Chevrolet Nomad

CHEVROLET NOMAD ORIGINS
The story of the Nomad begins with the birth of the Corvette. The original Corvette show car, called the “Waldorf Corvette”, so named because it was shown at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. It was the familiar 1953 to 1955 Corvette body with a roof and greenhouse of the 1955-57 Nomad. It was wildly successful, but when GM green-lighted the Corvette, it was as a 2-seat convertible sports car, with typical removable rag top, not a station wagon. So, the Nomad was laid to rest for a couple of more years, only to be resurrected just as the radically new 1955 Chevys were being conceived. This time, the Nomad would be built from a normal full-sized car, and would be a distinctive, sporty 2-door wagon at the very top of the Chevrolet lineup. All Nomads were top-of-the-line Bel Airs, and were in fact called “Bel Air Nomads” in Chevy literature. They were also priced top-of-the-line, more than any other model except the Corvette. Of course, this hurt sales. Nomads never sold in big numbers and the price was certainly part of it. But its blend of station wagon practicality and sporty intentions was lost on most people. In its best year, 1955, Chevy managed to sell only 8,365 Nomads. They only made the iconic 2-door Nomads in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Chevy continued to resurrect the name from time to time, attached to some station wagon or another.
CHEVROLET NOMAD UNIQUE FEATURES
While every Chevrolet built at the time (except the Corvette) shared the same sheetmetal from the cowl forward, from there on out, the Nomad was unique. Not quite a traditional Station Wagon, even when compared to the 2-door Station Wagons of the time, it was really more of a ”Sport Wagon”. To begin with, it had frameless door windows, like a convertible or a pillarless hardtop. Then, it had the sloped B-pillars with just the right angle forward. Next were the sliding rear quarter windows, fairly unique then and now. Then the tailgate was set at an extreme angle also, giving it a racy look, especially when compared to the nearly-vertical tailgates of standard wagons. The tailgate also had seven very distinctive vertical chrome spears. And the roof had nine rib pressed into the sheetmetal that ran side to side from one side window to the other. The 1955s had chrome trim that was different from any other Chevy every produced, 1955 or otherwise. Instead of the normal busy array of Bel Air chrome trim, the ’55 Nomad made due with a Nomad-specific chrome eyebrow over the headlight that spilled back into one simple chrome spear that ran back over the fender and most of the door, ending near the back of the door. It was elegantly clean and simple, and despite the enormous side panels on a ’55 Chevy wagon of any type, it looked just right. Another unique feature just to ’55 Nomads were the rear fender openings. If you look at any other 1955 Chevy, you will see that their rear fender cover the top half of the rear wheel and tire, they’re semi-skirted. And all the 1956 and 1957 Chevys, Nomad or otherwise, have teardrop-shaped rear fenders that also cover nearly the top half of the rear wheel. The 1955 Nomad however, has a full rear wheel opening, perfectly formed and in balance. All Tri-Five Chevys should have had these rear fenders. They allowed for much larger rear wheels and tires with the typical clearance problems. I know, I had a hot rod ’55 Nomad.

1955 Chevrolet NOMAD


1956 Chevrolet NOMAD


1957 Chevrolet NOMAD


Chevrolet Nomad INTERIOR


Other TRI-FIVE CHEVYS

TRI-FIVE CHEVY

The 1955, 1956 and 1957 Chevrolets stand out as a major watershed in automotive history & development. They changed the world and the market. They brought style & performance to the masses. Their popularity has never wained.


1955 CHEVY

The car that changed it all. Lots of innovations, and racy new styling made it a major hit. And that new small block V8 was nothing sort of brilliant.


1956 CHEVY

Mostly carryover from '55, but lots of improvements were made. Completely restyled, it begins the trend toward "longer-lower-wider" with its full-width front grille.


1957 CHEVY

Third & perhaps best year of the Tri-Five. 265 V8 gets punched out to 283 & with Fuel Injection becomes the first production car to achieve one horsepower per cubic inch.



Check out these TRI-FIVE CHEVY BOOKS

CHEVROLET’S HOT ONES: 1955, 1956 & 1957


CHEVROLET ‘55, ‘56, ‘57


CHEVROLET 1955-1957


ORIGINAL CHEVROLET: 1955-1957


THE HOT ONE - CHEVROLET 1955-1957


CHEVY CLASSICS: 1955, 1956, 1957


FINGERTIP FACTS FOR THE 1955 CHEVROLET


FINGERTIP FACTOS FOR THE 1956 CHEVROLET


CHEVROLET HISTORY: 1955-1957


TRI-FIVE CHEVY HANDBOOK: RESTORATION, MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS & UPGRADES


TRI-CHEVY: THAT MEANS ’55, ’56 & ’57 CHEVYS


GUIDE TO BUILDING A TRI-FIVE CHEVY


TRI-FIVE CHEVYS” BUILDING & MODIFYING


CHEVY TRI-FIVE CUSTOM INTERIORS


HOW TO BUILD YOUR SMALL BLOCK CHEVY


HOW TO BUILD TRI-FIVE CHEVY TRUCKS


TURBO HYDRA-MATIC 350 HANDBOOK


LS SWAPS: HOW TO SWAP GM LS ENGINES INTO ALMOST ANYTHING


POWERGLIDE TRANSMISSION HANDBOOK


1955 CHEVROLET FACTORY SHOP MANUAL, REPRINT


CATALOG OF CHEVY V8 ENGINE CASTING NUMBERS, 1955-1993


CHEVY BY THE NUMBRS 1955-1959


CHEVY SMALL BLOCK BIBLE





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4/20/16
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