Big-Block Wagon: 1960 Chevrolet Impala Nomad

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This 1960 Chevrolet Nomad spent more than 30-years sitting in a field, but it really doesn’t seem to be any the worse for the experience. Of course, the fact that the field was in the dry climate of Colorado no doubt helped its cause. It was then moved to a barn and is now ready to move on to a new home. The Nomad is located in Grand Junction, Colorado, and you will find it listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Nomad has reached $2,710, but it probably is no real surprise that the reserve hasn’t been met.

In its glory days, this must have been quite a car, and there is no reason why it couldn’t be again. While there is plenty of surface rust courtesy of the cars extended outdoor existence, it has been spared any real rust issues. The floors and frame look solid, and the quarters, rockers, and doors also look nice. There are a few items that will need to be sourced to revive this old beauty. Most of the glass is either missing or broken. The side trim plates have also been changed at some point, as these are Impala trims, rather than the correct Nomad items.

Don’t be too concerned about that empty engine bay, because while the news isn’t great, it could be a whole lot worse. The original 348ci big-block is present, but it is stuck. With a bit of luck, this can be revived, because it would be awfully nice to have the original engine back in its rightful place. The transmission is a different story. The owner believes that the Nomad was originally equipped with a 3-speed manual, but someone may have been in the process of converting it to automatic at about the time the car went into retirement. He says that it will be up to the new owner to decide which way they want to proceed on that front. The Nomad also came equipped with power steering and power brakes. There are no interior shots, but we do know that what is present is pretty heavily toasted. Once again, this was a car that was nicely equipped when new. You got dual wagon antennas, a power rear window, and plenty of chrome and stainless trim. He does say that the dash itself is quite good, as are the frames and padding on the seats. The only item missing appears to be the base of the rear seat.

In 1960, there were 198,000 Nomads rolling off the GM production line, so that doesn’t make this a particularly rare car. The item that gives this car its true value is that original 348 engine. Any good 348-equipped Nomad will command a 35% premium over a non-348 in identical condition. Today, you will find a reasonable example in need of restoration for around $27,000. If you want a nice one, then you need to have around $41,000 in your wallet. From there, the sky is the limit. That means that depending on what the reserve is on the Nomad, if that engine can be revived, this could be a bit of a gold mine.

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Comments

  1. redwagon

    that’s how to clean up a field find and make it presentable for top dollar. despite the surface rusting of the sheet metal the chrome really shines and even the underside has been washed clean of dirt and grime. all 4 tires hold air for the photos and with matching hub caps the wagon looks like it would be driveable as is – except that the motor is out and stuck and the transmission is questionable.

    i worry about finding the glass for this one, especially the rear quarter glass. even the windshield will be difficult (and it definitely needs to be replaced). sedan delivery anyone?

    Like 9
  2. don

    The glass shouldn’t be too much of an issue ;there are plenty of old Chevy sedans that could donate the door glass and windshield , and there are lots of junkyards out west that could supply those curved rear windows. Straight , rust free sheet metal and good trim on this car are big pluses. the biggest money here would be the replacement of the interior , but I would imagine a lot of it is available . I’m guessing the 348 seized which is why it was retired , but that’s another item that can be redone . This one would look so nice restored and deserves to be after sitting all those years .Funny that it has Chrysler Cordoba hubcaps !

    Like 5
  3. John M.

    A good solid foundation for a nice ride and the surface rust is easy to tackle. My choice for an engine would be a late Chevy LS small block. It’ll help the car get the groceries home from the supermarket before the ice cream starts to melt.

    Like 5
  4. James Rogers

    I thought Nomads were two doors

    Like 4
    • John

      Nomads were two door wagons in 55, 56, and 57 only. After that Nomad was used on the impala wagons.

      Like 3
      • Jay Morgan

        I had a 60 2 door wagon, it was called a Brookwood. But I put nomad badging on it !

        Like 0
  5. Terry L McNutt

    Chevy just capitalized on the Nomad name after 57’. Nomads were two door wagons originally and after 57’ they just became station wagons to me. Yes they have a little different styling, but it is still a 4 door wagon and not worth much on the market. You would of had to own one of these and loved it to put the 50g’s necessary to restore it. The you still have a $25 thousand dollar car.

    Like 6
    • CCFisher

      A mild restomod ’59 Nomad sold for just short of $80K in January.

      Like 0
    • TomMember

      Thanks Terry…..I would like to know even more as to “how” these 4 doors (and I know they are but) are called Nomads? I always understood the concept of the NOMAD to be a 2 door and that IS what made them cool (in my opinion).

      There is no “maybe” in that they are just a station wagon. I guess the “trim” makes it a “Nomad”? Further defined as a nicer 4 door station wagon.

      Rear glass is going to be very difficult to find, don’t kid yourself. Parts for this vehicle are going to be EXPENSIVE and hard to find….and when you do find them…..they are going to be EXPENSIVE. Been there.

      You are right about the market on this car BUT I think you are about $30K light in your restoration budget, if not $50K light…. IF>>> done like “example of one done” at the end of that salemans pitch. Wow, I read that ebay listing and all I could picture is Kurt Russell in his Plaid Sportcoat from “Used Cars” !!

      To CC Fisher on the 80K resto mod that sold…..I will bet that resto mod, if it was nice and well done….. sold at a LOSS…..

      Like 3
  6. Gaspumpchas

    love a 60 chevy. The Nomad trim, even though its no comparison to the classic tri 5 ones, is still cool, especially the crossed flags on the tailgate. build that 348, stick a 4 speed in it and you have some AllAmerican beauty. Cars of this era were the stuff that dreams are made of!!

    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 10
  7. Pete

    You never hear about the 348. Were they any good?

    Like 0
  8. Jack M.

    The 348 is the 409’s little brother. Plenty stout in it’s day. A lot of the 409 go fast goodies will work on the 348.

    Like 4
  9. Gaspumpchas

    yea pete and Jack the 348’s dominated even in their stock form. Here’s a pic From the Pocono Drag Lodge of a hometowm favorite in Northeastern PA, Piloted by a guy named Joe Amato. If you don’t recognize the name, Joe went on to be Top Fuel Dragster champion 5 times. This ride was one of his first,, and Pocono Drag Lodge was his first Drag strip. The Kays’ Pizza Willys was unbeatable. Great days indeed!!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 9
  10. ChebbyMember

    “Out past the cornfields, where the woods got heavy…..”

    Like 9
  11. Kenneth Carney

    I agree with you, GPC, a 4-speed would be
    a whole lotta fun in this car. Had a ’60
    El Camino with a 348 and a 4-speed in it.
    All the stuff in my truck was factory issue
    down to the triple carb setup and bat wing air cleaner. Gotta tell ya’ my Mom
    had a blast driving that truck as much as I did owning it. Hopefully, the new owner
    can unstick the engine, add some HD parts, a tri-power manifold with carbs,
    headers, and a bat wing air cleaner, and
    then go out and have a good time. One
    thing’s for sure, you’ll never see another
    one like it!

    Like 6
  12. Gaspumpchas

    Kenneth man a 60 camino with a 348 3 deuces 4 speed warms this geezers’ heart. Bet it would pull the wheels if you could hold down the rear. Amazing days when you could by one of these off the showroom floor!!
    Keep em coming—I love barnfinds.com..Great discussion on the Mighty W block!!!

    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 5
  13. Gaspumpchas

    I built a couple 348’s- with the combustion chamber in the block instead of the head, you had to flip the ring compressor upside down to get the pistons in. One went into a 100 point 58 impala convertible, and the other into a 53 chev sedan delivery. Sweet times!!

    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 3
  14. Todd Young

    I do not know were you got your information. The big long spears are Impala parts. Nomad in 1960 had 2 doors if any were produced at all. This Chevrolet has all the same trim as my first car. 1960 Chevrolet Impala with a 348 ci Turbo glide. The White paint with Black on sides from spears to tail lights is correct as well as the 6 tail lights make it a Impala. Need to brush up on your Chevrolet knowledge. Maybe your the guy who stuck V-8 badging on a 60 Chevy Wagon I saw at Autorama with a I 6. V-8 283ci & 348ci had a V under the Impala. Silver for 283ci Gold for 348 ci.

    Like 2
  15. Steven G Cremering

    please stop calling 4 door wagons nomads nomads were 2 door ONLY having owned a 55 sedan delivery in high school 1977 till 1990 these were basically nomads minus the side glass with a one piece tailgate and no back seats just a platform for hauling

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      Steven, you don’t get to decide what that car is called. Chevrolet got to decide that 59 years ago.

      This car is a Nomad as it says right on the side of the car.

      Like 6
    • Johnny

      There were no 2 door Nomads after 57, they were 4 door: THE top of the line wagons 58-61, until 62 when the first true Impala wagons were built.
      There were no Chev wagons with 6 tail lights until 63, skipping 64, returning in 65, 68-70.

      Like 1
      • Bob Jungmann

        Just seems so amazing to me that some people just can’t get over the fact that Chevy discontinued the 2 dr Nomad spiffy style wagon after 57 and used the Nomad name from 58 to 61 on the top of the line trimmed wagon. Crazy as it may seem—the much harder to find Pontiac Safari used the similar body shell from 55-57 Chevy Nomad for the Safari spiffy style and then used that same Safari name for decades after 57 on their top of the line 4 door wagons and no one pays attention to that name “issue”. Get over it folks 55-57 WAS the only spiffed up 2 dr Nomad wagon and from 58-61 it was just a higher level trim package on the 4 door Chevy wagons

        Like 0
  16. Beatnik Bedouin

    Thanks for sharing your memories, GPC. Love the pic of Amato’s Willys..!

    You’ll appreciate this wee tale: Late last year, I was doing my announcer’s duties at my local drag strip (Meremere Dragway). I popped out of the tower during a break and a guy asks me, “Hey, are you the guy with the American accent?”

    I answered to the affirmative and he went on… “I used to do a bit of drag racing in the Northeast back in the 1960s – ever hear of a guy named Val Laporte?”

    I said, “Yes, I remember hearing years ago about the time his fueler ended up in an irrigation canal…”

    He says, “You know who Val is!”

    So here’s one old guy who’s an ex-Lion’s competitor (me) talking to another old guy from Vermont at a drag strip in New Zealand about an old AA/FD racer. It’s not as bizarre the conversation I had with Larry Sutton, the ex-Lion’s starter, about an incident at The Beach that occurred in 1960, but still cool. I’ll save that story for another time… :-D

    Like 4
  17. G Pope

    Whoever wrote this needs to get their eyes examine this is not a Nomad!! This Is Just A 1960 Chevy Station Wagon, Nomads Do Not Have 4 Doors!!!

    Like 1
  18. ben Root

    chry Cordoba hub caps I thought nomads were 2 doors iam not up on nomads after 57 so I could be wrong and I don’t remember a wagon having dual ant ever I guess u could have ordered them but its sure different and the lover or what ever they are on the bottom of the rear quarters looks like a brookwood to me / imposter but again my opion

    Like 0
  19. Johnny

    There were no two door no meds after 57 but the name lived on until 61 all of them after 57 were four doors and they were the top-of-the-line in wagons. The first true Impala wagon was in 62. There were no wagons with six tail lights until 63, skipping 64, returning in 65, 68 through 70

    Like 1
  20. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/buglugs/709951307/ The car says Impala on the doors and on the dash. No badges on this car that says Nomad. There were 4 door Nomads as Johnny states. This is car is an Impala.

    Like 1
  21. ctmphrs

    So many experts, So little time.

    Like 3
  22. Scott Reed

    All,

    I have a 1959 Brookwood wagon that is a 2 door.
    (Modified with C-4 vette suspension, LS-1, and 6 speed)
    They made those in both 2 and 4 doors.

    Parkwood, Kingswood and Nomads were ALL 4 doors in ’59 and ’60.

    BTW; I also have a ’59 El Camino (means; The Road).
    That is made by Chevy using a Brookwood as an answer to Ford’s 1957 Rancho. That was made by using a Ranch wagon with the back cut off just like Elky.

    S

    Like 0

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