When You Get Right Down To It, The Chevy Nova's Got The Juice

"O.J. Simpson is not extremely comfortable." You don't say.

The Juice is best known nowadays as a man who escaped a murder charge, but was then convicted of a felony anyway, probably because he just can't help himself, but also because armed robbery is a crime in most places around the world.


But back in 1970, he was still O.J. Simpson, football player. Yes, you young'ns, he used to be widely celebrated and respected, instead of reviled and rejected, and that was mostly due to the way he played football.

And he was celebrated and respected enough to appear in ads for the Chevy Nova, of which the SS version is particularly lovely.

When Simpson appeared in this ad, he was but a young'n himself, too, at only age 23. He hadn't made too much of a name for himself, mainly because the Buffalo Bills he played for were kinda crappy, but he had been drafted as the first overall pick in the 1969 draft. And as this ad is for the 1970 model, it would've come right after that momentous occasion in the violent man's life.

While the ad men behind the 1970 Chevy Nova recognized that their car wasn't quite as brutal as The Juice, they weren't far off, especially in the SS version. The third-generation Nova was the most iconic of all the cars to wear the nameplate, and it's the one you mainly associate now with the gray-haired guys at exurban car shows that take place in fields on sunny Spring days, and also occasionally hipsters with too much money to burn, because having a Chevy Nova SS in Williamsburg is just the peak of irony.

But it really was a hilarious beast of a car, and one that should be celebrated. The top-of-the-line SS model came with a 396 V8 (though actually a 402 in 1970), pumping out somewhere north of 375 horses. And if you scoff and mock the piddling 375 horses now because yourFord Mustang GT now puts out over 420, first of all, you're a loon, and second of all, it was 1970, and cruising from stoplight to stoplight with what must've felt like something dropped from a B-52G over Cambodia under the hood was definitely what people considered "fun."


But not O.J. Simpson's kind of fun. That is not a good kind of fun.



However, O.J. will always be remembered for a white Ford Bronco, not a Chevy Nova.