Not A Nomad! 1956 Pontiac Safari

Even more rare than a Chevrolet Nomad, there were only 4,042 1956 Pontiac Safaris produced, versus 7,886 1956 Nomads! This fancy two door wagon can be found in Huntington Beach, California and is listed for sale here on eBay for a buy it now price of $22,000–or you can make a lower offer and hope it’s accepted!

Although there are some localized rust out areas, as a whole this looks like a pretty solid restoration project. I say restoration because I’m having a tough time imagining anyone driving it as-is cosmetically.  The seller tells us that the car will need some rust repairs on the floor boards, rocker panels and a few other areas. Somehow I’d like to know more than that before dropping that kind of money, and that’s why the seller has left their phone number in case you want to contact them directly.

At first I thought the fenders might be from another car, but then I realized that was the two-toning–which now has me wondering if the hood is from another car! Based on this picture and others, the hood should be that same cream or white color on the upper surfaces.

Unfortunately, the interior appears to be a shadow of its former self, at least from the few pictures we have. I wonder if it’s been left out in the open? There seems to be a lot of surface deterioration where I wouldn’t expect it. Then again, when is the last time you’ve seen a Safari up for sale below $25k? All the trim is present, just not on the car, so that will save you a lot of time, trouble and money, even if you have to have some of it restored!

I’m hoping this is the original engine! It does run and the car does have power steering and brakes. But that’s all we know about the running condition–it would be nice to know a lot more! What do you think about this project–is it worth the asking price? With an NADA low retail of $38,500 and a high retail of $198,300 (!), the answer may be yes!



  1. Coventrycat

    As nice as the Nomad body style is, and even with fewer Pontiac versions made, the rear styling gets lost with the grampa front end. Still a nice design, mind you, but I’d still want a Chevy.

  2. Al

    More like a Grumpa front end, glad its not an Oldsmobile, they’re usually grumpier.

  3. redwagon

    not me. i am all in on the pontiac styling.

  4. redwagon

    new movie idea – grumpy old cars

    well ok it isn’t so new.

  5. 68 custom

    It may be even rarer but a 56 Nomad wins in the looks dept. seems a little pricey when you consider the rust situation. but it will be very cool once finished.

  6. Kevin Wernick

    Too pricey. A 57 Safari is much better looking

    • Jay S.

      Agree. The ’57 has much better styling and no ‘suspenders’ on the hood.

  7. boxdin

    On the Chevy the rounded rear wheel wells give it a more sportier look. The Poncho skirted design really hurts the look to me.

  8. Three Pedal Steve

    In 1956 my Dad’s best friend showed up in a new Safari and explained that the dealership (Moody Pontiac- Ft. Lauderdale) had erroneously special ordered two cars. One blue on white, the other white on blue. Dad loved the blue on white car and bought it. It was the car I learned to drive in. Later it was the tow vehicle for my 55 chevy drag car. It remained my Dad’s daily driver until 1970 when my best friend Richard bought. In 1973 he sold it to a street rodder who installed a 421 and four speed and then promptly totaled it. It was my Dad’s favorite car ever and he owned a bunch of good ones over the years. I hated driving it- big and ugly, very slow with that hydromatic trans. But it always started and ran- always.

  9. glenn

    we had one of these years ago and i remember because one day my dad came home on foot, the tranny fell out on the highway and he just parked it and left it

  10. Wayne

    IMO the Pontiac rear wheel opening with spats, (skirts) looks so much nicer than the Chev nomad.

  11. Mark S

    I like it way more than the Nomad. But the price of admission is to rich for my blood, besides I’ve just finished going through all that metal work on my dodge and I’m not inclined to do another car, I’m just not up to it health wise. That said I’d sure hope that some one will take it on and not have it get passed around by a bunch of flippers. JMHO😎

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Hasn’t this been listed here before ?

  13. Rustytech Member

    Just an observation, I alway thought the Old’s front end looked like the grumpy apple tree on Wizzard of Oz. though the Pontiac is not as clean in appearance as the Nomad, I still like it. At half this price I might br interested.

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