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Lot 312: Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad Resto-Rod

Collectors' MotorCycles, Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams & Butterfields (12 November 2011)

Chevrolet's Nomad originates from the Corvette, which had appeared as a Motorama show car in 1953 and debuted later that summer. As a reprise, head stylist Harley Earl challenged his team to come up with Corvette variations for the 1954 Motorama. Of the three Motorama Corvettes displayed at the Waldorf Astoria, the Nomad wagon generated the most interest. Earl took note of this and made the decision in January 1954 to move forward with a Nomad based on the 1955 Chevrolet, which was just being wrapped up. In two days, stylists transferred the top from the Motorama Corvette onto a '55 Chevy buck. The canted, ribbed tailgate design was retained too. Unlike other '55 Chevys, the Nomad received distinctive, rounded rear wheel openings, just like the front wheels. Headlights received brows that mimicked the B-pillar's slant, and it continued as side molding up to the rear edge of the door. On February 2, 1955, the Nomad was officially introduced to the world as the most expensive passenger car produced by Chevrolet. All told, 8,386 Nomads were built in 1955. The model would last through 1957, upon which the name was applied to Chevrolet's undistinguished top four-door wagon for 1958. This Atlantic Blue 1955 Nomad has received a frame-off restoration to modern standards. It is now running a GM Performance Ram Jet fuel-injected 350ci crate motor. The transmission is a 700R4 four-speed automatic with overdrive. Other modern 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. Currently part of a prominent Texas collection, it's a stellar marriage of style and comfort.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' MotorCycles, Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California
Lot Number312
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$32000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$37440
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberVC55A054570
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2