Could You Save This 1957 Chevrolet Nomad?

For many people, nothing better exemplifies the nostalgia of the classic car era than the 1957 Chevy. Coming in 2-door hardtop, sedan, convertible, and 2 and 4-door station wagon forms, the Bel Air trim in particular is at the top of many collectors’ wish lists. If this is a car you’ve always wanted, now is your chance! It’s currently for sale here on eBay. It’s located in Louisville, Ohio, and has a current bid of $6,300. Thanks Larry for the tip!

1955, 1956, and 1957 each saw significant design and engineering changes in the Chevrolet passenger car lines, often referred to as the Tri-Fives. This 2-door Nomad wagon was produced during the last year of this era, and benefited greatly from those updates. Chrome trim made the Bel Air line more visually distinct from the 150/210 lines, powertrains were refreshed (ranging from the basic Blue Flame Six all the way up to the Corvette 283 V8 with 10.5:1 compression and mechanical fuel injection that offered 1 horsepower per cubic inch), and new sheet metal and suspension updates gave a more aggressive stance.

This example unfortunately has no engine, no transmission, and no title. But, it no doubt has a lot of potential due to its rarity – out of over 1.5 million cars produced in 1957, Chevy only made around 6,264 Nomad wagons. Whether this one will be restored, resto-modded, or turned into a parts car is up for the next owner to decide.

Photos show a significant amount of rust throughout the entire car. Fenders, doors, rear bumper, rockers, roof, trunk and the floor all have varying amounts of decay. Pretty much the only area without immediately visible holes is the hood. Even the frame looks to have significant corrosion, although the seller says it has no holes. However, a lot of the exterior trim is included, as are some interior pieces and the seats. The seller says that everything he has is included in the sale, but there are still pieces that will have to be sourced. The dash and gauges look to be in salvageable condition, but of course there is no information on whether any of it still works.

Restoring a car is expensive, especially one as far gone as this. It’s not often that you recoup your investment, although for many people it’s a labor of love that drives them. What would you do if you owned this car? Restore to stock, modify with modern drivetrain, or use the parts for another project?


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  1. Joe Haska

    The new buyer has a blank slate, anything would be possible for a car in this condition, if the owner has time and patience. Oh Yea and a big fat bank account.

  2. Steve Clinton

    3 bids in 3 days…not much interest.

    • Steve R

      That doesn’t mean a thing. Often times the serious buyers don’t get involved until the last few hours.

      Steve R

      Like 14
  3. doug edwards

    Save yourself the trouble, buy one already finished. The tri five restoration parts are really high compared to other popular classics. I have seen too many of these restored with total costs going to $100,000.

    Like 3
  4. guitarstar

    I think this car will be saved. people like these old wagons, especially Nomads!

    Like 9
  5. Steve R

    No thanks, on many fronts. It’s rusty to the point that it makes sense to keep looking, unless the price stays below the value of its parts. Even then, Ohio requires a title. It’s one thing to sell a car for a few hundred dollars without one, it’s another on a car that so far, has a high bid of over $6,000. If the seller can’t be bothered to get a title themselves, I can’t be bothered to do business with them, especially on a rusty hulk like this.

    Steve R

    Like 30
    • Mr.A

      I think he should take his 15 minute YouTube video & put lyrics to the music & name the
      Song …. “ RUST-BUCKET !”

    • Lee

      In Ohio you can get a title if you know someone with a repair shop. They can declare it an abandoned car due to non payment of work done. Takes a couple of months. I did it on a parts car I got cheap.

  6. Charlie Sawka

    Old guys like me, who have done a number of tri5’s,will see this as an easy one, especially going the restomod route. Young people who may not know the idiosyncrasies of these things may not get it. Cool car regardless

    Like 1
  7. Maverick

    Rat rod

    Like 2
  8. mainlymuscle

    Any and all 57 Nomads are worth saving . That said ,Steve R is right again .
    Does the “R” stand for “Right “

    Like 3
  9. Gordo

    Find a good cheap 210 and replace the top and glass from this one!

    Like 2
    • Jay

      There are more differences than the roof and glass between a Nomad and a 150 or 210 wagon. Most significantly the whole tailgate area between the quarters. It could be done, but it would be just as much if not more work than restoring the Nomad. I bought a ‘57 Nomad with no title and didn’t have too much trouble obtaining one. It depends on the laws in your state for how difficult it is to get a new title.

      Like 3
    • John S Dressler

      A perfect candidate for conversion to something that didn’t exist yet in 1957. A 57 El Camino! If you’re going to have to break out the plasma cutter and wire welder, as is the case here, you might as well go big or go home!

  10. HC

    This ones a rolling chassis with no engine and its a rust bucket. Unless your a great welder and have a Chevy drivetrain lying around to install, move on. Nomad? No thanks.

    Like 1

    Where there is a will there is a way! $100 to restore, I’ll informed.

  12. Tony T

    Clear Coat it for me

  13. HC

    Anyone can pay a company to get a title depends on the headache and expense youre willing to endure. That coupled with all the rust and welding required on this car including rocker panels fenders and qtrs before you even get to a paint booth as well as supplying an entirely new drivetain in this Nomad makes it an expensive proposition all the way around.

  14. Bob

    Register it in a state like RI. No title needed!

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