Joe Rice's '75 Chevy Nova Police Interceptor Replica.

"I bought the car from a friend in 1993 for $200. He had bought it from the original owner a few months prior for $150."

"When I bought the car, it was painted tan (sandstone is what the manual calls it). I read a magazine article in spring of '94 on old police cars, and it mentioned that Novas were used as police interceptors by the CHP. I figured that the car would look much better in black and white than tan. I painted it later that summer. I went on a road trip to Seattle soon afterwards, and found out that all the Seattle police cars are black and white. No wonder people were looking at me funny up there."

"Not long after painting the car, I began to get pulled over an average of about once a month. It didn't take me long to realize that I was getting harassed by the police. I have heard just about every feeble excuse for getting pulled over there is. "I pulled you over after a random license plate check revealed that your car is not the same color as on your registration." I took care of that soon. Random license plate checks are a fictitious entity anyway. "I pulled you over because your license plate light is burnt out." Whatever. "I am giving you a ticket for a broken tail light." Thanks a lot, officer. To make it even worse, I decided to put an off road light rack on the car. I thought I was getting harassed before I put the light rack on. Now it's much, much worse."

"I live in a desert area in the western US, and the car sees lots of off-road use as you can see.  To enhance the off road ability of the car, I had to increase the ground clearance. The only way to do this without jacking up the car was to remove extraneous, low hanging parts from the underside. These parts basically consisted of the mufflers. I put on a header/dual exhaust system that I got from a mail order company. They forgot to send one of the mufflers, so I went ahead and put it together with straight pipes in place of the mufflers for temporary. The car sounded great with true dual exhaust coming out of the back, and had more ground clearance than it had ever had with any other exhaust system.

I was forced to finally put the mufflers on it after another encounter with the State Patrol. The officer told me that "the only reason cars have to have mufflers is to prevent sparks from coming out the exhaust and catching things on fire." I had to have the car inspected at a State Patrol office. They tried to tell me that the off road lights weren't legal. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't find any law about them, so they had to let it go."


  • 1975 Chevy Nova 4 door
  • Engine: 262 V8 2bbl, stock except for removed emission controls
  • Exhaust: 1-5/8 inch primary Dynomax headers, dual 2-1/4 inch aluminized pipes, exit behind rear wheels, no mufflers. Exhaust is meant for hi-po 350 and sucks a lot of low end from the 262.
  • Mileage: 275,000 currently
  • Acceleration: not really
  • Interior: Stock rear seat, front bucket seats out of 1985 Ford LTD. $20 stereo with tape deck, still have original radio somewhere. 23 channel CB radio, late '70's vintage (came with the car).
  • Special features: Light rack, perpetually muddy/dirty exterior, blacked out 15" wheels with 235/60-15 all season tires, and mudflaps all combine with the thunderous unmuffled exhaust to give the car that "Road Warrior" look and feel

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