1957 Chevy Bel Air Wagon: 4 Door Classic

1957 Chevy Bel Air Wagon

I know this isn’t a ’57 Nomad, but there is just something that I like about the 4 door Bel Air Wagon. It’s the kind of car you want to load the whole family up in and go to an old time diner for hamburgers, fries, and a shake! This particular wagon has some issues that might keep me away from it though. The worst of those issues is the rust. It isn’t the worst rust I’ve ever seen, but it does make me nervous of what might be hiding underneath. The other big issue is the lack of an engine. Now some of you might look at this as a plus, as it means you can stick any number of V8s in the engine bay. Personally, I’d rather have the original 283 V8, but I guess a 327 or a 350 would make things a bit more interesting. If you would like to take a closer look at this Bel Air, you can find it here on eBay in Yukon, Pennsylvania. I can think of a lot of cars I would call All-American classics, but when it comes to family wagons the ’57 Bel Air Wagon has to be my favorite! So what is your all time favorite American station wagon?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. JW454

    My father had two of these. The only family vacation we ever went on was to Florida to visit my grandmother in 1966 in his first one. A lot of the freeways weren’t done yet so it was a long trip. Both of Dad’s were 210 models. This one needs some new metal here and there.

  2. Rene

    Ok I admit it. I wasn’t born in the US of A, and my parrents were only 12 in 1957. That’s how I can ask this stupid / cilly question: What is the (overall) difference between this wagon and a Normad? Does a normad only have 2 doors and 2 seats or….
    And while we’r at it: Can somebody tell me what the difference is between a Cadillac Eldorado (of ’59 series 62) and a Biarritz (of the same year). Was the Biarritz a limited edition offered to regular costumors or what is the story?

    • Oldstuff 1941

      Rene,
      Your question is not really stupid or silly, since there are millions who really don’t know the differences,because of the vast array of body styles and options offered in those years. It was also over 60 years ago…lol…
      You are correct in that The Nomad only came in a 2 door, 2 seat, ‘Sport Wagon’ configuration in 1955-57. It did not come as a 4 door until 1958 and then also, all the following years until it (the name) was dropped in …1966 or 67 I think.

      There were other 2 door wagons offered also,…called ‘Handyman’ wagons which were not as sporty due to the standard post type windows ,…instead of the slanted window post, and Hardtop type doors offered only on the Nomad..

      As for the Cadillac, I’m pretty sure you are right about the ‘Biarritz’ being an Special Option package, offered on the already heavily optioned Eldorado. I think it was offered to anyone who had the bucks to pay for it, not just special customers though… The following is from a ‘wikipedia link’ > “Cadillac began using the monikers ‘Eldorado Seville’ and ‘Eldorado Biarritz’ to distinguish between the hardtop & convertible models (respectively) while both were offered, from 1956 through 1960 inclusively. The ‘Seville’ name was dropped when the hardtop was initially discontinued (1961), but the Biarritz name continued through 1964. Beginning 1965, the Eldorado became the ‘Fleetwood Eldorado’. ‘Biarritz’ returned as an up level trim package for the Eldorado for 1977.”

      This link will provide you some photos to look at the many different configurations they came in…
      1957 Classic Chevrolet – Body Styles
      http://www.57classicchevy.com/body-styles.html

      Hope this helps.
      David

      • Rene

        Thank you so much!

    • Jason Member

      1955-1957 Nomads were high-end two door wagons with a roofline inspired by an older Corvette show car. They had back seats but were meant as a stylish (rather than purely functional) choice. Starting in 1958, the Nomad name was applied to normal 4-door wagons.

      As for the Eldorados, Biarritz means convertible. An Eldorado Seville of the same year would be a hardtop.

  3. rogerowen

    This cannot be classed as ‘rusty’ – you should see what we have to deal with here in the UK! Compared to your ‘Tanks’ our little Flimsy-Mobiles used to come off the production line already with rust! Well, some of them anyway.

    If you are looking for some inspiration on welding and restoration take a look at this awesome resto project. WARNING – seriously long thread, but well worth a look as it is mainly pictorial.

    http://www.mmoc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=48882

  4. Ed P

    Nomads were 2 door wagons. They also had a more slope to the rear than standard wagons giving them a more sporty appearance.

  5. gunningbar

    All wagons are favorites.. but esp chevies.
    Had a 64… 78.. . 78 Volare.. now a 93 Volvo.
    Wagons are a must for hauling Wolfhounds!
    Saw a v nice 60 Studebaker Lark wagon online this week!

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