Factory-Fresh 1955 Chevy Nomad Emerges From 40-Year Hibernation

October 24th, 2014


Collectors Weekly pal Justin Pinchot just sent us a video of his new pride and joy, a 1955 Chevy Nomad wagon. “It has completely original paint, interior, and drive train,” Pinchot says,  “and is so clean, I thought for sure it was a restored car until I saw it in person.” The two-door station wagon, which has been kept safe and warm in storage since 1974, has 87,000 original miles on it, and Pinchot is only its second or third owner, “depending on if you count the original owner’s son, who inherited the car.”

What sets this Nomad apart, though, from the 8,000 or so others made in 1955 is that so many of its parts are factory originals. The car has its original regal turquoise paint, with an ivory top, plus a near-perfect interior in the same colors. It’s got a factory-installed, unmodified, small-block V8 engine (“most were hot-rodded right off the showroom floor,” Pinchot says), power steering (a factory option at the time), and a two-speed, Powerglide automatic transmission. “It’s so original, it even has the ‘spiral’ Delco shocks on it. And it runs and drives like a dream.”

But the thing that pushed Pinchot over the edge from being just another drooling admirer to becoming the car’s new owner was a much smaller detail. “The seller had left me alone with the car to look it over. I was sitting in the driver’s seat, just taking it in, and it was dead silent except for a faint ‘tick, tick, tick.’ I looked over and realized that not only was the original dash clock ticking, but the time was correct! I just about lost my mind, and decided at that moment I had to have that car.”

10 comments so far

  1. Leo A. McAuley Says:

    Beautiful Original Car…..Love all the 5-6-7 Nomads

  2. Roy Says:

    Do you mean to tell me the paint on that car is the paint applied at the factory in 1955? That kind of original, or do you mean correct regal turquoise but re-painted?
    Same with the interior? Is that 60 year old factory interior? If so, that’s crazy! Every one of these gets restored or repainted…. lucky find! Gorgeous.

  3. Justin Pinchot Says:

    R0y… YES! You are looking at ORIGINAL paint, interior and drive train on this car. The word “survivor” with regards to vintage cars gets misused quite often, but it really means a car that has survived intact with it’s original factory finish and components over many decades without getting damaged, repainted, customized or modified. This car is a true survivor. The door panels are so clean I’m afraid to touch them when I close the door for fear of damaging them. It’s by far the best original condition car I have ever seen, and unusual for the first year Nomad wagon – early V8 cars almost always got hot rodded, and station wagons tend to get used up and thrown away, so it’s a real outlier. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Bruce Wayne Says:

    do not hang a heavy bunch of keys in the ignition switch.
    I drive a 57 wagon that I’ve had for more than 25 years. Nothing like yours but we are brothers. Tell us more. Was the car started from time to time while it sat all those years? Do not trust anyone else to work on your car!

  5. Justin Pinchot Says:

    Thanks for the advice Bruce! The ignition on this car is actually designed to be able to remove the key once the car is started and one can simply use the finger pads on the ignition switch to start or shut off the car the rest of the day. If you want to lock it, then you can put the key back in and put in the lock position, otherwise a key is not necessary. We were a lot more trusting in the 1950s.

    This car was started regularly from 1974 until 2009 when it would no longer start. Turned out to be a clogged carb. When I got it a month ago I emptied the gas tank and bubbled it out, cleaned the lines, rebuilt the carb, did brakes and re-cored the radiator, and that’s it. Of course I did a full tune up on it and safety check but she runs like a sewing machine now with no smoke or even leaks. I do most of my own work but I have a stellar mechanic near LA who has extensive knowledge of vintage cars and that’s all he works on. I would not trust anyone else really, although the tri-five Chevys are so simply built and easy to work on it’s astonishing. I will be returning the added dual exhaust back to single exhaust and removing the glass packs, but for now they are fine. The original cross over and heat shields are still present though, so it will go back to single exhaust easily. I prefer complete originality if possible. All other components on this car are factory original.

    This example has a factory power-steering option. Coupled with the smooth powerglide and V8, it’s just a pleasure to drive. And the scent inside a 60 year old interior simply cannot be duplicated. It’s like driving a time capsule. I still marvel at the door panels that are simply perfect… not sagging, or torn.. just amazing.

    Thank you for your positive comments and enthusiasm, the response has been overwhelming.

  6. Reed Says:

    Just saw one on American Restoration and drooled over that one also…..LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!

  7. Carson Fischer Says:

    Wow! This car is beautiful! I have always had a love for old cars, and this thing has me over a the top! She’s a beauty for sure!

  8. Dick Blakely Says:

    Wow..Unbelievable! Congrats on a great find. I love the fact that you can leave the key out! One question..How much did you pay for it?

  9. steve smith Says:

    my dad bought this exact same car off the showroom floor in 55 same color then in 57 he bought a olds station wagon with the j2 package 3 deuces I wish I had them both now enjoy the cool 55

  10. Artreality Says:

    Beautiful Car! I have its’ twin sister. But she’s a year older.Just like yours, I am the second owner. The car was registered, insured and driven on a regular basis and was stored indoors for 58 years before I bought it. The car has 43,180 verified miles. The only thing on the car that didn’t come from the factory is an AM/FM radio that was installed back in the 70’s when the car was used for car shows. I did get the original CAM radio with the car. 59 years of mileage and service records!!.I got the car because the 87 year old owner was only driving the car 2 or 3 times a year for the last 7 years since his wife became sick. Featured in the book “55-56-57 Chevy…The Hot One” by Pat Chappell. National unrestored show winner.

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

If you want to identify an item, try posting it in our Show & Tell gallery.