Rare Color Combo: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad

This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad underwent a comprehensive restoration back in 2014, and it wears what is claimed to be a rare color combination. It has graced the cover of “South Mississippi Living” magazine and is being offered for sale by that State’s former Governor, Phil Bryant. It presents superbly and is ready to be appreciated by a lucky new owner. Located in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, the Nomad has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $67,500, and I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring this classic to us.

The Nomad underwent a frame-off restoration back in 2014, and it still presents beautifully in its combination of Cashmere Blue and India Ivory. The owner claims that this is a rare combination, but I’ve had no success confirming that. I don’t know how many miles the vehicle has clocked since the restoration was completed, but I suspect that the number is pretty low. The paint still holds a magnificent shine, and there is no evidence of any significant marks or chips. The panels are laser straight, and the panel gaps are impressively consistent for a wagon from this era. There is no visible evidence of rust problems, and the seller doesn’t mention any in his description. As a part of the restoration, all of the Nomad’s glass was replaced, as were all of the seals. For me, the ’55 Nomad brings back an interesting memory. Those who are old enough may recall an episode of the 1990s Tim Allen Sitcom, “Home Improvement.” In that episode, Allen’s alter-ego, Tim Taylor, accidentally drops a 3-ton steel beam on his wife’s ’55 Nomad. If you can’t recall or have never seen the incident, this YouTube video is well worth a look. However, a word of warning: It is a scene to make grown enthusiasts cry.

Here is the Nomad taking its star turn on the magazine cover, and you would have to say that the owner looks pretty proud of his prized possession. The cover is from October of 2014, so the Nomad would have been fresh off its restoration. It doesn’t appear that it has aged at all in the intervening years.

It isn’t clear whether the Bel Air is numbers-matching, but I suspect that it probably is. What we find under the hood are a 265ci V8 and a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. I believe that this is the base 265, which means that it would be producing 162hp. That doesn’t make it the fastest wagon on the planet, but the 19-second ¼-mile ET would have been considered pretty respectable in 1955. The owner doesn’t indicate how well the Chevy runs or drives, but the listing suggests that it might be a bit of a trailer queen. In fact, the former Governor mentions trailering it to shows. If I bought the wagon, it would see the road from time-to-time. What’s the point of owning such a beautiful classic if it remains hidden away?

Moving to the Nomad’s interior, we once again find more evidence of impressive presentation. It isn’t perfect, because there are a couple of marks on the wheel. The trim plate at the bottom of the door frame appears to have some overspray on it, and the carpet doesn’t fit properly. This should be easy to fix, but as I’ve said in the past, it is the little details that separate a good restoration from a great one. Otherwise, the painted surfaces look perfect, while the Blue Waffle Pattern and Beige vinyl upholstery is free from wear-and tear. The rear seat and headliner appear to be in excellent condition, while the damage-prone rear cargo is close to perfect.

With vehicles like this 1955 Nomad, I tend to be a bit careful when assessing whether a famous owner has any impact on its potential value. Leaving this fact aside, the wagon presents as a tidy survivor, and I would be surprised if anyone would be embarrassed to park it in their driveway. I’m not going to pretend that it is a cheap classic because its BIN price represents a significant outlay. It isn’t unprecedented, and while values did take a hit last year, they are rising once again. I don’t know whether that makes this Nomad a great long-term investment, but it does make it a practical classic that the whole family can enjoy. I don’t see that as being a bad thing.

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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t know about the “rare” color of this ’55 but the exact same color combination was on my ’54 210. Nice car here.

    Like 4
    • chuck dickinson

      Your 54 was a lighter blue as this color was a new mid-year color for 55. There were several color changes made to 55 Chevs by mid-year–some were dropped (the light blue they HAD been using, for instance), and some were added, like Cashmere Blue. I believe the 54 color was called either Horizon Blue or Skyline Blue.

      Like 1
  2. Ike Onick

    Sweet as the iced tea down there.

    Like 6
  3. Fred W

    Adam, You’ll be glad to know that in the Home Improvement episode they had the presence of mind as to not total a Nomad. They dropped the beam on a Handyman, which was not very desirable at the time. Slow the video down and you’ll see.

    RE: this color combo – I’ve seen plenty in the same colors, can’t be that rare

    Like 5
  4. Jerry lewis

    Very nice. My mom had a 55 in the same colors. It was a four door.

    • Russ Ashley

      The owner of the service station where I worked in 1955 also bought a 55 Belaire four door in this same color combo. Even though it was his family car he put dual exhausts with good sounding mufflers on it. I was a teenager then but I loved that car, all four doors and all.

      Like 2
  5. Will Fox

    The seller is misguided if he thinks painting his Nomad a seldom-seen factory color raises the value. It doesn’t. If it were original, it would be unusual but it wouldn’t increase the value any. Just so he knows, there ARE other restored `55’s in this shade; his is NOT the only one.

    Like 2
  6. Bob Fleisch

    Oh baby!

  7. Phil Thomas

    A couple of things……
    First of all, a BEAUTIFUL car, I know, profound, huh?
    If I had the money to buy this, I would DRIVE IT – often!
    Yeah – so what if that reduces the value, I mean as the years go buy it ought to go up in value anyway, and even if it does not If I decide to sell it a few years later, any money I don’t recoup I can chalk up to the entertainment I got driving it.
    I’ve owned a classic car before (1962 Karmann Ghia FWIW) and for ME personally taking my car to shows – winning or not – is not THAT much fun because at least in the case of my Ghia, I got enough attention just driving it and at red lights.
    Lastly – and I GET the whitewall thing – but the first thing I would “fix” upon purchasing this beauty would be putting black side wall tires on it – to ME they just look better.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      Absolutely! Drive it. You sure as heck ain’t taking it with you at the end of the day. And most of our survivors will not be happy about having to deal with our toys at that time. I am putting a new set of tires on my Corvette this weekend so I can wear them out this summer. I have two vaccinations and a box full of masks! It’s driving time!!!!

      Like 6
    • David D. Taylor

      Are you crazy????? Wide white walls and large hub caps were THE style of the fifties. I reckon with changing to BLACK walls you would also change the rear wheels to fat bobs and mount all tires on mambo wheels. or is that rambo wheels??? Talk about RUINING the looks of a fifties classic!!!!!

      Like 3
    • 57Chevy

      To Me, Black side wall tires would totally Ruin the beauty of this car! I guess different strokes for different folks!

      Like 2
  8. Jeff L Manley Member

    Nice and clean all over

    Like 1
  9. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    Cashmere is a relatively rare ’55 Chevy color, being added late in the model year. It was very close to the more common Skyline blue, but a little softer color. My ’55 Nomad was originally the very common Gypsy red and Ivory and my thoughts for many years was to paint it Cashmere and Ivory to match my 1st car, a ’55 210 Delray sedan. I always likes the looks of new sheet metal painted with DP90 primer, so we searched for a durable substitute and found Dupont’s Hot Rod Black when it was introduced about 15 years ago and painted it with that.

  10. Bob C.

    The add on oil filter cannister suggests numbers matching.

  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Thanks Chuck. In those days we didn’t do much color research, just research on making the cars go faster. Either way, nice color combination.

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