348 Tri-Power! 1960 Chevrolet Nomad

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It’s a Nomad! Yes, but this example has four doors, not the normally expected two. Still seated at the top of the station wagon totem pole, things had changed for one of Chevrolet’s most collectible models after the conclusion of the ’57 model year. This Nomad has other interesting facets so let’s investigate. It’s located in Oregon City, Oregon and is available, here on craigslist for $8,500. Thanks to Matt H. for this tip!

In 1958, the Nomad, still retaining its distinctive stainless steel verticle tailgate strips grew a pair of back doors, lost its unique roofline but still remained the top drawer station wagon trim line. The ’59 Nomad’s bat-wing rear styling nixed the strips but it, along with the ’60 and ’61 version, still occupied the top station wagon rung. After ’61, the Nomad name disappeared until returning in 1968 on an entry-level Chevelle station wagon.  Chevrolet knocked out close to 200K station wagons in ’60, starting with the Brookwood, then the Parkwood, Kingswood next, and finally, the Nomad. How many of each trim level was assembled has proven to be an elusive statistic.

The seller advises the next owner of this wagon that he, or she, will be only the third owner. We are also told that this Nomad has a great history but it’s not divulged. What is divulged is all of the rust, both surface and invasive in nature, that is fairly well spread across this Chevy’s flanks. Some minor pieces of trim, like the Nomad badges, are missing but the body’s intact and doesn’t show signs of crash damage. The seller refers to this wagon as “a Great solid car with surface rust“. Agreed, but again, the rust in the lower doors looks like more than just the surface variety. Note the tires and wheels, a nod to the ’70s with a jacked-up rear and big and little tire combination.

Not running under the hood is a tri-power fed 348 CI V8 engine, probably pushing out, when operable, 280 gross HP. It’s a nice option but it’s missing pulleys and belts, the heater hoses are disconnected and there may well be other unforeseen matters. It appears to have been dormant for many moons so assume a rebuild will need to be in its future. The transmission is listed as an automatic unit so we’ll assume it’s a Powerglide and not the infrequently encountered Turboglide.

Inside is a pretty rusty environment and it takes a lot of damp exposure to generate that much corrosion – even the top of the dash is rusty. That said, rust-through is not evident so maybe it is surface rust only. The upholstery panels look fair but both kick panels appear to have been on the receiving end of a cowl or windshield leak. The seats, while dirty and worn are surprisingly not split or ripped but the bottom of the front seat looks to have had its inset replaced at some point, it doesn’t match the backrest or the pattern of the rear seat. There is no image of the cargo area.

Yes, this is a legitimate, Chevrolet Nomad station wagon with an unexpected find, said to be original, residing under its hood. But no, it’s not the uber collectible ’55-’57 variety and it will likely never see that kind of market value – this is more just a big old station wagon. What’s your thought, any real value enhancer here as a result of the (missing?) Nomad name or is it really no different than any other ’60 Chevrolet four-door wagon?

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Comments

  1. 8banger 8bangerMember

    The see-thru dizzy cap seals the deal for me!

    Like 1
  2. That 80's Guy The Tower

    Me. Want. And it’s only about 30 minutes from where I live. Wife would kill me if I brought home another car without getting rid of another one first.

    Like 4
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      The Tower,

      “Wife would kill me if I brought home another car without getting rid of another one first.”

      How many wives do you have?

      Like 5
      • That 80's Guy The Tower

        LOL…Just one – This is Oregon, not Utah.

        Like 6
  3. Will Fox

    1. The chances of the tri-power set-up being a factory installation are nearly non-existent. Unless the data plate can verify it, I’d say it was added sometime later.
    2. Hope the floors aren’t toast. And if they are, I hope someone has repair patches for it.
    3. owner #3 and it looks like this? I bet the factory rims/wheel covers are long since gone.
    4. Will cost more to restore than it will ever be worth. Buyer needs to bear this in mind.

    Like 8
  4. Bluetec320 Bluetec320

    I can’t imagine this car ever passing a clean air test.

    Like 3
  5. gbvette62

    Something’s fishy with this car. While the plastic grill insert with the V and crossed flags is correct for a 60 Chevy with a 348, the V with Chevrolet crest above it on the tailgate, would indicate a 283 powered wagon.

    60’s are in my top 3 favorite years for Chevy’s. My parents had two new Chevy’s in 1960. My father use to get a new Chevy Biscayne company car every year, and for 60 he had a Shadow Gray 4 door post, stripper Biscayne (that was a really bland and ugly car). My mother had a new Suntan Copper and Ermine White Kingswood wagon. One of our neighbors had a 60 Nomad wagon in Roman Red and Ermine White, which was a really pretty car. I’ve had a couple 60’s over the years, my favorite being a Tuxedo Black, red interior 60 Impala 283 convertible I owned years ago.

    Like 9
  6. KC JohnMember

    I love that 70s stance. Would be a fun car to finish hot rodding.

    Like 4
  7. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero

    I never new the Nomad name carried on after the original 55-57

    Like 2
  8. unclemymyMember

    My dad bought one of these new, as I can remember being in the showroom at about 3 years old (they gave my brothers and me little balsa gliders with the Chevy logo). He had an aftermarket “Polaris” or “North Star” A/C system installed, which kept he and Mom and their NINE kids cool as we drove sixty miles every Sunday to the little church that my dad pastored. Nope, we were not Catholic. Ah, the adventures we had – including my being left at the gas station for 45 minutes – remember “Mom” screaming “KEVIN!” in the home alone movie? My mom had done it decades before!. With 10 people in the car, who knew No. 11 was missing? We loved that car, and I remember seeing it in the “bullpen” for dead cars after it was all used up. That made me sad.

    Like 11
  9. bobhess bobhessMember

    The Portland/Oregon City area is full of hills with curvey roads that you do not want to attack with a jacked up 4,000 lb car of any sorts, especially when they are wet. I’d get a look at the underside of this one long before I’d consider buying it.

    Like 1
    • That 80's Guy The Tower

      Agreed. The secondary roads in this area are more small European sports cars, as well as anything else that can handle.

      Like 1
  10. Larry Ashcraft

    When I was a kid, our next door neighbors had a white and red 1961 Nomad. They also had four hot daughters. You can guess which got more of my attention.

    Like 2
    • Bommer

      The car.

      Like 0
  11. Wildfire

    Maybe it’s just me , but this Nomad appears to have been sleeping in a river or on the beach when the tide came in ~ I have seen A LOT of cars lately that have come from the gulf coast areas, with the same type of rust inside the passenger area ~ I’m not saying this Nomad is a flood car , but it sure presents like one in my opinion

    Like 2
  12. bobhess bobhessMember

    Wildfire… Cannon beach is only 90 miles west of this car. In the days of this car you could drive out on the beach, which all of us did. I got caught on the wrong side of Haystack Rock and had to drive my mother’s car through the in coming tide to get back to the access road. Don’t have to tell you we spent a whole lot of time cleaning the underside of that car. Having said that, a whole lot of surfers showed up in wagons like this every weekend and got exposed to the salty sand.

    Like 1
  13. Willam r HALL

    This could be a good DIY project for someone not interested in a pile of $$.
    Two more details, the air cleaners are not close to original. A tri power had one BIG ONE. If it was a 283 originally it would have a Powerglide trans most likely. However 348 with an automatic is a Turboglide.

    Like 0
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      Note the attachment, the 348 engine was available with either Powerglide or Turboglide.

      JO

      Like 3

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