The first Nomad appeared as a Corvette-based hardtop wagon at the 1954 Motorama. With positive feedback from the public, legendary head stylist Harley Earl challenged his design team to mock a version based on the production 1955 Chevrolet.
On February 2, 1955, the Nomad was officially introduced to the world as the most expensive passenger car produced by Chevrolet.
And on November 12, 2011, this 1955 Nomad will be officially sold by Bonhams & Butterfields at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The Nomad was somewhat impractical for most people due to its two-door configuration (two-door wagons were not uncommon back then, but they tended to have more utilitarian duties), so only 8,386 were built in 1955 plus a little less for 1956 and 1957.
The premiere ’55 may be the most special one of the bunch due to its clean lines, special trim, and radiused rear wheel wells, all of which lend themselves well to customization. Exhibit A: This Atlantic Blue Nomad.
When you combine subtle modifications with a modern GM Performance Ram Jet fuel-injected 350ci crate motor, you end up with what is perhaps the most practical ’50s cruiser ever. Shifting duties come from another concession to modernity, a 700R4 four-speed automatic with overdrive.
Other contemporary features include power steering, Vintage Air climate control system, tilt column, power disc brakes, power windows, 17-inch American Racing wheels, polished cross-flow radiator and heavy-duty cooling system, custom smoke gray glass, charcoal bucket seats with console, modern instrumentation, custom stereo, chromed engine compartment, and under-dash wiper system.
Sounds cushy? Few cars drive like a Caddy rocket ship yet look so good. And as part of the late John O’Quinn’s collection, you know the quality of the restoration is first-rate.