1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad merged
station wagon utility with hardtop style.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad was in a class all its own. No other station wagon has ever achieved the near-classic status granted to Chevrolet's glorious 1955 Nomad -- or come close. Even Pontiac's similarly shaped Safari never matched a Nomad's style and flair.

Because hardtops accounted for nearly one-fifth of the market and wagons nearly 15 percent, logic dictated a marriage of the two. Nomad began as a popular Corvette-based dream car at the 1954 GM Motorama. Blending the posh airiness of a hardtop with a wagon's practical virtues, the production Nomad debuted in February 1955.

Rakish is the only way to describe the Nomad, with its hardtop door-glass framing and sloping rear quarters that paralleled the angle of the wide B-pillars. Styling touches included a fluted roof, wraparound rear side glass, and rear-wheel cutouts.

From the cowl back, Nomads shared little sheetmetal with other Chevrolets, except for the basic floorpan. Doors differed, because Nomads lacked a beltline dip, and quarter panels were unique due to the wheel cutouts. A special interior featured waffle-rib upholstery.

Though handsome, the glassy greenhouse made the car hot on sunny days, air circulation wasn't top-notch, and tailgates leaked rain. Highest-priced of the '55s at $2,571, only 8,386 Nomads were built this year, and sales sagged further in the next two seasons.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
The flashy 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
was outsold by less ostentatious wagons.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad Facts

Model

Weight (lbs.)

Price (new)

Number built

Bel Air Nomad

3,285

$2,571

8,386


For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.