The late 60’s and early pre fuel crisis 1970’s will be remembered for the launch of all manor of “Super Cars” loaded with oodles of show and go in equal measure from the likes of de Tomaso, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari, to name a few, who followed Ford into building monstrously powerful rear engined street sports cars with 2 seats and little more luggage capacity than a golf bag if that.
Another such less familiar vehicle with plenty of super car show if somewhat more humble go was the Volkswagen Beetle powered self build Nova from Automotive Design and Development (ADD) which first seen in 1971.
Based on a Volkswagen chassis pan, the donor car for today’s featured Nova dates back to 1967, motor and running gear the Nova’s fibreglass body was styled by Richard Oakes with engineering by Phil Sayers, unlike the usual suspects from Italy the Nova’s motor was behind the rear axle instead of ahead of it.
ADD based initially in Southampton and later in Accrington Lancashire folded in 1975, but the production rights were bought by Vic Elam who founded Nova Cars and continued production from premises in Mirfield West Yorkshire from 1978 to 1990.
Production then moved to Cornwall under Nova Developments in the 1990’s before the design was taken over by Aerotec Nova owned by Shashi Dvyas in 1997.
Nova’s in the USA have been manufactured by Sterling Kit Cars who have built over 800 examples. One of the cool features of the Nova is the hydraulically operated roof which requires a deal of patience not seen with a hinged door.
Unfortunately entry through the roof is a tad impractical unless one always enters the car from a pristine garage floor because one cannot avoid stepping on the seats in order to sit in the car, a problem the Nova shares with the seriously outlandish Adams Probe 16.
Amazingly while the GT40 MKIII, Mangusta, Muira, Bora and Berlinetta Boxer have long been out of production the Nova was revived last year as India’s first sports car for the masses. The SuperNovaEV with a variety of zero emissions power trains are all quoted to give a zero to 62 mph time of 9.9 seconds and up to 180 mile range.
Thanks for joining me on this “Mind Where You Step” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Bentley. Don’t forget to come back now !