Sitting Since 1982: 1956 Chevrolet Nomad

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I can’t be completely sure, but there can’t be a much more heartbreaking experience than to see your pride and joy disappear in a ball of smoke and flames before your eyes. That’s what happened to the owner of this Nomad, but luckily, the flames were extinguished before the vehicle was completely consumed. The owner has now decided to part with the car, so this might be a car that you are willing to breathe new life into. Located in San Antonio, Texas, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

This poor old Nomad has not had an easy time of it. The fire that has inflicted the majority of the damage occurred in 1982 and the car has been in storage ever since. Apart from a dent on the passenger side just behind the door, the body is straight. There is no visible rust, but the owner does say that the floors are rusted out. The hinges on the tail-gate glass are also broken, and the paint has some damage inflicted by the fire. The car also comes with a reasonable supply of additional external trim items, which look to be in good condition.

This is the seat of the inferno. All of that damage was inflicted by a carburetor fire. This has burned out all of the wiring into the bargain. The positive from this is that replacement wiring is readily available, so that should be an easy fix. The owner is unsure of the engine that’s fitted and believes that it is not the original 265, but is actually a 283ci V8. This is backed by the original Power-Glide transmission. The engine ran fine before the fire, but its condition is now unknown. Since the engine is going to have to come out of the car to repaint the engine bay, the new owner may even decide to have a look inside the engine to make sure that it’s okay.

The interior will need some restoration work, and the new owner can treat this as a blank canvas. The dash looks complete but will need some work. The radio is present, but a Wonderbar radio, still in the box, is also included in the sale. There is evidence under the dash that things have been impacted by the heat from the fire, so there will undoubtedly be items that will need replacement behind the dash, and even after all these years, you can almost guarantee that you will still be able to smell some of the unmistakable odor that a fire can generate through burning wiring, plastic, and trim.

The Nomad is a popular vehicle, and nicely restored or modified examples have become quite sought after. This Nomad is going to need a lot of work to return it to its former glory. However, I really think that it is worth the effort. At present, the bidding is sitting at $15,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met. You can find reasonable examples selling for around the $40,000 mark, but from there the sky is the limit. Depending on what the reserve has been set at, this could potentially be a pretty good project car.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. John C

    Unfortunately, I believe, to the disappointment of the owner most buyers are likely to agree with me.

    Engine is not matching, been through a fire, needs, interior, body and paint and not as popular as the 57 model. Fifteen thousand is top dollar and ten is where I’d be at.

    Buy the time you invest enough money to bring this Nomad back you could very possibly buy a nice one with matching numbers. And drive it that day.

    An excellent paint job and body work could hit the $15,000 mark. And you absolutely have to take into consideration running down parts and returning car and or engine to the shops that did work. And will they stand behind their work?

    I just restored a car and the machine shop that did the engine got wrong lifters wrecked top end and Karl did not want to stand behind it and I spent thousands more.

    Don’t kid yourself things go wrong all the time. Project could months, could have a ton of headaches Ten thousand that it. Could spend time in small claims court if you take to wrong shop.

    After six projects I’ve learned a lot. No picnic.

    Like 27
    • The Walrus

      There’s really no such thing as matching numbers for Chevys of this Era. Other than whether the original engine was a 6 or an 8, there were no records kept about which serial number went in which car. The best you could do would be date code. You really can’t match numbers on most GM cars until the late 60s.

      Like 8

    That looks like a Mopar alternator. That alone would have me questioning the 1980’s type of restoration it received…….even though it all needs done again.

    I am with John C on this

    Like 7
  3. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Once again, some fire protection could have saved the day. Pretty car.

    Like 2
  4. the one

    Fire, bad..
    The Monster

    Like 1
  5. Chuck Simons

    o then, with this example…is Tim Allen off the hook?

    Like 1
  6. Del

    Some Nomad lover will grab it.

    Be at Barrett Jackson next year

    Like 4
    • Richard Ochoa

      Or For Sale on Ebay! At least this beats the hell out of that Rust Bucket Totally Trashed Plymouth that on here yesterday!!!!

      Like 1
  7. KevinLee

    What is the pulley that is to the right of the alternator for?

    Like 2
    • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

      Good question KevinLee, tensioner? Ended: Jan 18, 2019 , 9:00AM
      Current bid:US $15,200.00
      Reserve not met
      [ 5 bids ]

      Like 1
    • Chuck

      Looks like an idler pulley or tensioner for the correct alternator. Note the angle of the belt.

      Like 0

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