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LS3 Swap: 1958 Chevrolet Nomad

right front

The 1958 model year was a year of big changes in the auto industry. Car makers doubled two to four. Cars got four headlights, the Thunderbird get 4 seats and the Nomad got 4 doors. This Nomad is an unfinished project listed here on craigslist in Sacramento, California. The seller thinks it’s worth $15,000 and there may be someone willing to pay that much. It has an LS3 engine and a six speed automatic. The interior was redone at some time and there’s a carpet kit ready to install. There is even a 4 wheel disk brake kit included. The body is in good shape with no rust. Few pictures are provided and the photography is very selective.


The dash looks original and complete except perhaps for the radio knobs.

back seat

This is the only view of the upholstery provided. It looks plain but in good shape. The door card is missing. Does the blue paint indicate a respray?


This closeup view of the LS3 shows very little. The big unknown here is how well the engine and trans were installed and the quality of any other work that was done. It looks like the engine might just be set in place. The headers don’t seem to be installed.


The back bumper will need some work, but it looks like the trim is mostly complete. It will take a close inspection to see what it will take to complete this project. Perhaps this fellow bought this project believing it was, as he claims, an “Amazing easy finish project”. It’s not likely this Nomad is worth anywhere near the asking price. What do you think it might be worth? Besides walking away, what would you do with this project?


  1. Dolphin Member

    Anybody can do whatever they want to their Nomad or any other car, and I can even appreciate a 4 door Nomad because I like the look of all Nomads, but the ultra low profile tires just look wrong to me.

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  2. CoventryCat

    The wheels are hideous. Nice otherwise.

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  3. Greg

    I owned and restored a 58 brookwood and put as much nomad trim on as i could find. Which most is not repopped so its diffucult to find. This is worth close to the asking price i sold mine for 29k and it had not had the interior done yet. If anyo e does buy a 58 a place called lutys in cheswick pa has alot of the hard to find four door parts.

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    Just another GM restomod. For the ask I would expect better paint and overall build quality. Wheels are part of the package. Most in the Good Guys crowd who are into a 1950’s car with upgraded suspension, fuel injection power the wheels are an added plus for them… The type of person the seller is targeting.

    Next please.

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    • racer99

      Agree. I like the looks but it always makes me wonder why someone didn’t spend a couple of days and make it run unless (as was said above) all they’ve done is set the motor and trans in place and all the other work (driveshaft, shifter, wiring, exhaust, cooling, etc., etc.) is part of the “easy to finish”. I like it but $15K for a car in kit form with minimal pictures that doesn’t have any real collectable value doesn’t make sense. Add the polarizing direction that the owner took to update it and I find it hard to believe the seller with get anything close to the asking price but you never know.

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  5. Sam M

    The engine/trans combo is 7k all day, but I just don’t see 8,000 in what’s left. Hmm,,,

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    • racer99

      The problem with the drivetrain is unless you can hear it run or get good verifiable info on where it came from you don’t know if all you are getting is rebuildable cores or not. That’s why it would make sense to me to at least make it drive so you could verify the drivetrain’s value.

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    If the floors and body are in good shape, this might not be a bad project if the drive- train is also done correctly. These wagons are bring pretty good money with nothing done! Finding a survivor that hasn’t turned into a chicken coop or parts car is tuff. When you do find one you will pay this price or more and still have the drive train to go!

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  7. Neil

    My bro-in law was in college, and in need of a car in ’69. His grandparents, who were pretty old at the time offered a car to him. His grandmother noted it wasn’t the type of car a young person would be interested in… it was a wagon. They had it at their summer cabin, but he was welcome to it. Turns out, it was the sister to this car. It had 2,500 miles on the clock. It still had the original diamond patterned plastic covers on the seats. It was pristine. Anyway, we drove up to the cabin, drained the fuel tank, installed new gas, inflated the tires, and made it back the 150 miles back home. When we got it back, we did all the basics. New plug wires, rotor, cap, points, etc. He soon got the call for Vietnam, so he left the car with his brother. He totally bastardized the car. Tubbed it, big ass scoop on the hood, painted flat black…. just plain ruined the car. Just before I left for Nam, my BIL returned. When he saw the car, I thought he was gonna cry !

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  8. Gary

    They quit making real Nomads in 57. the 58 was relegated to the second rung line, Bel Air not Impala as the 55-57 were top line Bel Airs. What a shame they had to disgrace the Nomad name by putting it on a 4 door.

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