1956 Chevrolet Nomad
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|Interior||Red and White|
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Here is a restored example of the most desirable station wagon of all time: the Chevrolet Nomad. This beautiful car has been updated throughout and now includes many modern amenities. It has an overdrive transmission and cruise control for relaxed highway driving. Power steering and power front disc brakes for easy operation. Air conditioning to keep everyone comfortable and three-point belts for safety. And of course it has a style that just seems to get better with age.
The Nomad was Chevrolet’s most expensive passenger car in 1956, topping even the Bel Air convertible. As such it is also quite rare with only 8,103 built that year (just 0.5% of production) so finding a good one today can be a challenge. This particular car was a non-running project when it was discovered in California in the 1990’s. While it was solid and complete, it was a far cry from what you see today (be sure to see the “before” pictures at the end of the gallery). After passing through a few hands, it settled in eastern Wisconsin where the last owner completed a 5-year body-on restoration in 2003.
This project was not some scuff-and-shoot job. Rather, it was a bare metal, glass out effort. The body was completely stripped and repainted in red. As a west coast car this one retains its original rust-free floors and frame too. Everything is nice and straight, and the liftgate does not suffer from the de-arching that plagues so many Tri-Five Nomads. The solid paint scheme gives the unmistakable ’56 trim some extra pop, while the tinted windows add some contrast. The 15” chrome Rally wheels wear Cooper 235/60 tires from 2016.
The drivetrain was converted to a brand new 350ci V8 backed by a 700R4 automatic transmission. The engine is just what you would want from a street motor, offering easy starts, decent power, and reliable operation. There is also plenty of vacuum to operate the power brakes along with a big Griffin aluminum radiator. The 700R4 transmission provides four gears with overdrive, allowing the car to run at today’s highway speeds below 2,000 rpm. The car also received an updated power steering setup and front disc brakes.
The interior was completely redone in red vinyl with tan cloth inserts. The door panels and side pieces were trimmed to match, and the unique Nomad headliner looks terrific with all the shiny bows. Shoulder belts were installed up front for additional safety, and a modern Vintage Air HVAC system was added for comfort. All gauges and indicator lights work properly. So do the horn, heater / defroster, turn signals, parking brake, dash lights, backup lights, and more. The attractive steering wheel sits atop a tilt steering column which includes a stalk for the cruise control. There is also an aftermarket AM/FM digital radio along with dual underdash gauges for oil pressure and water temperature. Finally, the windshield wipers have been converted from the original vacuum setup to a more reliable electric setup.
With their unique styling and rarity, the tri-five Nomads represent blue-chip collectibles. This restored example captures that classic look and combines it with a multitude of great features that will keep you smiling. It’s a quality example of one of Chevrolet’s finest.
- Air Conditioning
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- AM/FM Stereo
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