It's trendy in the movie industry to make "prequels." Meaning, after a good movie is followed up by about as many sequels as possible, some stories are adaptable to flashbacks, or "prequels," that predate the first installment. Welcome to the Rusty Ragtop "prequel" where the history of this now exquisite restoration will be explored.
This car came by the name Rusty Ragtop rightfully. From the photos one can see that our little Nova had a lot of hidden faults. For many restorers the experience we had with this car may parallel your own. Not only did the car begin as a project to make a "driver", then transition into a full-scale restoration, but also it took more than one shop to do the same work twice, and another shop to complete it. The project has taken years of starts and stops, and countless hours to do right. We proved the old adage of "all's well that ends well," and feel we are fortunate to have such a fine example to show to the SUPER CHEVY readers. Since we documented nearly every step in the long process, we can show how it went, with all of its false starts and pitfalls. Maybe when you, the restorer, find yourself in similar situations, there could be some consolation that everyone seems to have the same problems. It's "old cars" and don't forget it.
The work done on the car before it went into Ron's Restorations was fully covered in HP Books SUPER CHEVY's Nova Handbook, first published in July 2000. We have used some of that material in this article but recommend the serious restorer or modified builder of '62-67 Novas obtain a copy of that book. The professionals who participated provided tips and advice that will prove valuable and time saving for other Nova projects