Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Hot One's Even Hotter - 1956 Chevrolet Nomad

At the travelling 1954 General Motors Motorama motor show, attended by 1.9 million visitors, Chevrolet displayed a Corvette based concept vehicle the Nomad a 2 door estate / station wagon among Head Stylist Harley Earl's collection of 'Dream Cars'.

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In 1955 Chevrolet launched it's second generation Bel Air models with the strap line 'The Hot One'. The Bel Air range included the 2 door Nomad estate / station wagon.

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The second generation Bel Air and the Nomad had a three year life cycle, knowing that if the car was to sell well in the second year of production the range had to look new for 1956, even if it was not, GM upgraded the Nomad saving no expenses on styling and tooling the exterior trim, including a fresh front bumper and new full width front grill.

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The '56 Chevrolet's Bel Air range was marketed with the new strap line 'The Hot One's even hotter'.

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Power for the Bel Air was provided by either a 4.3 litre / 265 cui or 4.6 litre / 283 cui V8, so far as I can tell this particular Nomad, seen at Shakespeare County Raceway, has a 5.7 litre / 347 cui V8.

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Chrome trim levels on the humble Nomad were comparable to contemporary high end Cadillacs.

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A feature introduced on the '56 Nomad was the concealment of the filler for the petrol tank by the chrome tail light housing on the drivers side.

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With $585 premium over the standard $2025 2-door Bel Air the Nomad was the most expensive vehicle in the Bel Air range.

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Production numbers show that Estate Station Wagons were not top of the Bel Air demographics list of priorities in 1956, just 7,886 Nomads were built compared to 103,000 pillarless four door hard tops and 128, 000 base 2 door model Bel Airs.

Thanks for joining me on this Nomad edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres', I hope you'll join me again tomorrow Ferrari Friday. Don't forget to come back now !