1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon  Chassis no. tba

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Lot 329
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon
Chassis no. tba

Sold for US$ 46,800 inc. premium
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon
Chassis no. tba
The mid-Fifties were the station wagon era. Baby boomers needed transportation and their parents looked around the offerings of Detroit’s Big Three and espied the station wagon, with its doors, seats, tailgates and commodious interior volumes, as the drug for which they had the prescriptions. Ranch wagons, estate wagons, station wagons, express wagons … Detroit offered everything but Little Red Wagons. They were the successors to the touring cars of the Twenties and Thirties as the carry anything, anywhere, all purpose carry-alls of American families.

Inevitably the marketers, designers and stylists joined the fray, parsing the station wagon market into ever-smaller niches, including the elusive and nearly negligible 2-door wagon market, a niche that would in much later years become known as the Sports Wagon when it was adopted by European marques.

While Ford was the leader with 2-door Ranch Wagons and Country Squires and Plymouth’s and Dodge’s 2-Door Suburbans raised utility over appearance, in 1955 Chevrolet hit the nail right on the head at exactly the right time with its 2-Door Bel Air Nomad station wagon. The Nomad’s distinctly styled slant-back wagon traced its ancestry directly to the Corvette-based Nomad Motorama concept. Comprehensively equipped and dramatically styled with frameless door windows, a wide forward sloping pillar behind the doors and narrow, almost invisible, pillars supporting the extended station wagon roof, the Bel Air Nomad was a new generation of stylish family cars.

Unfortunately the Bel Air Nomad was never popular, with just 6,103 built in 1955, 7,886 in 1954 and 6,103 in 1957. In 1958 the Nomad became just another Bel Air 4-door wagon. It wasn’t stylish but it was much better suited to transporting Baby Boomer families. The 20,092 Bel Air Nomads built in 1955-1957 became a unique and highly prized series all unto themselves which has only become more important today as sports wagons again become popular.

Long a favorite of customizers and street rodders, there are endless variations on the Nomad theme but among them it is the clean, understated, refined ’55 that is the most appreciated. Stock or extreme custom, resto-mod or AACA national champion, the interpretations of the ’55 Nomad theme know no bounds.

Bruce Willis bought this ’55 Nomad largely as it is presented here, a thoughtful and carefully presented mild custom with sensible upgrades for drivability and reliability. Finished in Light Blue with White roof and matching interior, it is powered by a Chevy 327 V-8 with 4-barrel intake and Powerglide automatic transmission. It has all the right stuff under the hood including aftermarket air conditioning with a rotary-style compressor, alternator, power steering and power brakes. The exterior is stock except for a set of highly polished Cragar S/S alloy wheels and blackwall radial Goodyear tires that are 205/15 at the front and 275/25 at the rear for just a touch of aggressive, raked stance.

It was bought by Bruce Willis largely in its present configuration from the Corvette Shop and has never needed anything since aside from getting a repaint and rechrome some years ago by Performance Paint in Torrance, California after years living near the Pacific. Just enough different from stock to make an immediate subliminal impression of style and performance, Bruce Willis’s Nomad is elegant, refined, aggressive, timeless and contemporary all in one car, at one time. It hardly gets any better.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the chassis number is VC55L056989.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon  Chassis no. tba
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon  Chassis no. tba
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Door Station Wagon  Chassis no. tba
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