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Same Family 61 Years: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad

The “Tri-Five” Chevrolets were those from the iconic 1955, 1956, and 1957 model years. While that includes the 150, 210, and Bel Air models, the Nomad has a special place in the hearts of Chevy fans of that era. Based on the high-end Bel Air, the Nomad was a fully dressed 2-door wagon that came with V8 power. The seller’s 1957 Nomad is from the car’s third and final model year in that famous trio and a beautiful 10-foot car. It would serve its next owner as a nice original or be a great basis for a restoration if perfection is the goal. It’s located in Overland Park, Kansas, and available here on eBay where the bidding is up to $21,600 with the reserve still to be met.

While the Nomad name would be used at different times on different Chevy body styles, it will always be synonymous with the ’55-57 models. It was not a high-production vehicle with just 22,375 units built in three years: 8,386 of the ‘55s, 7,886 of the ’56s and 6,103 of the ‘57s. This makes the Nomad the rarest of the Tri-Fives. But if you look hard enough, you could find the Nomad name on a 1976 Chevy Vega (what were they thinking!) and some of the 1970-80s vans in the Bow-tie brigade. Thank you, Automobile Mag, for some Nomad trivia.

The seller’s 1957 Nomad was acquired in 1959 and has stayed in the same family ever since. While it has accumulated 109,000 miles over the years, it’s largely used today for outings to car shows. While the Nomad looks might nice from several feet away, it’s not without issues. We’re told that the paint is mostly original, but you’ll notice some wavy panels if you look for them. And some splotches on the right front fender. There is also some surface rust on the front grill and bumper due to an earlier radiator coolant leak. And there is surface damage to the spare tire panel because of a water leak from weather-stripping (which has been replaced).

The exterior is not the only place where Bel Air trim is present. The interior looks pretty good and the seats have been protected over the years because of those see-thru plastic covers like the ones in your grandma’s car. The 283 V8 was the Nomad engine of choice for ’57 and this one comes with a 4-barrel carburetor and Chevy’s trusty 2-speed automatic transmission. One of the options on this car was power steering, which wasn’t all that common on medium-priced cars. The seller tells us that newer repairs or upgrades include rear leaf springs, fuel tank, brake lines, radiator, fuel pump, and spark plugs.

There’s no reason to expect that this car won’t continue getting looks at car shows if that’s your thing. These cars can command some big bucks, with online sources quoting $50-150,000, but those in perfect condition and fuel injection favor the high end of that scale. If the reserve on this car isn’t crazy, this would be a good Chevy to buy for investment purposes (and showing off), saving the restoration for when it really needs it.


  1. Rick

    And gone already

    Like 0
  2. Steve R

    It would be interesting to know if the car sold. Bid history shows a bid of $35,000, then the listing was ended.

    Good to see the author of the write up not advocating it’s restoration. It doesn’t need one.

    Steve R

    Like 6
    • Bill Hall

      I see to many nice old cars and trucks taken apart for a totally unneeded total restoration when at most some minor refurbishment would be more than enough to make it nice. Save the total restoration for the rare junkers.

      Like 3
  3. Stephen Miklos

    I notice the bid was 22,368 then bam!! 35,000 locked the deal. Somebody wanted this real bad to jump that much in the bidding. I hope they got it and going to enjoy it. I won’t be surprised if we see this Nomad all fixed up going for big bucks in the future. 😄

    Like 6
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Good looking cars to start with but the color combination really does it for me on this one. Pretty hefty price but the buyer probably knows something we can only guess at.

    Like 2
  5. Scuderia

    Well bought.

    Like 1
  6. Roy Blankenship

    Seeing the picture of the interior reminded me of the smell when you got into an older Chevy. Great memories!

    Like 3
  7. Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

    Engine compartment needs help. I DO NOT understand WHY people offer cars that look sooo good on the outside and have a nasty engine & related on the inside. Reminds me of my grandson wearing a dirty diaper. Yuk!!

    Like 0
  8. TM

    It would be a crime to restore this car. It’s a survivor. They’re only original once.

    Like 1

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