We saw plenty of interesting and unique cars at this year's Concours d'LeMons, but one that really caught our attention was this 1976 Chevrolet Vega Nomad. We thought we had seen every variation of Vega produced, but then we saw this. We talked to the car's owner Michael V about his unique wagon and he let us know that it was actually a barn find and that he was planning on selling it soon. Well, it has now shown up here on eBay and bidding is at $1,250 with no reserve.
At a first glance this Vega doesn't look much different than the Kammback that it's based off of, but on closer inspection you will notice the differences with the B pillar and the side panels. The Vega Nomad was a very limited version of the car which was an attempt by Chevy to recreate some of the success of their extremely popular '50s Nomad. While some of the styling cues are reminiscent of the Nomad it's hard to see the connection between the two. Perhaps with a new white vinyl top installed, this car would look more like the original Nomad?
This car isn't in the best shape, but it runs and drives well and as Michael has proved that it's quite ready to be shown, at least at LeMons. Thankfully most of the pieces that need replacing are straight from the standard Vega parts bin, so it shouldn't be too hard or expensive to track them down. Any of the pieces specific to the Nomad could be a bit of a challenge though. The Vega Nomad was only built during 1976 and only one was built for each dealership.
This car was a well optioned vehicle and came with the Dura-built 140, which was not only a higher performing version of the standard 2.3L engine, but was also a more reliable engine. This increase in performance and reliability came from the use of a redesigned cylinder head, improved coolant pathways, improved valve seals, and a higher quality head gasket. The Dura-built version produced 84 hp and 122 lbs of torque while the standard engine only produced 70 hp and 120 lbs of torque.
Michael didn't give us much of the history of the car, but he still has much of the original documentation that came with it. He did tell us the car had been in storage for many years and that he believed the 82,600 miles on the odometer are original miles. Having had the opportunity to see the car first hand at the Concours d'LeMons we would have to agree with him. His Vega stood out enough at the event to get an article in the Monterey County Weekly. Check out their video also to see the car in action.
This very rare Vega Nomad isn't in the best shape, but it's not in terrible shape either. And given the rarity of this Nomad, we have no doubt that this car would be worth buying and cleaning up a bit. We just hope the next owner has enough of a sense of humor to bring it to next year's LeMons event.