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Art & Inspiration Nomadness: A Decades-long Obsession

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by arkiehotrods, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. firemangordy
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 362


    Bought my first Nomad, a '56, in 1975. Joined California Nomads car club. The club was formed in 1970 and is still going strong.. Have had several Nomads over the years but the one I have now is by far my favorite. I first saw it at the National Nomad Club convention in Vail, Colorado in 1976 and took pictures of it. I became friends with the owners over the years as their club from Arizona would get together with ours periodically. A couple of years ago I asked the owner about selling it. It had been sitting in their garage for 18 years collecting dust. We reached an agreement and it's now in my garage. It still has it's original paint and upholstery, Power Pak 265 and powerglide and padded dash. 56 Mad at Vail.jpg 56 Mad 44.JPEG 56 Mad 80.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
  2. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,877

    from omaha ne.

    So there are chevy nomads, pontiac safaris........were there buick and olds models?
  3. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,533

    phat rat

    Frankie47 likes this.
  4. dirt car
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 221

    dirt car
    from nebraska

    Those wanting me to post photo's of my Nomad's will need to figure out the system to do so, I did post my 32 sport coupe as my avatar on the ford barn however was some time ago......somewhat agree with comments on the 55 vs 56 vs 57's & personally to me I like one & all as each have traits to appreciate.....55's open wheel wells, die cast eye brows & fender trim that set it apart, .......56's knockout tutone ability not possible on the 55 or 57 & higher performance options as well,...... 57's with even higher performance options & plenty of shiny stuff & even 3 bar hub caps if one so desired.....
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  5. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,965




    After our quiet exit from drag racing in 1960-61, my brother was recovering and was getting antsy for something to do. He mentioned wanting to build another hot rod, so we would have an outlet for our skills. While I was in between study sessions, out came my drawing pad/notebook. The 2nd drawing was of the 55 Nomad. We had talked about it due to the fact that the rear wheel opening would allow us to run wider slicks (none to little modifications necessary) if we decided to go back into the Gas Coupe and Sedan Classes, again.

    We have always like the 55 Nomad, but the cost to buy or make into a competitive hot rod was beyond our means. So, we could look, but knew it was out of reach.


    Then, when my wife and I were in the market for a new car, we both mentioned station wagons for our surf travels and camping. The 55 Nomad came up again and although we had the money saved, the ones we saw for sale needed too much work to become a daily driver for both of us.

    The thought of our friend in his red 55 Chevy Nomad during our high school days always sticks in my mind. It was a different approach to hot rods, cruising, and surfing. My sedan delivery was as close to teenage cruising ideas as possible with the limited budget and time.

    When I saw this red 55 Nomad at the Price Transfer Automobilia, it struck a chord. Now, it was back in the picture for a possible next car.
    But, the prices of the semi custom 55 Nomads are much too high due to the demand from all over the USA. So, we are satisfied with the current small station wagon for our road trips, when the pandemic gets over. For, now.

    Several of the last drawings were put on one page of my drawing notebook in 1965-66. Whenever I was in the mood, earlier drawings made it easier to draw something new. My early memory of the Speed Sport Roadster from 1959, a classic Model A Truck that my brother and I could have built in 1962-63.

    There was even a 1955 Nomad modified to be a daily driver, surf transportation, but with enough power to win in the Gas Coupe and Sedan Classes. Yes, it shows an “up in the air” pose, but my action and smoking tires effects were terrible, so they were always left out. So, assume it just powered itself off of the starting line and was rumbling down the dragstrip.


    Envy is one powerful emotion. But, reality plays a big part in controlling that envious moment. Our whole group of friends had cars that we customized, drove daily to high school, built up with speed parts with our limited budgets, and raced when it was necessary. We looked at each others cars and enjoyed the camaraderie that was created in our friendships as well as the different hot rod builds.

    That is what Friday-Saturday nights at the two Bixby Knolls drive-in restaurant parking lots had until the closing times. There was teenage banter, envy, helpful hints, and impartial suggestions on future builds, etc. It was endless... but, a big part of teenage years and bravado.

    When a friend of ours drove up to the local drive in restaurant parking lot with his then used/new, red, 55 Chevy Nomad, all eyes turned everyone’s brain “envy button”, on with a flash. The question was…how in the world was a teenager able to buy a pristine, 1955 Chevy Nomad?

    He told everyone that he had been saving for years, had a good paying job and he got some help from his family. (80% family was suspected) But, it was a 55 Nomad, not a modified, backyard hot rod. Still, envy was strong in that drive-in parking lot that night. He was a hot rodder and a surfer, so he had the local vibe in place.


    That moment has always stayed in my memory banks. It was brought to the forefront when I visited the Price Transfer Automobilia Museum for an invitation walk through in 2017. I spied a bright red, 55 Nomad with surfboards sticking out of the back. Instantly, it was the 1962-63 era in that Bixby Knolls drive-in parking lot. This red 1955 Nomad was spotless and I was told that it gets driven to different functions in So Cal, even though it was in show condition. Talk about envy !!!

    Finally, the drawing of an early Corvette Nomad from the factory and those early car shows got me to thinking it would have made a cool streamlined Bonneville racer.

    Nomads? Of course...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  6. A { Story }, I tried to find a better photo of this 55 Nomad. It was from the Disney Epcot's world of moton parvilion. We went with my parents there in the early 80's. There was this 55 Nomad, and Pontiac etc. with animated families on vacation. I thought it was so COOL. When I took my family there in the 90's it was gone. But while visiting Disney's MGM Studio's I spoted it again sitting out side on a back lot. It was in very poor condition. I got down and looked under it. It still had electric motors for turning the wheels when it was used in the moton exhibit. I often wondered what ever happened to it. Does anyone know the rest of the story? sorry only photo I could find of it. [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
    pprather and 55 Ford Gasser like this.
  7. thomas.parker197
    Joined: Dec 29, 2017
    Posts: 52


    I second that! Please post pics. I'd love to see that color combo.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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