A look back at the Chevrolet Nomad

Many people will tell you that the 1950s was the best era for automobile design. Whether that is the case or not, we can argue for days and months and not come to an agreement. But what we can all agree on is that these years spawned the largest number of station wagons ever.

Given the historical and cultural situation, this does not come as a surprise. The big baby boom has prompted families to search for larger vehicles to accommodate all of their members. The auto industry complied. Station wagons have arrived to save the day, with multiple rows of passenger seats and a tailgate to the cargo area. They were really “family cars”.

Of course, all the major automakers of the time had station wagons to offer. As a prominent brand in recovery, Chevrolet not lag behind. For 1955, the famous American brand Chevrolet Nomad was introduced.

This vehicle is now a vintage Chevy, has been very popular and has been in production for a long time. Today, we take a closer look at its three major models and explore why it has reached classic car status in the modern era.

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Chevrolet Nomad development

Chevrolet used the Nomad plate throughout the 1950s and into the 1970s, mostly for station wagons. However, only three years of production received this name as separate models. From 1955 to 1957 (also known as “Tri-Fives”), the Chevy Nomad was a beautifully designed station wagon with two doors and a slanted rear window. For the remainder of its existence, Nomad has been a neat package.

But how did it become a Chevrolet Nomad? In 1954, the famous American brand introduced the first Nomad concept car as part of the General Motors Motorama line. This was a General Motors auto show organized from 1949 to 1961 to hopefully increase interest and sales in luxury concept cars. The Nomad played its part as a unique combination of Corvette front end and two-door wagon body.

When the Chevrolet Nomad received positive feedback on the show, Chevrolet decided to push it into production. Thus, the real world model appeared in 1955.

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Tri-Five: The Three Most Successful Years for a Grand Chevrolet Nomad

It was the first nearly intact Chevrolet Nomad from the Motorama Show. It had the same roofline, and while it was a premium model, it matched the Bel Air badge. Interestingly enough, the Nomad was one of the most expensive Chevrolet models. Except for the Corvette, of course.

The 1955 Chevrolet Nomad had a 265 cubic inch V8 engine with an overhead valve, high-compression, short-stroke design. Although it lost the front end design of the Corvette sports car, the 1955 Nomad retained the distinctive roof design, rear bench seat and unique two-piece tailgate.

As you can see from the photo above, the distinctive tailgate remained with the 1956 Chevrolet Nomad as well. However, that year saw a new front end with a wider grille, new taillights and new side accents. The interior also got some updates, like the padded dashboard.

A more distinctive facelift was done in 1957 as it did more available strength. Engine options now ranged from the six-cylinder to the new family of 283 V8s, with up to 283 horsepower with the 283 fuel-injected engine, also known as the “Violi.” It was a stylish wagon with its prominent rear fins, prominent headlights, and a newly shaped grille.

So, these were the three distinct Chevrolet Nomads produced between 1955 and 1957. They were named after the third and fifth generation and will remain the most popular lineup on the Nomad nameplate.

More use of the Bedouin nameplate and its status today

Unfortunately, sales of the Nomad station wagon began in 1957. Over the three years, approximately 22,000 Nomad models were manufactured, but only 6,000 units left the factory in 1957. Chevrolet did not hesitate to discontinue the entire range, despite providing painting for several years.

After those glorious days as a sports utility vehicle, the Nomad moniker has just been used as the trim level name for more regular station wagons. The Nomad name existed until 1972, but it did not receive special praise from customers. As mentioned earlier, the three years we describe in the mid-1950s were the golden years, and will be remembered as the best time for a Chevrolet Nomad.

If you look at the auctions, you will see that the Chevrolet Nomads from the production years 1955, 1956 and 1957 are hot collectors. Logically, they all also come at a hefty price tag due to their high historical value. So, if you’re looking to make the Chevrolet Nomad a part of your vintage car collection, go ahead these years. It will cost you a pretty penny, but you’ll have a fun classic that you can be proud of.


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