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Save Me: 1958 Chevrolet Nomad

1958 Chevrolet Nomad

Happy Wagon Wednesday! To celebrate, I would like to present you with this 1958 Chevrolet Nomad. It apparently lived its whole life in California (as evidenced by the black license plates) before a restoration shop in Florida picked it up. They had intended to install an air ride suspension and perform other unmentionables to it, but decided to give it one last chance at avoiding that unfortunate fate. So, they have listed it here on eBay with a reserve and if it doesn’t sell for what they want, they are going to go through with their original plan.


This Nomad does look striking with all that dust on it, but personally I would have liked to see a few photos after a good blast with some fresh water. “As Found” photos are always fun to look at, but when it comes to buying time, it is better to see what you are actually getting. The seller claims that the car is “unmolested” and has no “NO rust holes or blisters”, but I have a feeling that there are a few surprises hiding under all that dust. Remember – not all cars that come from California are rust-free and just about all cars that have spent any time in Florida have some of the nasty stuff.

Nomad dash

The seller has gotten the 348 cubic inch V8 running, so they get some points for those efforts. The brakes need to be gone through before it can be driven though and being a restoration/custom shop, you would think they could have at least gone to the trouble of doing that. I suppose it does give the next owner an opportunity to bond with the car, but I doubt that they are giving a break on the asking price because of that. It will be interesting to see where the reserve is set because, at $13k, I have a feeling we are already nearing market value for what is essentially a project car.

Wheres the Tri-Power

It does have a look to it though. Plus, when was the last time you even saw one of these? I often see ’58s cruising around, but rarely are they in wagon form. Unfortunately, you don’t know if that “barn find” look will be lost as soon as it rains. That dirt may be hiding a nicely patinaed finish underneath or it might just be covering up a badly done respray. I have a bad feeling that it’s the later. Still, if this wagon really is fitted with 280 horsepower engine option, it might be worth a decent chunk of change. I don’t see evidence of that Tri-Power triple carb setup though… That piece of information will be easy to obtain, but the mystery of what is under all that grim remains. So, do you see enough potential here to take on the risk of saving this Nomad from its likely fate?


  1. Moparman Elliott Member

    Air ride suspension, etc.?!? “Oh, the horror, the horror!!” :-)

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  2. jacdaw

    Nomad? It’s a 5 door wagon.

    Like 2
    • Tirefriar

      Jackdaw, I thought the same thing. Turns out that the Nomad nameplate was used through the early seventies. Cars you and I are thinking of were the tri-5 cars.

      I’m not an expert onthe market values of these so I will refrain from commenting on the price. I don’t particularly like the ads that end with a perceived “threat”: “if I can’t get my price, I’ll keep it, restore it or…” whatever. Is that supposed to be some sort of an incentive?

      Like 2
      • Andrew

        I’ve noticed a few people putting that on their ads…. I think it’s safe to assume it’s another way of saying ‘That’s what I want for my car, otherwise it’s not worth selling… don’t try to pinch it’

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      • Tirefriar

        Well, to me its just a turn off. Comes across very gruffy, like the seller is doing a favour by offering this car. I usually pass on ads like this just because I don’t enjoy dealing with people like that…

        Like 2
      • Al

        Same here, adds like that with the sellers attitudes as if they have something everyone wants, so treat it like royalty. Or the ‘Dont waste my time’ adds. Fine. I won’t! Yours is NOT the only so-called rare one out there!

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      • Jay

        Actually Chevrolet dropped the Nomad name I believe in ‘62. It was still the top of the line then. They brought it back in ‘71-‘72 for the Malibu wagon, but it was the bottom of the line model then. Then they put the name on vans around ‘74 for a few year. They also used the name on a special version of the Vega wagon.

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    • Mike D

      Chevy kept the Nomad name, but it was indeed a 4 door Tho I seem to remember a two door wagon.. maybe a handyman??

      Like 1
    • jacdaw

      The ’58 is such a bastard child. Not really a shoebox (but close) and /nothing/ like the 59-60. I guess I assumed the ’58 Nomad would follow the earlier form factor.

      Like 2
  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I love me some big wagons…that being said, $13k? I’d rather have a mid-60’s wagon with more practicality and better brakes for half the price…by the time I hit $13k I’d be finished with it, not just starting!

    Like 1
  4. Dave

    I was a little confused as well, correct me if I’m wrong but when I seen the nomad name plate I think of the two door wagon with the ribbed roof ? I wasn’t aware that chevrolet carried the nomad name for so long. Cool car none the less, little rich for me, The thing is long, look how it’s sitting on the lift !!! the rear frame purches with arms fully extended barely have hold of the frame !!!!

    Like 0
    • james g

      Yes this car is not a Nomad all Nomads had 2 doors not 4 doors

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      • Rustowner

        Not true pal. This is indeed a “Nomad”. Chevy stopped the 2 door special bodied wagon Nomad in 57 and started using it on 4 door wagons in 1958.


        Like 1
      • Forrest R. Lambert II

        james g. You are correct for 1955 – 1957. 1958 – 1971, not so correct.

        Like 1
  5. JagManBill

    give it a bath and leave it alone!!!

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  6. Paul

    I found this in my search and was surprised. I thought they were only 2 dr as well.
    “There were 3 ’58 Chevy wagon models: The Yeoman, at the low end, mid-level Brookwood, and at the top the Nomad. Here are the ten wagon choices: The Yeoman 2-door, L head 6 & V8, Yeoman 4-door, L head 6 & V8, Brookwood 4- door, 6 passenger, L head 6 & V8, & 4-door 9 passenger, L head & V8, and the Nomad – four doors only with L head 6 & V8. This year wagons had larger liftgate which were curved at the corners and hinged into the roof and raised out of the way. Also this year, a newlow slung X member frame containing an all coil suspension ridding the old rear leaf springs. The L-head 6 engine is a 235 cid with 145 hp. The V8 engines are 283 cid with a hp range from 185 – 290, and another V8 with 348 cid at 280 – 315 hp.”

    Like 0
    • MikeC

      Chevies never had L-head 6’s they were all OHV.

      Like 1
    • Wayne

      “Yeoman” “Brookwood” LOL!!! Kind of forces one to pay for the higher end one “Nomad” with those names lol!

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  7. DonM

    58 Chevys are nearly industructible.

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  8. JagManBill

    I have a 58 Ford Country Sedan (wagon) in similar “behind the barn” find conditon. At first I had great plans for a restoration. Now, I’m thinking make it run, stop and drive and not touch it. I have to admit, the 58 Chevy is a much nicer looking car from a style standpoint.

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  9. james g

    Nomads don’t have 4 doors like this they only have 2 doors

    Like 0
    • tirefriar

      james, the original tri5 nomads were two doors. in 1958, chevy killed off the body style and the concept but kept the nameplate through 1972. I understand your frustration because whenever I hear “nomad” a 2 door wagon comes to mind.

      Like 1
  10. Rick

    Chevy made a 2 Dr wagon model in ’58 called “Yeoman”, was a stripper w/o all the fancy chrome. Not sure if the Handyman model 2 dr wagon was continued into ’58 from ’57. Anyhow used to see lots of ’58 Chev wagons around well into the later ’60s, didn’t see too many of the Nomad models like the one featured today. Always wanted to find a ’58 Yeoman and put all the Nomad trim on it, thereby making a one of a kind ’58 2 dr Nomad.

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  11. ImpalaGuy

    It is a real Nomad, unless you mean it wasn’t real in the same way the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO wasn’t a “real GTO”. The following is from Wikipedia;

    1958 For the 1958 model year, Chevrolet moved the Nomad name to its top-line four-door Bel Air based station wagon,[3] right above the new mid-priced Biscayne based Brookwood. This was the only four-door Bel Air based Nomad station wagon. Like the rest of Chevrolet’s 1958 full size car line up, the Nomad featured Chevrolet’s new “Safety-Girder” cruciform frame.

    Like 0
  12. JimmyinTEXAS

    58 Nomads were/are always looked down on…lol
    I really like this car, but there is nagging doubt in my mind. The great underside shots are a definite plus on the sellers part, but the front left fender to door alignment doesn’t bode well. The rear bumper is tweaked too. but I didn’t see any marks under the car maybe just a parking lot bump( what bumpers are for right?). Over all nice car, seems high priced for a 58, but barn dust is bringing a premium these days. GL to the seller, if he sells, and GL to the lucky bidder, if there is one…

    Like 0
  13. jim s

    the cars is at $15000 with reserve met and about 2 1/2 days to go so it will sell. if that is what it takes to get the the car away from this seller so be it. i do not think it should end up like some of the vehicles in the background. i hope the new owner makes it safe and daily drives it. great find and save.

    Like 0
  14. Alan (Michigan)

    Definitely a respray from quite a while ago, and done with a cheaper paint alternative than whatever was the best available at the time.

    The seller certainly posted a sufficient number of good photographs, but I agree that with the dust washed off, a clearer picture of condition would be possible.

    The threat to resto-mod the car sounds so much like the one made by the seller of the Pontiac Woodie just a couple of weeks ago… Seems like a common tactic?

    Fun years, the late 50’s. My grandmother had a ’58 Ford with the 352 “Thunderbird” engine, and 3-speed column shift. Great car. I was too young to drive it, but my brother took me for a ride to “blow out the cobs”, and it really hauled.

    Like 0
  15. Rick

    RE: my fantasy ’58 Nomad/Yeoman build, I also would have sectioned the tail light portions of the rear quarter off of a ’58 Impala into my ’58 Nomad so it would have triple tail lights on each side instead of single lights.

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  16. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    Wagons are getting more popular, with the original crowd as well as the modified/restomod crowd, have seen a few early 60s Chevy wagons at shows, with updated drivelines/interiors, but patina finish intact. This one to me looks fine as is, just clean it up and drive it. I remember seeing a 58 2 dr wagon in Indiana, as well as 2 door 64-65 Malibu wagons, all 3 probably hard to find anymore.

    Like 0
    • Alan (Michigan)

      I had a ’65 Malibu wagon, 6 cyl, 3 speed column shift, bought in the mid-70’s. Used it like a pickup truck when doing a redo of the ’66 Corvair. Circa 1976. Towed a commercial air compressor with it using a bumper hitch, pressure-pot sand blaster, hoses, etc in the back.

      That car would go anywhere, anytime, even through a foot or more of snow. Lots of memories, except for one: I can’t recall at all whether it was a 2 or 4 door model! I wonder if there might be an old photograph somewhere? I those days I did not do much to document work I did on my rides.

      Like 0
  17. junkman Member

    Paint touch ups to cover the rust on the drivers door jamb , looks like repair work on rockers, no pics of the bottom of the tailgate from the inside. These are my observations just skimming the photos. These cars are known for their rust issues caution recommended.

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  18. That Guy

    I remember reading an article about this quirky fleet of 1958 Chevrolet rental cars at a rural California airport sometime in the 1980’s. I had always wondered what ever happened to it, and this BarnFinds posting prompted a bit of interwebs searching. Came up with a 2007 article from the Santa Ynez Valley (California) Journal. Skip down to the 5th paragraph where the story of the airport rental fleet begins:


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  19. redwagon

    that’s quite sad. the chance to drive something that old and experience a bit of nostalgia when your flight gets fogged out got stopped because some folks needed to steal parts off of the cars. we all get robbed when that happens.

    Like 0
  20. boxdin

    Chevy made Nomad vans around 1974 to 1980, had windows in the middle but not rear quarters. Bench seat in middle too, but not rear.

    Like 0
  21. Moparman Elliott Member

    I’m always curious as to the backstory on these finds. How does an apparently solid, functioning car with what appears to be a set of new tires get secreted away and forgotten for years?? :-)

    Like 0
  22. sir mike

    hope someone saves this 58…and no air bags please..

    Like 0
  23. Mike A.

    I too hope someone can save this cool wagon, but at the seller’s pie-in-the-sky reserve price ($13,000+ and not yet met as I see it on 1/20/15 p.m.), it won’t be me. Even if reserve is only $15,000, it could cost almost that much again to get it looking really good, and at that, the new owner would be way underwater on it. Seems like when a Chevy of that vintage has a 348 in it, sellers see it as a goldmine and double a reasonable price. One concern to me: the paint color on the under-door rocker area, and the lower portion of (some) doors too, look noticeably discolored, making me suspect impending rot. Common sense shouts to me: “thanks but no thanks. Maybe at $5,000, but $15,000? Not only no, but heck no !”

    Like 0
  24. Rancho Bella

    And not one person mentions anything about the newer black paint criss-crossing the underneath of the car? And it gets darker or, more pronounced towards the front. May be nothing but thought I would bring it up.
    Also, black plates started in 1963 so perhaps the owners then changed out the yellow plates. Yes, one can put on date correct black plates today.

    After all that………….I find the car a real delight. As the others wrote…just make it safe and drive as it.

    Like 0
    • That Guy

      When California went to the black plates in 1963, all owners were required to replace their old plates with the new black ones. So when I was growing up, the old yellow plates (and I think any previous ones also) actually were no longer legal. Any yellow plates which exist today would have been removed from a car in 1963 and kept in someone’s garage, or were on a car which was already taken off the road by 1963 so didn’t receive the new plates. The low alpha series on this car is consistent with the mandatory-replacement scenario. I know some vendors have NOS yellow plates available for sale (not cheap!), and I assume these must have been acquired after the fact from the DMV somehow.

      The older plates only became legal again under the YOM (year-of-manufacture) program. I don’t know when that started, but I think it may have been sometime in the 1990’s.

      Like 1
      • Rancho Bella

        TG………..thank you for the insight. I was wondering about the low alfa plate.

        Like 0
      • Woodie Man

        You can buy the pre ’63 Yellow plates at most any Vintage Vehicle swap meet. The Big 3 event in San Diego coming at the end of the February comes to mind. Recently the DMV started a program of issuing plates for collector cars in the color appropriate for the year of the vehicle. I’m not sure, but against all common sense, I think they have too many numbers on them.seven …like a modern plate.

        Most plate sellers sell the original plates as being “cleared” so they can be registered under the aforementioned YOM program.

        Too bad this wagon ended up in Florida..

        Like 0
  25. GlenK

    I will assume no car soap at this dealers place. One picture is enough with the dirt, A clean picture would be nice to see the paint flaws and to really see what one is bidding on.

    Like 0
  26. Trickie Dickie Member

    Thank You GlenK WHY do Barn Finds have to b e shown, almost always, filthy dirty in ALL pics, I do not understand that. I thought I knew everything, but I am beginning to wonder.

    Like 0
    • Tirefriar

      Because “Barnfind” is the new “ground up restoration” at all major and not so major auction houses. The idea of having car covered in multiple layers of dust is to present it in “as discovered” condition. In fact, the Barnfind cars tend to fetch more than their restored counterparts. At some auctions, washing this car would significantly diminish its value.

      Like 0
      • Trickie Dickie Member

        Thanks Tirefriar……OK, so now I understand a little more, but I still think its dumb. Dumb like so many of the bidders at last weekends Barrett Jackson pow wow. So many unrealistic prices. Are there any Cameros or Corvetts left for sale anywhere?

        Like 0
      • Tirefriar

        TD – many true car enthusiasts will agree with you. It’s really a marketing ploy by auction houses to ride the Barnfind wave to the max. However, I’m all about free enterprise so if the auction houses offer and the attendants buy then so be it. The new craze is keeping exterior in Barnfind condition while updating the mechanicals and interior…I can’t think of the name for this theme but I’m sure some one here will chime in.

        Like 0
  27. RickyM

    Like this car, but seems a bit expensive for what it is. That being said, good to have it saved from being Pimped Up.

    Like 0
  28. Charles

    Cool car! Rust looks minimal compared the mess these things are usually in.

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  29. DON B.

    lots of overspray

    lots of rattle can undercoat

    get ready for some rust…..

    Like 0
  30. JimmyinTEXAS

    jim s reported 15K this morning and reserve met. This evening it is showing 13.3K reserve not met. Someone retracted their bid….. hummm

    Like 0
  31. starsailing

    Having owned and driven 58 Impalas since 1966, one year round from 74 to 2009 in Mn.I find this 58 a priced right at 13-15K. For those who make statements about Nomads…try searching the subject first, it only takes a second.

    Yes the front left fender is pushed up a tad , the bumper brackets should show a slight bend to them as it appears upward force from bottom of front bumper. If it was a bent frame no one would leave in such poor alignment. There is underspray under hood, windshield pillar on driver side…also has overspray…At one time bottom of car was can sprayed with cheap undercoating but I see no rust holes. Tranny has been worked on as dent of tranny pan show some type of jack used on pan. Engine paint touchup seen on hoses. 348 motor is big ticket Item if needs rebuild. http://www.349-409.com Parts are easy to find for engine, front clip, bumpers, all parts can be had overnight. Work on interior first, that dash pad was a hard piece to find, any interior shop can make something from old pad. Wagons like this are in…especially with a 348. I would replace with Impala steering wheel, slap on new timing chain, clean out inside of valve covers and oil return drain holes on head while valve covers off, new water pump, can of “Engine Restore” I swear by it, no blowby from road draft tube after 2-300 miles with Engine Restore! Worth doing full restoration or body work in spare time as you drive.

    Like 0
  32. Cameron Bater UK

    Its a shame because unfortunatly I don’t see any way that it could avoid its fate, if it sells then the odds are stacked against it not being customised like one of those pimp my ride travasties on the other hand if it doesn’t then it definetly wont avoid this fate.
    Too few people dismiss history in America.

    Still its a lovely shooting-brake.

    Like 0
  33. JW454

    I had a ’58 Impala two door hard top back in 1977. It had all ready been changed from a three speed on the column to a 4 speed on the floor. Also, It had some ill fitting bucket seats in place of the original front bench seat. I thought it was cool then but today I’d be searching high and low for the stock equipment. So, it would seem, what happens to this one depends on where the owner is in their view of what’s “COOL”.

    Like 0
  34. Barry

    Just my opinion, but the only Nomads that were good looking were the 1955-1957 two door models.

    Like 0
  35. Charles

    Back in high school I owned a 1960 Brookwood wagon with a 348 and a Powerglide. We lived on the beach, and a wagon was not a bad choice for a surfer kid. My Chevy had the typical beach rot, and had more rot than good metal.

    I wish that I was in a position to tackle another project right now. Everyone loves the tri-five Nomads, but how often does one see a 58? I would have the rust repaired, as much for preservation as for cosmetics. Re-chrome the bumpers, straighten out any bent trim, all over paint in the original colors, and repairs as needed to make the car completely functional. Leave some of the patina, but make the car look presentable. I would keep the car in completely stock configuration with the exception of updated brakes and an under-dash AC unit.

    Like 0
  36. starsailing

    First car in 66 was a 58 Impala 348 glide repainted Corvette Nasau? blue. Raced the heck out of it on the street for a few years til it was T boned. Sold it, (car sat in barn from 68 til mid 90’s up in Cloquet Mn, Guy’s brother pulled it out of barn when the guys folks died, and it was shot up the 58 like Bonnie and Clyde car by neighbors, because he wwas making off with firewood from neighbors property. I had Bought several others since . One I kept from 73 to 75, bought back several years later and it drove 24/7 all year round til fall 2009. While driving that Cashmere Blue 58 348 tri, I met the guy who bought my first 58 and he told me car still in Barn up north, said he would video it as I wanted to buy it. Well he visited the old farm, saw the destruction from neighbors and memories of both Ojibway parents dying same week…said too much bad spirits. Won’t touch anything…leaving it as the day folks died. I tried offering Bill ridiculous amounts of cash to buy it back..Nope….so there it sits, shot up in front of farmhouse surrounded by the “spirits.”

    Like 0
  37. starsailing

    Here is the one and only….58 Impala wagon….Saw ad on Craigs list back in 2013. saved the photo. Guy bought in South America and brought to U.S. New Mexico or Arizona if I recall. He was trying to find someone who had any background on it! No mention of engine size.

    Like 1
    • Bob Jungmann

      Just amazing what they have done to some U.S. cars in South America. They usually turn out looking like a high school metal shop project because of their less than professional “blending” of parts that just don’t seem to fit right. Never the less a picture like this WITHOUT an explanation would cause many lines of printed controversy about “Impala Wagons” looking like an example of a 58 “Nomad”. nice idea if carried out with better craftsmanship. I HAVE seen and touched a 61 Impala wagon made into a “Nomad Style” 2 dr wagon at a “Crusin by the Bay” car show in Polson, Montana several years ago—it was red and sure looked like it was a factory made—congrats to the body people who did that one. Since then I have seen one other painted yellow—it might be the same car only painted yellow.

      Like 1
  38. Scott Allison

    I agree. Leave her alone!
    There is an older couple that brings there 58 convertible to one of our local car shows. It is beautiful! They did put in modern A/C, brakes, and a Corvette Fuel Injected engine in it. But otherwise, the car is original. He hasn’t entered it lately – Too many 1st place trophies!
    I always enjoy talking with them, and admiring their 58. BTW – I was born in 58, so these cars have a special place in my heart.

    Like 0
  39. Bill

    This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.

    Like 0
  40. Drunk Monkey

    I have a 58 Nomad in my Garage. I love the car, and is a field find but has some rust. 383 stroker and bags. Yes Bagged (came that way), I am in the process of doing body work on it and changing the wheels and tires. I will say stainless is hard to find, and gas tanks are not available. So be prepared for set backs and custom made stuff.

    Like 0
  41. Slickimp

    I had a 60 nomad back in mid 80s it had the 348 with daul exhaust it was a cool car and yes it was a 4door That was o e of the car I wish I still had

    Like 0

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