Perfect Project? 1957 Chevrolet Nomad Wagon

It might be a little ugly now, but this car has the potential to be a really cool project. It can be found for sale here on Craigslist with an asking price of $16,500. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, the best part of the car (the rally-style wheels and tires) isn’t included in the sale. This is still a solid project and will make an awesome winter project for someone. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Gunter for the tip on this one. Check it out.

The interior has pretty much been stripped. The floors appear to be solid and the seller indicates that there is minimal rust. There are plenty of sources for aftermarket parts for Tri-Five Chevys, but quality parts aren’t cheap. I have a feeling that based on everything this car needs it will be a passion project instead of an investment.

The seller says the car originally had a V8, but as you can see, it is long gone. Like the interior, this gives the seller a clean slate to build it the way they want to. The obvious choice for a powerplant might be a small-block Chevy or LS engine. But how about something a little different? Something that will set this Nomad apart from the crowd? How about the new Chevrolet ZZ632 crate engine?!? With this car being a wagon, the builder could easily tub the rear wheel wells in an attempt to hook up 1000+ horsepower. How about you? What would be your engine choice?

Here you can see the cargo portion of the wagon. As the seller indicates, there isn’t much rust visible. They also indicate that some of the trim pieces are included with the sale. Hopefully, it is mostly complete.

I’m not sure which build style would be best for this one? Perhaps a factory restoration would be the choice for a lot of people. I might go for more of a resto-mod since a lot of the trim and factory engine are already gone. How about you?


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  1. Robert White

    I’d make it an Electric Nomad with a 1000HP power plant that is next to silent aside from the police sirens that would obviously be following me down the road to the nearest charging station.

    Yep, a 1000HP electric motor would get this car down the road in short order too.


    Like 1
  2. Dave Peterson

    Thats a ridiculous starting price. I have always loved these since I first saw them, but an empty body for $16k? Am I just too stupid to realize the bargain of the weekend, or am I still asleep after not turning my clock back?

    Like 7
    • AMCFAN

      Nope, I don’t see it either. This is someones former parts car. Key hard to find pieces are long gone or have been pulled by the seller for rainy day money. The items you post up and sell after the car finds a home.
      Clearly the seller yanking the wheels (only posing it to look better than it is) tells me he is a flipper and plans on using them on the next field find. I am out.

    • Ike Onick

      You seem wide-awake to me. $16K and you have to get your own wheels and tires?? LOL and Haha!

      Like 3
  3. Steve R

    Perfect project? Not even close. Worn out and rust free, yes, rusty, no way.

    Steve R

    • 57Chevy

      Perfect PARTS car is more like it. 500 Bucks would be a more practical price!!!!

  4. skibum2

    invest in gold and silver…this car, not so much.

    Like 1
  5. Maestro1

    The price is too high but reflects the overheated nature of the marketplace.
    If it’s a passion project convert it to electricity, and make the car look absolutely original. When the light turns green you’ll freak everybody out.

  6. Terry

    Maybe the ugliest wheels I have ever seen.

    Like 1
  7. Rod

    Heavily overpriced but would be fun to build and restore.

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