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Lot 203

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad

  • Chassis no. VC55A060137

Sold for $82,500


162 bhp, 265 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

  • The iconic Nomad station wagon
  • Exceptional restoration; one of the finest extant
  • Power brakes, power steering, and a three-speed transmission


From its first appearance as a Corvette at GM’s 1954 Waldorf Astoria Motorama, Chevrolet’s dramatic Nomad station wagon was a big hit. It was introduced to the regular passenger line in 1955, and its influence extended far beyond the modest total of 8,386 units built that year. This remained true over the car’s three-year lifespan, even though production actually diminished slightly year by year.

The design originated in Harley Earl’s styling section at General Motors, specifically in a special studio headed by Carl Renner. The show car was built on a 1953 station wagon chassis, with the body rendered in fiberglass, as, of course, all Corvettes were and have been ever since. Its hallmark was the gracefully forward-slanted B-pillar, which was echoed in the rear contour and was adorned with seven vertical chrome strips. The top had subtle crosswise flutes, which were the work of Renner himself.

Production as part of the regular passenger line required steel construction and a higher beltline. Although the show car had an electrically lowered rear window, the production Nomad used a liftgate and employed a die-cast frame to allow for thinner pillars, which resulted in better visibility. The show car’s full cutouts were retained for the production model’s rear wheels. This was so sufficiently prominent that side trim was limited to a short molding from the headlight to the front door.

This handsome Nomad has been meticulously restored, with no detail or expense spared. It was acquired for the Andrews Collection from the estate of a local discerning collector, for whom the restoration was performed. It has accrued only break-in mileage since completion.

The car is somewhat unusual, as it has both power steering and power brakes, along with the standard 162-brake horsepower small block Chevy V-8 and three-speed manual transmission. Other equipment found on the car includes a Wonder Bar signal-seeking AM radio, an electric clock, a heater-defroster, E-Z-Eye tinted glass, and factory wire wheel covers.

The quality of the restoration is exceptional, with no flaws to be seen or unseen. It is painted in the original Shoreline Beige over Gypsy Red, while the interior features the correct matching, red-and-white, waffle-pattern vinyl. It also comes with a build book for the complete restoration. One would have to wander far and wide to find another Nomad rivaling this beautiful ’55 Chevrolet.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more