Original sport wagon: ’55 Chevy Nomad restored to factory spec

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Nomad
The Nomad has been comprehensively restored to how it looks in the showroom

The Chevrolet Nomad was originally a 1954 GM Motorama concept car, basically a two-door wagon version of the then-new Corvette.  It was stunningly cool-looking, and while it got the go-ahead for production, GM brass wisely determined that the concept would serve better as a halo car for the all-new 1955 Chevrolet full-size model lineup.

Still stunning, the 1955 Chevy Nomad rolled into showrooms to much acclaim as a sporty-looking wagon that was both practical and beautiful, too nice for the worksite but capable of carrying bulky items to such places as the beach or picnic site.  It continues to reign as one of the most desirable designs of its era.

Nomad
Chrome features include the signature vertical strips on the tailgate

The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad in nicely restored condition.  While the wagon’s sharp styling makes it a favorite template for street rodders and customizers, this one has been brought back to factory condition.

“This first-generation Chevrolet Nomad underwent a body-off restoration and was faithfully painted back into its original two-tone Gypsy Red and Shoreline Beige color combination,” according to the Milford, Ohio, dealer advertising the Chevy on ClassicCars.com. “The Nomad was dispatched into climate-controlled storage following its restoration and has not been driven since.”

The wagon is powered by Chevy’s famous 265cid small-block overhead-valve V8, with a Rochester 4-barrel carb and dual exhaust, rated at 180 horsepower.   The engine is backed by a 2-speed automatic transmission.

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Nomad
The Nomad was a beautifully balanced design

The seller points out that this was a limited-production model designed to get prospective buyers into the showrooms.

“The halo station wagon appealed to a niche market, and as such, this Nomad is one of just 8,530 hardtop-styled Chevrolet dream wagons sold for 1955,” the seller says. “Low-production numbers belie the lasting impact of the Nomad on the American station-wagon landscape.”

It is indeed a great piece of design, with its rakishly sloping tail striped with chrome bars, full-length side windows and, for this model year only, open rear wheelwells that give it a decidedly racy look.

Nomad
The fully optioned interior includes factory air conditioning

Chrome trim is abundant, punctuated by strips that run from the headlights to the rear of doors. The Nomad is fitted with its correct steel wheels and hubcaps fitted with bias-ply whitewalls.

“Optional power steering and power brakes add road control to the potent under-hood package of the top-flite Nomad wagon, with factory air conditioning ready to keep the two-tone beige-and-red leather interior at optimal temperature,” the seller notes. “Power windows, in-dash clock and AM radio add luxury to Nomad style.”

The asking price for this landmark piece of Chevrolet design is $96,225.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful car from the year I was born! Thank for a good article. 🙂

    My 90 year old Dad who has restored 1956 Chevy Bel Aire convertible wants to know who he could talk to to have his car considered to be a Pick of the Day…

    It is an original factory (but unusual) color.. Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige.. he has worked very hard on restoring it and is very proud of it. He has a birthday in August and I think it would make his next bday that much more special.

    Thank you and thanks again for sharing the 1955 Nomad’s info. They just don’t build them like they used to… 🙂

    • We do Pick of the Day from among the cars advertised on ClassicCars.com. If he wants his car to be considered, it needs to be advertised on that website.

  2. Very refreshing and impressive to see a car WITHOUT IMO those tacky aftermarket underdash gauges. This looks like a museum quality automobile.

  3. A beautiful car from the era when style function followed form; and even this old Ford guy has to admit that Chevrolet was building some of the prettiest cars to ever grace a showroom floor!

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