As a former '76 Nova owner, I've got a bit of a soft spot for these cars. They were primitive and somewhat shoddy, but they got the job done. Here's one at the end of a long, rough road.
When duct tape is used for major upholstery repairs, you know the car is on its very last owner. Next stop, junkyard!
You could get your '76 Nova from the factory with a 140-horse 305 or a 165-horse 350 V8 (mine had the 105-horsepower, 250-cube six). There's no telling what this two-barrel small-block is, unless the junkyard visitor is curious enough to get all dirty wiping grime off casting numbers, but I've learned one thing about junkyard small-block Chevy engines: there's approximately zero chance that the original engine will still be in an SBC-equipped car after a few decades.