1956 Chevrolet Nomad Resto-Mod - $79,900
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Built a few years ago, this Nomad is a great example of resto-mod tech gone right.

Is there a more iconic station wagon than the Nomad? Introduced as a Motorama show car in 1954 and sporting the nose of a Corvette, it was such a hit that it was a late addition to the all-new lineup of Chevys in 1955. Available only in top-of-the-line Bel Air trim, it was Chevy’s most luxurious model and instantly created a halo car in showrooms that wasn’t a Corvette. It delivered style like no station wagon before it and remains a favorite even more than 60 years later thanks to its stunning good looks. 1955-57 were the only years in which the Nomad was a totally unique model, a 2-door wagon based on the hardtop instead of the sedan, creating one of the hottest collectables of any era. Everyone has their own personal favorite, but nobody will argue this gorgeous 1956 Nomad isn’t a spectacular car.

Built a few years ago, this Nomad is a great example of resto-mod tech gone right. The original look remains, including the factory color combination of Tuxedo Black and Crocus Yellow with a matching interior, but underneath there’s a host of upgrades that make it better at, well, just about everything. We have extensive restoration photos and this gorgeous wagon started out as a bare shell and was rebuilt from bare steel on up. New floors provide a solid, clean foundation and the bodywork on top is extremely well done, because with black paint there’s just no place for substandard work to hide. Excellent gaps, super straight sheetmetal, and a brilliant shine make this gorgeous Nomad stand out in a crowd, The ‘56s are noteworthy for their unique trim that extends the two-tone treatment to the front fenders, and the new, wider front end was a hit with buyers. The Nomad’s sheetmetal aft of the doors is completely unique, including the roof, quarter panels, and tailgate, which is fitted with beautiful chrome rub strips. With forward-canted B- and C-pillars, the Nomad looks sporting instead of utilitarian and the standard ’56 Chevy taillights look like custom pieces today. All the stainless and chrome trim was likewise restored to show condition and remains excellent today. Cosmetically, this car is a show-stopper without taking any liberties with the original design.

There’s an equally beautiful black and yellow cloth and vinyl interior that accurately replicates what was there in 1956. The wide bench seat is all-day comfortable, making this an ideal car for road trips, and the funky brocade cloth looks especially awesome today. The two-tone dash is a work of art, shockingly ornate and stylish for the cost-leader Chevrolet, and the wide band of chrome trim running through the center ties it all together. There’s also a polished tilt steering column with a modified 1960 Chevy steering wheel finished to match the bodywork. The original instrument pod remains, although it’s been filled with a custom-made set of dials from Classic Instruments with pointers that match the bodywork—a nice touch. A trick Vintage Air A/C system includes control knobs that mimic the originals and a set of subtle vents under the dash, so it almost looks like it was born there. There’s also a clever AM/FM stereo radio in the center of the dash, again using OEM-style knobs so that it looks like a factory unit. Seat belts were added for safety and the headliner with its chrome ribs is simply gorgeous. The Nomad also offers plenty of cargo space that’s neatly upholstered with black carpet that’s easy to maintain. Load up the family and their gear, it’s time for a road trip!

On the road, this car is just effortless. It’s still powered by a small-block Chevy V8, although this one is a 350 cubic inch unit that’s considerably more powerful than the original 283. Rebuilt and color-matched in Crocus Yellow, it really pops in the all black engine bay. There’s also a ton of polished aluminum and chrome, from the valve covers and air cleaner to the intake manifold and accessories. A giant aluminum radiator with electric fan keeps it cool and an electronic ignition system lights it up. With a well-tuned Holley carburetor on top it starts easily, idles nicely, and drives extremely well. There’s plenty of power to make it feel quick around town, but it’s not so high strung that it feels like you’re always looking for a race. It’s got a mild cam so the idle is smooth, which fits the car’s demeanor, yet it zips through traffic without breaking a sweat. It’s really nicely built.

Underneath, there’s plenty of evidence of the frame-off build, with satin black floors and a gloss black frame that showcase the new hardware. The 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission features a deep overdrive that works with the 3.36 gears out back to make it an exceptional high-speed cruiser. The front suspension is stock, but it’s augmented with power rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes, and obviously all the parts are brand new. A dual exhaust system uses long-tube headers and stainless Magnaflow mufflers for a mellow soundtrack and you’ll note that even the driveshaft was color-matched to the Crocus Yellow bodywork. Fat sway bars front and rear plus fresh shock absorbers give it surprisingly competent handling without a harsh ride. There’s also a brand new gas tank hanging out back along with a new electric fuel pump. And thanks to exhaustive repairs, rust is a non-issue. 17-inch Torque Thrust wheels are a traditional look and they carry expensive new 225/60/17 Michelin radials with less than 100 miles on them.

Documentation includes a detailed photo album of the restoration and some recent maintenance receipts.

This is an extremely impressive car in every way—it’s beautifully built, tastefully modified, and clearly respects Chevy’s best design. The modifications make it more of everything the Nomad was designed to be without sacrificing its practicality. And there’s obviously a huge amount of money invested in its construction, making this car somewhat of a bargain compared to building it yourself. This is the ultimate ’56 Chevy and maybe even the ultimate wagon. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any car in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1956 Chevrolet Nomad Resto-Mod
Price: $79,900
Stock Number: 117075
Mileage: 869 (since built)
VIN: C56S028807
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.36
Wheelbase: 115 inches
Wheels: 17-inch Torque Thrust wheels
Tires: 225/60/17 Michelin Radials
Exterior Color: Tuxedo Black over Crocus Yellow
Interior Color: Black and yellow cloth and vinyl
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