Family, friends, rally to restore car for Marine |

Family, friends, rally to restore car for Marine

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal U.S. Marine Corp. Steve Lubich stands with his 1972 Chevy Nova while home on leave Wednesday. The car, originally purchased by his dad, John, in 1972, was badly damaged in the New Year's flood of 2006. A number of local friends and businesses helped get it back in shape for Lubich.

John Lubich bought a brand-new Chevrolet Nova in 1972, and it has been in his family ever since, surviving three accidents and a flood.

Now it belongs to son Steven, 21, who graduated from Carson High School in 2004, and is a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. He’s about halfway through a five-year stint and has returned home for a brief visit before starting a new assignment.

The Nova was badly damaged inside and out during the 2006 New Year’s weekend flood. Restoring it was expected to cost thousands of dollars.

Insurance only paid for a portion of all of the damage and they are putting money aside to repair things one by one. Nonetheless, “things are looking up,” John said.

Borda Automotive and Sarah’s Upholstery of Carson City, and Levrett Transmission of Reno – all did work on the car for greatly reduced prices. Family friends Mark Littlefield and Christopher Willey, along with John, his wife Tammy and youngest daughter Nicole, also worked on it to get it ready for Steven’s homecoming on Saturday.

When Steven came home, he worked on it, too.

“It’s been a labor of love,” Steven said. “I owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

Steven is going to be stationed at Camp Pendleton after his leave ends in a few days. He’ll drive the Nova to the Southern California base. He’s been in Okinawa, Japan, working in the military police, which is why he left the Nova with his parents.

The car has also belonged to John’s oldest daughter, Heather, but Steven intends to hang on to it. He’s also had two trucks, both Toyotas, but the old Nova is his favorite, he said.

“It has sentimental value,” Steven said.

It has been in three accidents – two of them when Steven was driving it – but has been driven only 92,000 miles total during the years. The Nova’s bright blue paint has some chips in it, so the next work he’d like to have done is a paint job, Steven said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.