When it comes to classic cars, nothing beats a rotisserie restoration. It’s the best way to preserve value and, depending on the car, even make a profit at public auctions. But not all classics get restored to original specifications.
Some soldier on for decades as unrestored survivors, while others become restomods with modern underpinnings and technology under their vintage shells. The 1956 Chevrolet Nomad you see here is a different kind of rig.
While it looks like it spent a lot of time in a barn, it’s not an unrestored survivor. And even though it comes with a V8 swap, it’s not a restomod either. I don’t know if we have a name for cars like these because it’s not a proper rat rod either. Still, it’s clearly a cool rig.
The history of this unique Nomad is a bit of a mystery, but it seems that it spent its entire life in California. That would explain the sun-baked paint and, more importantly, the rust-free body. On top of that, it’s very complete as far as Bel Air trim elements go, while the interior appears to be highly original.
But it’s the engine that makes this Nomad special. This wagon left the factory with a 265-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) V8, but the original mill was replaced with something more modern a long time ago. Now it relies on a 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) unit that uses a 700R transmission and a Ford nine-inch rear end to spin the rear wheels.
Unfortunately, there’s no info as to where the 350 V8 was sourced from, but it should deliver more oomph than the original 265 powerplant. And the front disc brakes, the traction bars, and the newer exhaust are all hints that this Nomad packs more punch than usual. Perhaps more than 350 horsepower?
There is some bad news, though. The Nomad has been sitting for a few years, and it no longer runs. According to the seller, the “shift linkage needs to be hooked up,” while the gas tank was removed “to replace the sending unit.” Overall, it seems like a solid classic that needs a bit of attention to run again.
If it’s the kind of wagon you’d like to fix and parade at the local cars and coffee, the Tri-Five is located in El Sobrante, California. It’s being auctioned off by eBay seller “bandarra1” and bidding has reached $35,100 with a little more than a day to go. Yup, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s far from surprising, given that the Tri-Five Nomad values have gone through the roof in recent years.