Simply Spotless: 1957 Chevrolet Nomad

We will occasionally see cars at Barn Finds where mere words don’t seem to do them justice. Such is the case with this 1957 Chevrolet Nomad. Its presentation is stunning, and it needs nothing but a new owner ready to savor the classic motoring experience. It is the perfect option for someone with a growing family and with values climbing steadily, it could also represent a sound long-term investment. The Nomad is listed here at Mecum Auctions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is set to go under the hammer on Saturday, July 30th. I must thank Barn Finder Larry D for using his well-developed classic radar to spot this beauty.

In the past, I have admitted a leaning towards Ford products. However, I always find it difficult to go past a 1957 Bel Air or Nomad. Chevrolet was riding a wave of confidence when this vehicle rolled off the line. It allowed the company to produce a car with styling consistent with the prevailing trends but distinctive enough that it would continue to stand out from the crowd more than six decades after the last example drove off a showroom door. The listing describes the paint color on this Nomad as Corona Yellow, although I suspect that might be a typographical error. I believe the vehicle wears the Code 814 combination of Coronado Yellow and India Ivory. The paint shines beautifully, without a hint of flaws or defects. It cloaks equally impressive panels with no dings or dents. The listing doesn’t mention any rust issues, and there are no apparent problems in the supplied photos. The trim and plated items look stunning, and the glass is flawless. The ’57 Nomad is a classy vehicle, and the wide whitewall tires add the perfect finishing touch to the exterior.

The Nomad’s interior offers a stunning contrast to the exterior trimmed in Code 691 Silver and Black. As with the panels and paint, it is difficult to find fault with the presentation. There are no signs of wear or physical abuse and no evidence of UV damage. The bright trim pieces sparkle beautifully, while the dash and wheel are excellent. The owner installed an aftermarket radio/cassette player and includes a genuine 1957 air conditioning system in the sale. There are no other aftermarket additions, and if the new owner doesn’t like the radio/cassette, sourcing and installing a factory unit should not be a problem.

Unfortunately, the listing doesn’t include any engine photos. It also doesn’t indicate whether the Nomad is numbers-matching. We know that the engine bay houses a 283ci V8 and that because it includes the optional Power Pack, that little V8 should produce 220hp. The transmission is a three-speed automatic, while there is power assistance for the steering and brakes. Chevrolet marketed the Nomad as a family wagon, but this example’s engine should offer performance that impresses. The journey down the ¼ mile would take approximately 17.1 seconds, with the 283 running out of breath with the needle nudging 105mph. The seller provides no information on how this classic runs or drives, but if its overall condition is an accurate representation, it should be a turnkey proposition for its new owner.

I’ve discussed in previous articles how Chevrolet hit the styling nail on the head with their 1957 Bel Air and Nomad. I know that such statements are a reflection of personal preference, but I still consider them one of the best-looking cars produced by the company…ever! I am not alone in this belief because the ’57 has been a premium performer in the classic mark for decades. While it isn’t 100% original, I still feel that this Nomad will garner plenty of interest when it crosses the auction block. I expect the bidding to easily pass $70,000, although I wouldn’t rule out $90,000 in the current market. That isn’t pocket change, but when a car of this value finds a new owner, you can be reasonably sure that the price will motivate them to continue treating this Nomad with care and respect. It deserves nothing less.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice car but why the jacked up suspension?

    Like 5
    • RayT Member

      bobhess, the ride height looks stock and, well, “original” to me. A lot of ’57s have had their springs settle a bit over the years, or have been out-and-out lowered. This one appears “right” to my 65 year-old memories.

      The difficult thing about auctions is that they seldom give you underbody photos, and limited time to inspect before bidding. At half the anticipated price, I’d want to bring an expert along to take a look, take it for a spin around the block (at least) and throw the car up on a lift.

      That’s just me, I guess. The general run of people who buy from Mecum or B-J can probably afford to rectify problems, or just put it up on BaT and score a nice profit if they’re not happy.

      Like 19
      • Michael Garner

        Did you check out the pictures at the auction site? they have some that are fairly close up of the area you are talking about.

        Like 1
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Something is off with the right side rear aluminum trim panel. I believe that it may be slightly bent or warped. Either way, it stands out a mile away to me.

    Like 8
    • Jim Clark

      Looks like both doors may not be original to me. May be settling but they just look off.

      Like 2
      • Jim Epting

        agree, and some color mismatch there also.

        Like 2
  3. RoughDiamond Member

    @Bluetec320-I was thinking the same thing.

    Like 2
  4. Rw

    Wagons had one extra leaf in rear,the trim issue is probably just China junk repo.

  5. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Mecum says factory A/C is included, but no photos. I’ve owned a ’56 Nomad with factory A/C, and it’s a very complicated in-dash assembly. Is there a list of parts included, or list of missing pieces? Without photos of the A/C, there is no way to know if it’s just the main dash unit, or a complete “kit” from a parts car.

    Big difference in value just for the A/C if it’s complete. A ’57 Nomad with correctly installed & working GM Harrison A/C is worth substantially more than an identical one without A/C, as Investors & buyers today are used to A/C in their modern cars, homes, and offices.

    Like 6
  6. Jack Quantrill

    Sold be just like this in 1966, for $750. Had factory air, 265, 2 bbl, powerglide. Last seen headed for Louisiana from California. Ouch!

    Like 1
    • al

      Only v8 in 1957 was a 283 in the nomads 265 was in 1956 and 55 s 1957 first year for 283

      • Rusty Greene

        265 was also available in 57 . Came in most pickups throughout 59

        Like 1
  7. Larry D

    It’s funny how people just sort of knew that the ’57 Chevrolets would be so popular from day one.

    There was a used-car dealer in our area who believed in them. Starting around 1959-60, he kept his entire from row of cars as all ’57 Chevrolets. And he continued to do that for several years. He was known as the man to see if you wanted a ’57.

    Like 5
  8. charlie Member

    Front coil springs sagged, just age, and, unloaded, extra leaf in rear, pushed it up. If they had put some weight in the back it would look better.

  9. William Hall

    Eons ago when I was in high school a friend’s brother had a Nomad same color. Once in while he would let my friend use it. Very neat and odd in way 3 on the tree and 327 under the hood. That would be worth a fortune now even with the 327.

    Like 1
  10. al

    Only v8 in 1957 was a 283 in the nomads 265 was in 1956 and 55 s 1957 first year for 283

    • Larry D

      @al
      Not exactly. This is from Wikipedia on the subject of 1957 Chevrolet. This is a copy and paste:

      “Engines
      For 1957 there were four standard engine options, a 235.5 cu in (3,859 cc) inline 6-cylinder producing 140 hp (104 kW), a 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 “Turbo-Fire” producing 162 hp (121 kW), and two 283 cu in (4,640 cc) V8s: a “Turbo-Fire” twin-barrel carburetor producing 185 hp (138 kW) and a “Super “Turbo-Fire” four-barrel carburetor developing 220 hp (164 kW).[6] To help mechanics distinguish the 265 cu in V8 engine from the red 1956 and 1955 265 cu in V8 engines and the orange 1957 283 cu in V8s, the early 1957 265 cu in V8 engines with manual transmissions were painted a bright yellow-green chartreuse. After November 1956, the 1957 265 cu in V8 engines were painted the same orange as the 1957 283 cu in V8s.”

      And this is a list of engines available in 1957 Chevrolets:

      1957 ENGINE SERIAL NUMBER AND SUFFIX CHART

      TYPE MODEL DESCRIPTION
      A 15-21-2400 Regular “235” Engine – 6 Cylinder
      AD 15-21-2400 Regular “235” Engine – 6 Cylinder with Heavy Duty Clutch
      B 15-21-2400 “235” – 6 Cylinder Powerglide
      C 15-21-2400 “265” – 8 Cylinder with 3-Speed Transmission
      CD 15-21-2400 “265” – 8 Cylinder with Overdrive
      CE 15-21-2400 “265” – 8 Cylinder with Heavy Duty Clutch
      E 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with 4BC
      EA 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Dual 4BC
      EB 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Dual 4BC and Hi Lift Cam
      EC 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Overdrive and 4BC
      F 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide
      FC 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and 4BC
      FD 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and Dual 4BC
      FA 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and Air Conditioning
      FE 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide, Air Conditioning and 4BC
      FJ 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and Fuel Injection
      G 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Turboglide
      GC 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Turboglide and 4BC
      GD 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Turboglide and Duel 4BC
      GF 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Turboglide and Fuel Injection
      EJ 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Fuel Injection
      EK 15-21-2400 “283” – 8 Cylinder with Fuel Injection and Hi Lift Cam
      EF Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with 3-Speed Transmission and 4BC
      EH Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with Duel 4BC
      EG Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with Duel 4BC and Hi Lift Cam
      FG Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and Dual 4BC
      FH Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide
      EM Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with 3-Speed Transmission and Fuel Injection
      EL Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with 3-Speed Transmission, Fuel Injection and Hi Lift Cam
      FK Corvette “283” – 8 Cylinder with Powerglide and Fuel Injection
      H 31-32-36-3800 Thriftmaster “235”
      HD 31-32-36-3800-4000 Thriftmaster “235” with Hydramatic Transmission
      HE 31-32-36-3800-4000 Thriftmaster “235” with Heavy Duty Clutch
      J 31-32-36-3800-4000 Thriftmaster “235” -Updraft
      JA 34-35-3700 Thriftmaster “235” -Updraft and Hydramatic
      K 34-35-3700 Jobmaster “261”
      L 31-32-36-3800-4000 Trademaster “265”
      LA 4000 Trademaster “265” with Hydramatic
      LB 31-32-36-3800-4000 Trademaster “265” with Heavy Duty Clutch
      M 34-35-3700 8 Cylinder – Dubl.-Duti

      Like 2
  11. Karl Hunter

    Three speed automatic? Must be a typo. Try two speed automatic.

    Like 1
  12. Lobo Member

    Don’t want to start an argument but I believe you could order a 57 with 283, 265. or a straight 6. I owned one in the early 60s that had a 265.

    • Larry D

      @Lobo

      Correct. See my post above regarding that very subject.

  13. Norman K Wrensch

    There was no three speed automatic in 1957. You had either a powerglide which is a two speed or the turboglide which did not shift at all, kinda like a dynaflow.

  14. Rusty Greene

    Nothing wrong with this car. Who can determine whether it has original doors. As of the passenger side quarter trim it’s perfect. These cars weren’t perfect when new anyway. Don’t pick people car apart when you are the one that doesn’t know

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