The two-door 1955 Chevy Nomad is a classic American car introduced by Chevrolet in 1954 at the General Motors Motorama. Chevrolet designed the vehicle to combine the style of a sports car with the utility of a station wagon. The auto manufacturer produced the car’s first generation from 1955 to 1957. Although the vehicle’s production history was brief, it’s now a highly desired collectible car and has become a favorite among car enthusiasts.
In this classic car blog, you’ll learn about the history of the Chevrolet Nomad and its specifications and legacy.
History of the Chevy Nomad
Chevrolet first debuted the Nomad at the Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel in Georgia as part of the 1954 General Motors Motorama. They branded the Nomad as a “dream car” and utilized inspiration from the Chevrolet Corvette, including its front and rear styling. The remarkable Nomad sported a design much different than other wagons, with its two doors, wraparound rear windows, and forward-slanting B-pillar.
Motorama attendees adored the car’s styling, leading Chevrolet to green-light the car’s production. But, of course, the Nomad they presented at Motorama was merely a fiberglass construction with no gears or engine. And so, the company got to work crafting the dream car into an impressively-equipped vehicle.
GM constructed and painted the Nomads at their Fisher Body Euclid Avenue plant in Ohio. From there, different Chevrolet plants provided the final assembly for the vehicles. As a result, the car featured more chrome and stainless steel than any previous Chevrolet production car. In addition, it was constructed with sheet metal exclusive to the Nomad, making its exterior and interior features all the more breathtaking.
Chevrolet released the car to the public as a mid-year model in February 1955, four months after the company unveiled the other 1955 models. The car was based on Chevrolet’s standard A-body platform and featured the trim and badging of a Bel Air sedan. Additionally, the vehicle shared many features with the Pontiac Safari, including an identical roofline and chassis. Like the Nomad, GM constructed the Safari at GM’s Fisher Body Euclid Avenue plant.
1955 Chevy Nomad Specifications
The 1955 Chevrolet Nomad boasts a two-tone interior with pleated vinyl and waffle-pattern insert materials. Plus, it shares a similar trim with the Bel Air sedan, including an identical front fender trim and door trim. Although the car has many similarities to the Bel Air, it features many distinct differences, such as its two-piece split tailgate, flat-folding rear seat, and its forward-sloping B-pillar, tailgate, and rear window. It also sports fully radiused rear wheel openings similar to the classic Corvette.
Chevrolet offered a standard engine option that included a 265 cu in (4.3 L) V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, ultimately producing 162 horsepower. Other options had a 6-cylinder engine with 123 hp and a 6-cylinder with 136 hp. Finally, Chevrolet offered an upgraded V8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor that produced 180 hp. Chevy mated the engine to a 3-speed manual transmission.
The Chevy Nomad had a wheelbase of 115 inches and a total length of 201 inches. It also had a curb weight of around 3,270 pounds, making it a relatively lightweight station wagon for its era.
Legacy of the ‘55 Nomad
With its distinct sport wagon style, impressive build, and desirable engine options, the 1955 Chevrolet Nomad was expensive to construct, making it costly for the motor-loving public. A V8 ‘55 Nomad was around $2,571, far more expensive than other Chevys that year besides the Corvette.
Considering its price, the car sold reasonably well in its debut year. Chevrolet produced 8,386 units, but that number dropped to 7,886 the following year. Chevrolet only produced 6,103 units in 1957.
After 1957, Chevrolet moved on from its original Nomad generation and produced the B-body second generation until 1961. After a six-year delay, the manufacturer then brought back the Nomad name for their Chevrolet Chevelle line until 1972.
Although there have been other noteworthy Nomads, the 1955 is truly the most iconic with its distinctive styling, surprisingly-capable engine, and exceptional automotive innovations, such as its two-piece tailgate design. Unsurprisingly, it’s now a favorite among car enthusiasts and is a hot collector’s item.
Get the Best Insurance For Your 1955 Chevy Nomad
If you’re fortunate enough to own one of these historic, two-door sport wagons, you need the most robust insurance to protect your cherished beauty for years.
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