Live Auctions

Turn-Key! 1956 Chevrolet Nomad

I would be surprised if many of you reading this post have not considered having a classic car as a daily driver. Mental images of cruising around in a reliable, somewhat modernized classic are common in my household, and sometimes they have even come true. Often, though, the reality of dealing with 50-year old mechanicals and electrics end up sidelining those dreams. This 1956 Chevrolet Nomad appears to be a way to realize that dream relatively painlessly! It’s listed for sale here on eBay where enthusiastic bidding has already driven the price up to $27,500 as I type. There’s not much time left, so be sure and check out the listing now if you are interested. The car is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Envisioned as sporty, upscale versions of station wagons, the early Chevrolet Nomads have achieved legendary status with car enthusiasts and are rarely found in this type of condition, i.e. good but not terrific! That makes this car perfect for daily driver status. The seller tells us that although the body is in great condition, there are some flaws and a new paint job will be necessary at some point. However, there are no dents and only surface rust in places.

The seller points out that the carpet could use a dye job. Overall, though, the interior looks like a pleasant place to spend time. There is one small rip in the headliner.

The underside of the Nomad looks outstanding for a car that is 64 years old! It appears that most of the work on the car was done 12 years ago, and while not original in many spots, it looks like it was completed to a high standard.

The underhood chrome and polished parts could benefit from a good cleaning, but it’s encouraging to see the air conditioning in place for those of us in warmer climates–we’re told it blows ice cold! You’re looking at a 350 cubic-inch V8 of unknown origin, but the seller tells us it runs well with no bad noises. Backing it up is an automatic transmission. It’s nice to see features like the dual-circuit power brakes for a daily driver as well. I realize some of you would rather every car be left completely stock, but I can easily see a spot for a custom-like this one in a lot of garages.


  1. robj Member

    Had one in 1969 purchased from a farmer that I swear used it to haul manure. Being in the Northeast both quarters were completely rusted out. As there was no “aftermarket” for Tri-5’s at that time, I just went to the local junk yard and cut both quarters off of a ’56 convertible! Without a seconds thought! Had to cut them down the center of the taillights to get them to fit. Had the original 265 that “puffed” a little at idle and as you would expect the interior was pretty shot. Just about that time I lost my garage space and got my notice from my “Uncle”. Sold it for $450… It still pains me.

    Like 10
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is a nice car. I wouldn’t likely change anything on it if it were to come my way. I’m NOT a big fan of headers, they accomplish very little noticeable performance increase in a typical driver other than raise the engine bay temperature up to Nuclear Meltdown. Good cast manifolds will help expell any spent exhaust gasses that that intake system can put in. And you won’t singe your eyebrows when you open the hood. I’ve always been a fan of a Nomad, especially a ’56. Of course I would have to sneak it into my place lest my wife should find out that I bought a long-roof that wasn’t a panel…

    Like 18
    • gaspumpchas

      I’m with ya on the headers, Geomechs. Except for a race car, all headers do , as you said, heat up the doghouse and will fry your starter, among other things. Give this ol’ grey hair cast manifolds anytime. Had a set of cast iron headers on my 63 galaxie, fried many starters and you had to jack up the mill and remove the header to replace the starter. Think I sold those 427 factory headers at a swap for $50. Stay safe and good luck, this is a magnificent 56!!!

      Like 5
      • Vince H

        The ramhorn manifolds that Chevy used were good breathing manifolds.

        Like 1
    • dogwater

      Sorry Geo the ceramic headers are better then the stock manifolds

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I won’t argue with you. I’ve never worked on an engine that ran ceramic headers…

  3. Steve Bush Member

    Seems to be a nice restomod you can drive today. Likely a much better deal than the somewhat ratty 1956 Bel Air convertible that sold here for $26.1k.

    Like 4
  4. Steve

    Surprised the bidding is so low. I’ve seen these go for 60 or 80 grand.

    Like 1
  5. john

    Sold cheap. WIshed I had seen it earlier!

  6. John B

    not sure that headers raise under hood temps any more than stock manifolds. They both get really hot, and they’re both under the hood.

    Hotter starter? Maybe but that’s manageable too, with a fabricated heat shield

  7. Steve Clinton

    $28,900. Sold!

    Like 2
    • Mike W H

      This seems low to me. I’ll bet a good detailer and a color sand could make this pop, and you could take it straight to the auction in Scottdale for a a nice profit.

      Like 1
  8. charlie Member

    My ’56 (4 door sedan) was one of the best cars I ever owned, even without power steering or power brakes and a single master cylinder (brake line burst out 3 times in 140,000 miles but the “parking brake” was really an emergency brake and could stop the car, and, since it was hand operated, could be used to slow or stop). It was much less mushy than my buddy’s ’54 Chevy, but with the PowerGlide 6 was not very fast off the line, but comfortable at 65 mph all day. This is the ultimate ’56 Chevy, plenty of power, probably a 3 speed automatic. dual master cylinder, and not a museum piece having been altered, so you could comfortably drive it to the grocery store, or, on a tour of the National Parks, and not worry about a ding or scratch.

  9. Joe Haska

    Amazing ,but not suprising in 2020. My opinion, is someone got a great deal! I am not sure why, but this past weekend, I was at Barrett-Jackson as a guest spectator, not very many of us and access was some what limited. However, watching the sold prices was very much like ,the price of this Nomad. Of all my experiences at B/J , this year was the only time ,I looked at sold prices and a majority of the time, all I could think of, was why didn’t, I buy a bidders pass.

  10. Willowen

    My first priority wd be to kill the leather (-ette?) and get some decent fabric, and then add belts. Everything else looks good. The ’56 was my favorite of the Tri-Fives when they were current, and still are. Nice to see a good useful wagon like this!

    Like 2
  11. Stan Marks

    Leather looks sad…. Just needs a good detailing.
    There is a driver’s seat belt. Wonder why they didn’t install the passengers, too? Plenty of power under the hood.
    Sweet ride & worth every penny.

  12. Kenn

    There is one seat belt for the entire front seat! Notice the belt on the passenger side, and the buckle on the driver’s side. Nothing in between.

    • Stan Marks

      WOW!!!!! The previous owner must have been REALLY big. LOL!!!

      Like 1
  13. PatrickM

    Wow!! I love Nomads. This one is particularly upgrading my enthusiasm. That color combo is just about perfect IMHO…maroon and cream. But, I got this listing late and didn’t have aa chance to see all the pics. And, to boot, it has sold for $28,9000.00. I thought these were fetching much more. Plus, it ain’t in my garage. Dang, man.

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