chevelle is when we saw the Camaro Z/28-style stripes finding their way onto an A-body (RPO D88). In our research we found three different sets of stripe dimensions: two sets for all models (flat hood) and one set for SS only (cowl hood). These two drawings show the two flat hood layouts. There are fairly similar with minor spacing and line size changes happening on the hood. In view “A” the first drawing shows the hood with a 0.30 space and 0.25 stripe, while the deck has a 0.28 space and 0.30 stripe. In the second drawing the hood spacing was made to match the deck lid. We also see that both stripes show a more squared off corners.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Stripes Matching Stripes 7/18

The introduction of the '70 Chevelle is when we saw the Camaro Z/28-style stripes finding their way onto an A-body (RPO D88). In our research we found three different sets of stripe dimensions: two sets for all models (flat hood) and one set for SS only (cowl hood). These two drawings show the two flat hood layouts. There are fairly similar with minor spacing and line size changes happening on the hood. In view “A” the first drawing shows the hood with a 0.30 space and 0.25 stripe, while the deck has a 0.28 space and 0.30 stripe. In the second drawing the hood spacing was made to match the deck lid. We also see that both stripes show a more squared off corners.

1970 Chevrolet Stripe 8/18

For the SS-only stripes, we found one drawing, but in it you can tell they made some size changes somewhere in April 1970. It looks like they tried to use the flat hood dimensions on the cowl hood, but it may not have looked correct so the sizes were adjusted for the bumped hood. The hood stripes were measured from bodylines, 1.66 from center to a 0.30 stripe then a 0.28 space. The other side of the stripe is measured from the hood crease, which is 2.28 over to a 0.30 stripe then a 0.28 space. They are spaced 0.95 back from the front edge of the hood and feature a curved outside corner and square inside corner. We get overall dimensions on the deck lid stripes with a 10.52 overall width spaced 1.68 from centerline and the same 0.30 pinstripe with 0.28 space. If our math is correct the center stripe should be 9.36 wide. These are 0.80 back from the edge of the deck lid and have the same curved outside corner and square inside corner as the front.

1970 Chevrolet D88 9/18

The D88 stripes for '71 are the same as the SS only version on the '70. The new stripes for '71 were found on the Heavy Chevy YF3 option. The Heavy Chevy option had a cowl hood and hood pins, blacked out headlight buckets and some parts of the grille, but most notable is the side stripe decals placed above the beltline. The '72 year models got all the same stripe packages as the '71.

Chevrolet El Camino Complete Tailgate 10/18

We did find a few kooky stripe packages that never made it into production—like these tailgate stripes for the El Caminos and the complete stripes that run over the bumper and lower valances on the coupes.

Chevrolet Chevelle Front View 11/18
Chevrolet Ss Rear View 12/18
1969 Chevrolet Nova Pinstrip Side 13/18

Moving on to the Nova platform, the X-bodies didn't see stripes till the '69 model, with it being a simple pinstripe down the side. We could not find any information on this other than this GM archive photo showing it.

1970 Chevrolet Nova Full Stripe 14/18

The '70 model got a fuller stripe decal that runs along the top edge of the body. The stripe was 0.75-inch down from the bodyline with a 0.12 thick line, 0.125 space and 0.06 thick lower line. Also, black paint was applied between body side moldings and the rocker moldings.

1971 Chevrolet Rally Nova Side 15/18

In '71 Chevrolet decided to spice up the X-body platform with the introduction of the Rally Nova. Again, just a decal, but this time we think it actually gave the Nova some added visual muscle. The decal that wraps around the back of the car was lined up to run above the rear taillight (no measurement shown) and 5.43 down at the front door gap. The tip of the spear on the fender is 2.52 above the marker light. There was also a Rally Nova script decal on the front of the hood that was placed 4.4 inches away from the driver's side hood edge. After this, the stripes that GM put on Novas started to get a bit whacky.

1973 Chevrolet Rally Nova Side 16/18

In '73, the Rally Nova package was dropped so if you wanted a stripe decal it came on the SS. This GM archive shot was all we could find of the SS with its oddly shaped side stripe.

1974 Chevrolet Nova Rear 17/18

The year 1974 saw the “Spirit of America” package. Red white and blue for sure, but we're not sure if it looks fast. Again we found no dimensions, but either way, Go America!

Chevrolet Chevy Ii Rear 18/18

One Nova we found that we wish they would have built was this Chevy II Much ZL1 concept. Imagine cruising the boulevard in a '69 Nova stuffed with the all aluminum big-block wearing this sinister black and gold paint job? We almost want to make our own.

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