It is a wonderful world when show cars go into production. While that is not exactly what happened with the Chevrolet Nomad. It is close enough. The first Nomad appeared at the 1954 General Motors Motorama as one of Harley Earl’s “dream cars”. The show car Nomad was based off the Chevrolet Corvette, while the production Nomad was based off the Chevrolet Bel-Air.
1955 Chevrolet Nomad
Chevrolet revised all their “standards” in 1955. The new styling was advertised as “The Hot One”. The new Chevrolets were modern looking for their day and featured crisp, clean lines. The Nomad was a uniquely styled two-door wagon based off the “standard” Bel-Air. Other than it’s Pontiac stable mate, the Pontiac Safari, there were no other wagons like the Nomad in 1955. The Nomad looked more like a four-door hardtop than the other station wagons of that day.
The 1955 Nomads came loaded features, including: interior carpet, chrome spears on front fenders, chrome window moldings, and full wheel covers. The Nomad came with Chevrolet’s new for 1955 265 cubic inch V8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor and was capable of 162 horsepower. The 265 was a modern, overhead-valve, high-compression, short-stroke design. A “Power Pack” option featured a four-barrel carburetor and other upgrades create 180 horsepower. A “Super Power Pack” available as a mid-year option added high-compression and an additional 15 horsepower.
1956 Chevrolet Nomad
The Nomad like the Bel-Air received a new full-width grille for 1956. The Nomad also featured the same interior and rear-wheel sheetmetal as other Bel Airs. Gone was the unique trim of the 1955 Nomad. New safety equipment included a shoulder harnesses and a padded dashboard.
1957 Chevrolet Nomad
The V-8 engine on the Nomad increased to 283 cubic inches. A “Super Turbo Fire V8″ option produced 283 horsepower with continuous fuel injection. But this was not enough to save the Nomad. Sales never reached expectations. So for 1958 the Nomad would become a conventional four-door wagon as a top-of-the-line Bel-Air option.
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