Live Auctions

38k Mile 1955 Chevrolet Nomad Barn Find!

Reader Jim G made one amazing find a few years back! He’s finally getting around to doing the necessary work to make it a driver again but thought it would be fun to see what his fellow readers think he should do with it. His find is a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad that was parked in an old lady’s barn back in 1967! It stayed there until he purchased it in 2016 and while it’s going to need lots of work, he thinks he might be able to keep the car fairly original. That being said, he can’t help but wonder if it would be more fun to modify it a bit. You can read more about the car in his own words below. So, take a look at this amazing find and let him know what you think in the comments below.

From Jim G – I purchased this Nomad in Wisconson in 2016 from the man in charge of cleaning out an old lady’s barn. The car was damaged in 1967 in an accident with a 1967 Ford Fairlaine Convertible which resulted in the replacement of the front fenders. The car has been in this building since then. The rest of the car is an all-original 265 with the Powerglide transmission and 38,138 miles. It appears that the rest of the car is basically untouched including the paint and numbers matching. Any parts that were not on the car were inside. It still has the factory markings (gold) visible on the firewall. Plans are to do what is necessary to put this Nomad back on the road as an original survivor car. Thank you, Jim G. Ohio

Talk about being buried! Getting this Nomad out of the barn had to be one heck of a task, but I’m sure it was well worth the work the first time Jim saw it out in the daylight. As you can see, there’s work to be done, but it looks to be in decent shape overall. Getting the fenders repainted to match the rest of the car could prove to be a challenge, but it sure would make for one amazing looking Chevy!

I want to thank Jim for sharing his find with us and I hope he keeps us posted as he starts working on it! Whichever route he goes with it, it’s going to be one sweet ride. If he can get it back on the road while being as original as possible, it would be that much cooler, but even fully restored it would be absolutely amazing to have. So, if it were yours, would you keep it original, restore it back to like new condition or would you customize it to your liking? Let Jim know what you’d do with it in the comments section!

Do you have an awesome barn find story you’d like to share with us? Please email us at!


  1. Little_Cars

    How did fenders on opposite sides of the car get damaged in the accident but not the hood I wonder? Seeing the interior of this low mileage car really brings out the “oppulance” being built into this most expensive Tri-Five in the day. The upholstery puts some of the lesser restorations I’ve seen to shame.

    Like 13
    • Tom c

      Probably hit something low and drove the bumper into the fenders.

      Like 5
    • Bellingham Fred

      Maybe the fenders were replaced because the eyebrows rusted out.

      Like 4
    • Boney

      Seeing as the talk is going on and on…l would guess the storage of lumber under the car may help rotting the bottom from ground moisture

      Like 1
      • Butchb

        Good call Boney. Looking over the pictures I was thinking there must have been wood stored under the car for there to be any floor left after 50+ years in a WI barn. Then I noticed it in pic 1. What a stroke of luck as it blocked or absorbed the ground moisture that would have undoubtedly rusted out the floors.

        This must be such an interesting find that remarks about the mice urine smell seem have been forgotten. Rodent smells are just another repair issue to be addressed as with any old car from barn storage. Just add it to the repair list along with brake repair, gas tank cleaning etc. Nothing to get excited about.

        Like 1
  2. Connecticut Mark

    I only see 2 photos

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      The area under the narrative has an album of photos, right on this page. Should appear for all lookers regardless of membership.

      Like 4
  3. Boney

    i am nomad ! sterilize ! sterilize !

    Like 5
  4. redwagon

    still am flabbergasted at how often gm paired yellow or cream exteriors with a green or teal interior in the 50’s. just glaringly ugly to my eyes. ymmv.

    Like 2
    • Mark C

      The replacement fenders are a better color match than the original color to my eyes.

      Like 7
    • sirlurxalot

      My older brother had a yellow ’54 Bel Air convertible with an all dark-green interior. It looked nice actually. A Packers fan would love it.

      Like 3
  5. Bob C.

    Good find Jim! The interior doesn’t look that bad at all. I see it is an early 265 with the add on oil filter cannister, meaning not a full flow filtration system. If it’s too far gone, there is always the “any old 350” route, depending on your budget.

    Like 4
  6. Jim ODonnell Staff

    Jim G:

    Wonderful find! I have reviewed a lot of Nomads, admittedly my favorite body style for a tri-five, and most are a mess – either dilapidated or very poorly modified.

    This example is so original, I wold continue in that vien. You don’t need to build a 100 point show car or a trailer queen, just a nice driver would be a great and fitting tribute to one of Chevrolet’s finest creations.

    Good luck with whichever direction you take!


    Like 14
    • Jim G

      This is my thought exactly, Thanks Jim Odonnell

  7. Robert White

    Nice find and I like the way the old lady packed the Nomad away in her small space barn. She gets points for her packing ability and efficient use of space above the car body. I’ll bet she had moving experience.

    And she gets best tidy barn of the year too.


    Like 6
    • Anthony

      Classic little ol lady /car story

      Like 3
  8. Don Sicura

    The stuff that motor heads dream of

    Like 3
  9. RNR

    If it wasn’t for the mismatched front fenders, the decision to keep it original paint would be easy for me. You could faux paint the the front fenders to match, but that seams less honest than painting the whole car (after all, it was subjected to a dozen Wisconsin winters before being put away). I guess I’d paint it, clean the interior and drive it often!

    Like 4
  10. Darlene D.

    Keep her stock even if a repaint or motor o-haul is in order. You can’t find an original or untouched, unmole$ted, version of a classic anymore. Her story and outward quirks are worth more than a modified nomad with a crate 350.

    Like 5
    • Phlathead Phil


      What? Yes you can. I just purchased a 1953 Ford Victoria in July of this year 100% COMPLETE, and un-Mole-sterred right down to the hubcaps.

      Believe me, they are OUT there hidden EVERYWHERE!

      I know this to be a Phact, because in my line of work I have SEEN them in Garages, Barns, Sheds and carports in 27 of the 58 counties of California, and this is just ONE state.

      I’ve appeared in more than 40,000 structures for over 36 years.

      Sadly, in the west, many have suffered the destructive force of wild 🔥’s, yet MANY survive, and MORE are put back in the road EVERYDAY!

      It is IMPRACTICAL and UNRELIABLE to use a 6 volt generator and old technology to build a custom, rod, or rat.

      You CANNOT risk a breakdown on the road in today’s 🌍.

      You may not EVER see your beloved treasure ride ever again.

      Phlatheads have little horsepower to tame the modern roads.

      My team of mechanics and I decided the Phlattie goes for the ‘53 Vicky.

      In its place goes a Cobra!

      Turn the key baby, lemme hear them horses race!

  11. Philip Lepel

    I’d keep the body and drive train original but clean out all the rust and a repaint to match the interior. Yellow body but green interior?? The only modification I’d make is better shocks,springs and brakes, or if nothing else the brakes to make it stop better. Otherwise keep it as stock as possible

    Like 2
  12. martinsane

    To not return this car to bone stock would be sacrilege.
    Plenty of other lesser cars to Frankenstein into some modern travesty.

    Like 5
  13. Maestro1 Member

    Save the car, only modify for safety reasons (disc brakes, Pertronix, convert to 12 volt system, the parts to do this are everywhere) as examples, match up the paint and drive the car. It’s an unusual color combination, and you will not
    regret this purchase. Don’t worry about market values. They are only a guide.
    Enjoy it forever.

    Like 1
  14. Kevin Kendall

    Notice the California bumpers on it,friend of mine had a 2 dr HT with the same,pretty cool

  15. Phlathead Phil

    Wow! This is a TRUE Barn Find!

    Did the shotgun come with the car?

    You know, buy the gun and get the car for free!

    My Late brother bought a 1955 Chevy Bel Aire in 1965 for $100.00.

    It was a “No-Post” top end model. The previous owner had re-painted it yellow and cream at Earl Sheib’s paint shop in Los Angeles.

    The interior was Seafoam green. He used to take me down the freeways at breakneck speeds. As a 10 year old, I got a feeling of the POWER of a Chevy!

    I’m very partial to the ‘55 and believe it is the MOST beautiful of the Tri-5’s.

    IMHO, it is HEAVEN on wheels!

    However, I still love a Ford Flattie!

    Can you imagine a ten year old with a Flat-head racing the L.A. freeways in 1965?

    “What Driver’s License? I no got no license!” LOL!

  16. Claudio

    Being born in 1962, these are cars that i rode, saw and later drove …
    This is a nice old stock one and should be left this way !
    I like the look of them but i love to drive so all these old cars are no longer for me , no brakes, no handling and no creature comforts so , i leave it up to others to wrench and play with these
    Eversince i drove a minivan that outperformed many musclecars , i just dont have it anymore !
    I now own a z3, az4 , a c5 ,a civic , sunfire convert and an f150
    I have plenty to play and all are better than an old car , even the sunfire outperforms many old cars but you cant beat the old car look!
    Hope you drive and enjoy …

  17. Phlathead Phil


    I’m with you on this idea of having multiple cars. My friends ask, “why do you have so many vehicles?” I tell the simply; “I use them in my business and each one is an investment.” Some earn me $, some cost me, but at the end of the day I had fun.

    I remember starting out in H.S., and getting a car was a HUGE thing. That day is long past and now I’m pushing 20 units and closing in fast on the next one. A client of mine has 25 unfinished projects and he is still buying.

    It can get to be an obsession true, but remember they can ALWAYS be sold.

    My F-350 pulls like no tomorrow, my “A” Roadster has started the build process from a bare frame. The Vicky is getting a new power plant and paint.

    Do I do all the work? Heck no. Insub it out if need be, and assemble the team to do what in envision the car to be.

    The challenging part is crunching the numbers.

    Prices on the target vehicle have to be LOW enough to turn a profit, or it is not a good investment.

    Just because it’s for sale, doesn’t mean it’s a good buy.

  18. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice car – I’m sure he make a good profit on it.

  19. Swolf Member

    Please don’t restro or modify it. Do as much restoration as you feel comfortable with and enjoy it. It was, and still is a beautiful car-don5 change it. Just my opinion.

  20. Stan

    Hi Jim , I am thinking that this beauty is well worth the restoration process because of the originality of the car itself and as such it doesn’t deserve to be butchered by resto modding it . Resto mods have their place but this isn’t one of them . Restoration would likely be cheaper than resto modding because you already have everything there . Congratulations on your terrific find .

  21. Jim G.

    Thanks everyone for the story and all of your comments. Consensus appears to be to stay with original as much as possible and enjoy the car. Thinking this is the direction were heading. Thanks again, Jim G.

    Like 1

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