By the time I could drive (legally, that is), my dad had gotten rid of the '62 Chevy II, so I guess he didn't know how I felt about it. But then, maybe he did, because in the Spring of '73, just after I passed my driving test, he took me to White-Allen Chevrolet, and there on the lot was a beautiful '71 green Nova. I remember looking at him smiling at me, and as we went up to it, I knew once again that feeling I had felt before with the '62. Getting behind the wheel as fast as I could, I knew something else too! I wanted this car! It was a one owner trade-in with only fifteen thousand miles, bench seat, a six cylinder 250 engine, and a three speed on the floor. A grocery getter for sure, but in like-new condition, it became my high school car. Over the years, I did a lot to make it look hot! And, yes, I even got rid of that ugly light green paint that we all remember so many Novas came with from the factory. Oh, and yes, I painted it blue.
I kept the car for about five years, but as I began to work at my first audio engineering job at the She Night Club, I lost my head a bit. I traded the car in on an Olds Cutlass, and then the Olds for a new Chevy Van to move my audio equipment around. Time went on. I got married to my wife, Carrie, and we had two kids. My love of music and audio engineering and raising a good family took over my life. That is, until the year 1997, when I started to attend some local car shows and cruise-ins. My love of cars was re-energized, and of course, Novas in particular. During the next several years, I started talking to a lot of Nova owners, and I discovered that I was not the only Nova nut out there. So many of them had similar stories to my own and even better ones because some bought them new and kept em'. Some had more than one and some were even racing them on the track. By 1999, I was not only talking to Nova owners, but I was also taking names and phone numbers of the ones that wanted to belong to a local Nova Club and almost all did! But to do this right, I needed something first, a Nova! I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to get back my high school Nova. Of course, that car was long gone, but I felt I could re-build it if I could find a good one to start with. I looked for several years, but no luck.
Then in the Spring of 2003, thirty years almost to the day of getting my first '71 Nova, I found, at the Springfield Cars N' Parts, a 1971 Novas SS. It wasn't in great shape, but it was a rare one. He wanted fifty-five hundred, so I called my dad to get his advice. His first question was it is a real SS? I told him it was, and he said to me, "Get it!" I told him I didn't have the money, and his response was "I'll pay for it! Just get it!" I made the deal for five thousand , and I had myself a Nova. I told my dad until I paid him back that this was his car. Sadly my dad passed away a few months later, and then my mother, a few months after my dad, passed away too. A lot of things were going through my head, but my faith in God got me through it, and with the help of Joe Sluss and Mike Magan, we restored the '71 SS back to an all original state. It's nice to have good friends. Less than a week after its completion, I took it to the Nova Naitonals in Indiana, where it received a Gold Class Certification. I was very pleased to have done this because all along, I felt I was doing it as a tribute to my dad.
Now with the '71 SS a Gold Class Nova and being a member of National Nostalgic Nova for many years, I felt I finally had enough credibility to really put the club all the way together. I had already registered the name "Miami Valley Novas" with the State of Ohio and my daughter, Robin, had started to put the website together and online. Over the next few years, I contacted all the Nova owners I had collected, got up to date pertinent information, and my daughter built the website to my vision of what I wanted to have for the club. Today, Miami Valley Novas is a nationally known local car club with many awards to its credit, and our club website is not only quite unique, but has been often recognized by other car clubs as something they would like to put together. We do twelve shows a year that I call Get Togethers and Members can attend as many as they want or none if they wish. Every member is given a spot on the website for each of their Novas and this is why a member's name will appear more than once on the Member's page. As a long time member of National Nostalgic Nova, I highly encourage each of our members to join NNN, but it is not required. I do, however, place a star next to members who do support this national club of nova enthusiasts. Our pictures page has thousands of photos of not only Novas, but of all the cars and trucks that attend the shows we do as our get togethers. Most of the photos are taken by myself, while a few are from members and even professional photographers. Each show that I photograph I really try to catch the fun we have and not just the cars. I love catching people in action. Our "Parts and Services" section is also pretty cool because I only list those that will go out of their way to help you with your project.
Over the years, I have attended many national shows with my 71 SS, including quite a few Concours events and other gatherings, which have given me the opportunity to meet many prestigious people in the classic show car venue.
What I have found is that you will never find a better group of people. Many times I am asked why I do this club, and the answer is simple: God has been good to me, I love Novas, and most of all I love people.
Robert M. Schrader
Founder and President
Miami Valley Novas
Members of the Miami Valley Novas Car Club
One of our many impressive car show displays
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