Garage Bound: 1955 Chevy Nomad

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As many of us know, the Chevy Nomad remains a desirable car to this day among collectors and hot rod enthusiasts alike. In particular, the early cars like this ’55 are highly coveted as well. Which is why it’s not entirely surprising that the seller of this garage-find example here on eBay is skimping on the details in the hopes that buyers simply see the year and the model and don’t go to any great lengths to confirm condition or history before bidding. 

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“I believe the motor has been changed out.” Those are the seller’s words, not mine, and they’re a tad underwhelming in the confidence department. It wouldn’t surprise me after all of these years to learn that it had been tossed aside, but what a shame if it was. Nomads are all the more desirable if equipped with their original 265 V8 mill, and even more so if it came from the factory with the Power Pack upgrade and a four-barrel carb.

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But once you see the interior – coupled with the striping on the outside – you begin to get a clearer picture of how this Nomad may have lived. The late-model GM seats reveal that this Nomad hasn’t been kept up as an original car, but rather modified to suit the owner’s needs and/or tastes. You can see the stock steering wheel on the passenger seat, which may indicate the stock bits are still laying around somewhere – just don’t count on the seller to tell you.

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The original chrome bumpers have been painted to match, which is a serious downgrade in my opinion. The seller avoids the rust and bodywork question by reminding us he doesn’t work in a bodyshop, therefore he cannot confirm nor deny that this car has solid sheetmetal. However, it does run and drive, so it’s got that going for it. Endicott, New York, is where this Nomad is hiding out, which is an area that definitely gets snow and salt – so tread carefully!

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Comments

  1. Steve

    Looks to be a late 80’s / early 90’s era custom. Those door panels are wild!

  2. Fred W.

    The dual master cylinder is one thing I wouldn’t change back. This is the one car I always wanted but never got. Even back in the day they were expensive due to the demand. In the 70’s a ’56 or ’57 4 door hardtop might have cost $200-$400, while a 2 door HT would go for $2000 and a Nomad $2500. Too rich for my blood at the time, but looking back, wish I had.

    Like 1
  3. Madbrit

    Radiator, electric wipers and dual circuit power brakes are also not original.

  4. PaulG

    NY = Salt, which = rust, which = “solid body” (coming from “I’m not a body man”) = proceed with caution…

  5. Greg f

    This brought back memories my brother bought a mint 57 chev nomad in the eighties for four thousand kept it for 20 years and took it to back to the fifties at the fair grounds and sold it for 14,000 when he told me I told him he was an idiot and should of sold one of his other cars. Now they are selling for over $50,000……..

    Like 1
  6. Mike D

    the seller seems to skip around any real detail , as Paul , above said ” I’m not a body man” which probably means ” looks good for the year” , may have been a repaint, weren’t Nomads two tone? might have done well with taking pics inside the garage, then push, drag, or drive it out into the daylight and take more detailed pics personally would talk up the engine.. Vette engine? out of an Impala? traditional state inspection items .. are they OK ? it is up to 13.5 K now ( Thurs eve)

    • rockribbedrushy

      All very valid points.
      Pictures are most important.
      14,300 Friday 12:30AM

  7. GRAY WOLF

    You don’t have to be a body man to see rust! It’s either surface or its eating through! Do you have to be an exterminator to see termite damage? If it runs, pull it out, take some photos! Must be hiding something, don’t you think???

  8. Ck

    Back in the late 80’s I had a chance to buy a 56 nomad for $3500. Someone had put a 327 with a 4spd in it but otherwise it was all there .I would have had to sell my 72 nova with the factory sky roof sun roof. (That I still have and just finished a 19 year restoration ).Shoulda,coulda, woulda,I guess.The nova is the car that I drove in High School so I guess I made the right decision.

  9. Charles

    Battery fluid eating up the fender well. Whoever buys the Nomad had better do a thorough inspection of the car for rust, corrosion, floor pans, etc. Of course, a total restoration must be completed due to its condition. Lot of work and money!

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Dang flippers…..run from this one – it’s over $11,000…..wonder if it’s getting bumped by the seller…..let’s go look at the bidders.

    • rockribbedrushy

      “let’s go look at the bidders.”

      Not allowed by ebay to that anymore. Privacy, you know.
      6 Bidders, 10 bids, started at 12,000.

      There’s 3 bidders that are bidding up a storm on other chevy’s.

      And there’s 5 days left.

  11. Wd62vette

    Ok ” It starts if jumped!!! And drives!!!” move the car out of the garage and get some good pictures of it. I had more and better pictures of my lawn mower I sold on Craigslist.
    Bought my California rust free 57 Nomad in 1974 for $1800. Glad I kept it.

    Like 1
    • moosie Craig

      That ’57 is a beauty, nice work.

    • socaljoe

      Wd62vette; glad you did too. It’s perfect.

  12. Warren

    Sheesh, as a seller do some research, get some good pics out there and actually describe the vehicle! Not rocket science and anyone with common sense and Google can do it! This will avoid headaches once the hammer drops….with 725 transactions and 100% feedback you would think the seller should know better.

    • rockribbedrushy

      His seller ID is ‘payote’ and he only sold electronics, phones and play stations with 5 negatives.
      This is his first car. He probably found it and now he thinks he will strike it rich.
      He added many addenda to the listing.
      You need to jump it to start it and it has no title. You have to apply for a new title.

  13. billy de Hulst

    Is this really a Nomad or just a two door wagon? I can’t tell from the photos on my little laptop screen.

    Anyone who buys this without a personal inspection is either resigned to a total restoration and has more than $60,000 over the purchase price in their back pocket to pay for it, or they have several screws up in the brain belfry which need to be cinched-up.

    If you want to read a sort of oddball book about the “restoration” of a ’57 Nomad, including bios on all 13 of the Nomad’s previous owners from new, get a copy of a book called “Auto Biography”. It is a good read. Sorry, I cannot remember the authors name.

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