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1955 Chevrolet Nomad Barn Find Emerges With Unexpected Surprise Under the Hood

1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find 10 photos
Photo: Barn Finds Classifieds
1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find1955 Chevrolet Nomad barn find
Produced in nearly five million units from 1955 to 1957, the Chevrolet Tri-Five is among the most common 1950s classics out there. At the same time, however, it's also one of the most desirable, especially in Bel Air trim.
But while the Sport Coupe and the four-door sedan were built in hundreds of thousands of units per year, some versions are actually pretty rare. The Nomad is the scarcest of the bunch at only 22,897 units made, which accounts for less than 5% of the total Tri-Five production (over three model years).

And while you'd be tempted to believe that Nomads are highly prized and more common in museums and at car shows, quite a few of these luxed-up two-door wagons are still rotting away in junkyards and barns. This white 1955 version is one of those rigs begging for a second chance.

Resting its bones in Rapid City, South Dakota, this Nomad is a true pole barn find that spent decades off the road. Based on the amount of rust, it hasn't been sitting for more than 25 years, but that white paint may hide more issues. According to the seller, "the floors are soft, as are the bottom of the doors and tailgate," so this wagon needs a lot of metal work.

Even though white was a factory color in 1955, this hue has nothing in common with the India Ivory color Chevy was offering at the time. And that's not surprising, given that the grocery-getter was repainted rather sloppy back in the day. The door jambs confirm that this Nomad wasn't shipped in India Ivory because they show traces of Royal Turquoise.

One of the most desirable hues from the era, Royal Turquoise, was paired with an India Ivory roof on this car. The Onyx Black interior is a bit unusual, given that many turquoise cars had matching interiors, but the combo is definitely factory-correct. The cabin is in surprisingly solid condition overall.

The turquoise paint is not the only surprise that comes with this Nomad. The original engine was replaced with a more modern powerplant displacing 350 cubic inches (5.7 liters). It's unclear if the Nomad was ordered with an inline-six or a V8. The seller confirms it's a Chevy unit, but doesn't provide photos, so its provenance and model year remain a mystery. The Nomad has a new gas tank, fuel system, carburetor, and fuel tank. It runs, drives, and stops, but it needs new tires.

The missing chrome trim comes with the car, which is described as 99% complete. One of 8,530 Nomads sold during the 1955 model year, this grocery-getter has a $35,000 sticker on Barn Find Classifieds. What's your take on the price relative to the car's condition? Is it worth $35K, or is it an overpriced parts vehicle? Let me know in the comments section below.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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