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1957 Chevrolet Nomad in the Barn


When it comes to classic American wagons, the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad is the King. It offered respectable performance and sportiness, but was still practical. This ’57 Nomad has been parked in this dark barn for many years and is starting to show it. The owner has acquired a few parts for it and has even done some body work. They have decided to part ways with this project and have listed it here on eBay.


From a different angle and with better lighting, it is a bit easier to see the condition it’s currently in. It was originally a turquoise and white car, but was painted red at some point. The body has already had some work done to it, but will likely need to be redone. We would be sure it over very closely, as there could be serious rust hiding under the Bondo and primer.


The seller’s photos aren’t the best, but it’s easy to tell that the rust in the floors is an issue that will need to be addressed. All the major interior components are still here, but it appears that some modifications may have been performed to it sometime in the past. The seller claims the motor turns over, but doesn’t state whether it’s the original or not. Let’s just hope it’s the original and that it doesn’t need a complete overhaul.


It’s hard to tell what all this Nomad is going to need from these photos, but it looks like it’s going to be a major undertaking. While the value of these wagons has gone down over the past few years, they are still highly sought after and hopefully this one will go to a new owner who will get it back on the road. Would you get this one safe to drive and leave it looking rough or would you perform a complete restoration to it?


  1. Dolphin Member

    Despite the poor photos and the mods, this is a very rare and desirable year/model, so would definitely be worth an in-person look if you’re in the market for a special project. It’s in the rust belt and there’s some rust, but could be worth the time/effort/$$ to bring back.

    They only made 6,103 of these. How many can be left that haven’t already been rescued?

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  2. Newport Pagnell

    “I get off on ’57 Chevys”…

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    • bruce

      and screaming guitars

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    • Jim

      “I get off on screamin’ guitars.” Good one….couldn’t help it!

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      • Newport Pagnell

        Down voted,c’mon. Guess some folks didn’t get it. At least you guys did.

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  3. Chuck

    Car is ‘ruff” but would be worth considering if the price does not go crazy. Why would anyone put those wheels & steering wheel on such a classic ???

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    • Lemble

      That was the 70’s and the early 80’s. LOL
      Just another oil leaking Chevy, it needs a Hemi.

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    • David Scheffler

      Why would anyone put those wheels and steering wheel on such a classic ? Oh come on there fella . It hasn’t been THAT long ago since you were a kid has it? Besides I still like that , but then again I’m a real street roder and custom nut. You must be a perest. Theres the difference lol. As long as a guy doesn’t do anything to the body for mods on a machine such as this , right ha.

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      • Chuck

        Yup–you are absolutely right; those wheels & steering wheel were probably installed when they were in style & before the Nomad was nothing more than a station wagon.
        I am not a purist (sp). I am currently restoring an Edsel Convertible & it will not be factory correct, but nothing that a factory correct “nut” could not change.

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      • Foxxy

        It is a classic now, but 40 years ago it was just a hot rod wagon. -peace-

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    • Barzini

      Not that long from now people will be asking why they lowered cars and put on gigantic rims/tires. What looks contemporary today will soon look dated.

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    • Rich

      Those Crager S/S mag wheels and 3 hole spoked steering wheel were very popular in the late 60’s. That quadrajet carb has a adapter to most likly the intake for a rochester manifold. The breather in the valve cover are not original to a 283.
      Has power streering and power brakes and the the chrome trim work is still there and looks in good shape. But my concern would be RUST. It’s got bondo behind the passengers door lower corner which is very common in 55-57 chevys. Also rust was very common on the rocker panels so most likly there’s alot of bondo on this car. If you could get it for under 20 grand it would be a good deal, but not a great deal. It needs a minimum of 20 grand to get the body right. Once you buy a rusty car your never will get out what you paid to make it right unless you get it super cheap. I will never buy a rust bucket again, I am willing to pay more for one without rust. I would rather buy a completely stripped rust free body and find the parts than deal with rust. But to each his own.

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      • Foxxy

        I don’t think you could get those newer valve covers with the staggered valve covers bolts. probably a newer engine. -peace-

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  4. Coldgin

    Because it wasn’t always a classic, and obviously, this car has been sitting abaondoned in a barn for quite some time. At one point in its life, it was just another car, and swapping out the original wheels for Cragar SS rims was a very popular swap. And believe it or not, those small rubber grib/chrome steering wheels were also another popular swap in the day. Just like everyone is swapping out their rims and steering wheels today. This wasn’t always a 60 yr old classic. At one time, it was just someone’s car…..period…just like someone’s 2010 Ford Focus. Would you have a problem swapping things out on it? Probably not, but 60 yrs from now, someone might think you are crazy too….LOL

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    • Foxxy

      I can remember the 60’s these nomads were prime hot rods. not many around and were more costly. most ended up hauling surfboards. -peace-

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  5. paul

    well we have all seen worse on BF & off, as for American steel a 57 Nomad is king for sure , hay buddy you got a light, drop light, anything light?

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  6. Mark E

    Steering wheel, cragar ss mags and awful upholstery all came about the time it was probably painted red too. I am curious about the drivetrain, like, is the engine & transmission original? This is a Bel Air Deluxe with the ‘pearl’ chrome sides & back-up lights. As a top of the line model, it deserves a good restoration. Oh and finally, despite the sellers claims, this car does NOT have factory air. Wasn’t an option in ’57.

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  7. William Robinson

    It definatly deserves to have its turciouse paint bak. Are the nomads floor pans the same as a regular wagon? I wounder if floor pans and other panels are avaliable.from a vendor like year one or classic industrys, if not they should be seeing as they repop all body panels for the two door, heck even complete bodys.

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  8. michael

    From the pictures is looks like ALL of the stainless steel trim is there and in very good condition. Very expensive to replace. As far as holes in the floor,,, what old car doesn’t? this is a very do-able project. Line forms to the right…….

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  9. Rich

    The bids have gone up $4,000.00 in the last hour.

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  10. nomader55

    As an avid Nomad collector/restorer for over 45 years, I beg to differ with Mark E. Factory air and dealer installed air was available in 1955,56 and 57, for all chevys. Also partial or complete floor pans are available many places. the best ones I’ve found are from Danchuck. If anyone out there is looking for a red/white 57 Nomad, rust free Arz. body on rolling chassis, contact me or come to CNA convention in Itaska july 7. Dave

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    • RogueInLA

      Nomader; you could answer a question about 57 air? I had a friend in the early 70s who had a 4 door 57 with A/C, but not under the dash, it was all plumbed thru the dash, with outlets at the ends of the dash (don’t remember if it had outlets in the center). How uncommon was that? When he blew up the car and scrapped it, I told him that it had to be unusual, as I’d never seen another, so he kept all the A/C pieces, ducting, boxes, dash pieces, etc. Hauled them around for years, he’d always kid me about talking him into saving them, but he’d gotten used to having them around. Then in the mid 90s his (now ex) wife went on a cleaning binge and tossed them in the scrap. I don’t recall ever seeing another with that ‘in the dash’ A/C.

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      • Steve H.

        I have a 56 four door 210 wagon that had been sitting in a field for 30 years. It is a complete car with all the original equipment including the factory in dash air conditioning. the only pieces missing is the compressor and condenser off the motor. Someone had the intentions of knowing the car would be sitting for quite awhile and pulled all spark plugs out and backed off all the rocker arms. The bad part is they didn’t put anything to cover the spark plug holes and they were left open for all those years. The engine is locked and I haven’t made any attempt to try to get it loose. So I just put on the back burner for now until I get my five other projects completed, yeah I know good luck on getting them done. If anyone cares to look at them they are on my facebook page.

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      • Dave

        Nomader 55, You are correct. The factory installed A/C had two ducts on either end of the dash board, none in center. 55 had adjustable chrome “holes”, 56 added a simple grille in the holes, and 57 was more contoured to the dash and a little fancier. If your friend had kept all parts he could name his price. I have a set that is almost complete and wouldn’t take $1000.

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  11. Rene

    if not to far gone: full restoration.

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  12. Blindmarc

    Just another 70’s style hidden away.

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  13. twwokc

    When I was a kid my uncle had a 57 Chevy wagon, not a Nomad. My moms high heel punched a hole in the rear floorboard. The car was about 6 years old at the time. It was already a little rusty and that was 50 years ago-)

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  14. Nomader 55

    Tri-5 chevy’s with factory A/C, had a chrome adjustable air duct at either end of the dash. None in the center. If your friend still had all A/C parts he could name his price. I have a set almost complete and wouldn’t take $1000. If this Nomad had factory air, it should have AC stamped on the cowl tag on the fire wall after accessories.

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  15. george mc spong

    weld up the bottom and go drive!

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  16. gabbahey

    George has the right idea – get it moving and have fun! Then figure out how to get to a complete restoration in correct colors etc.

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    • peter ralph

      the 57 nomad now lives in the uk with my 69 roadrunner
      and 69 ss el camino.

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