Chevrolet Nomad – A Sport Wagon Icon

1957: A year For Engineering Innovation

1957 Chevrolet passenger cars were a product of extensive engineering development. They incorporated many far-reaching new features designed to keep Chevrolet at the forefront of contemporary passenger cars in performance, styling and roadability.

All-encompassing appearance changes, larger engines, revolutionary new fuel injection, a new transmission and extensive chassis revisions combined to produce an outstanding vehicle in every characteristic.

For the first time, Chevrolet offered a fuel injection system, which replaced the conventional carburetor, providing a more consistently accurate fuel-air mixture, with resultant increases in horsepower.

Motorama “Dream Cars”

The Nomad was originally a concept car based on the 1953 Corvette. It made an appearance at the 1954 General Motors Motorama show in New York. It was one of GM Chief Designer Harley Earl’s “Dream Cars”. It had the front of a Corvette, the back of a sleek, yet practical wagon, and the capacity to carry six people.

The production model was introduced in 1955 with the all-new 265 cubic inch (4.3 L) V8 engine which featured an overhead valve, high compression, short stroke design. Coupled with the Powerglide automatic transmission the Nomad quickly earned the nickname "The Hot One".

The “Tri-Five Cars”

The Nomad arrived just in time to line up with the most famous Chevrolets ever built: the Tri-Five models, not just a midsize lineup but an icon for an entire decade. Tri-Five refers to the 1955, 1956 and 1957 Chevrolet automobiles, in particular, the Bel Air, 150, 210 and Nomad. Revolutionary in their day, they spawned a cult following. They remain some of the most popular years for collectors and hot rodders.

The Nomad’s V-8 engine displacement was increased in 1957 to 283 cubic inches producing 245 horsepower. Also introduced that year was the "Super Turbo Fire V8" option producing 283 horsepower with the help of continuous fuel injection. It was the first production engine to achieve one horsepower per cubic inch. These so-called "fuelie" cars are quite rare today, since most Nomad’s with Bel Air trim were fitted with carburation.

Unique Styling

From a styling perspective, the two-door Nomad differed from other station wagons of the era by having a look more reminiscent of a hardtop sedan than that of a standard station wagon. The two-door bodystyle came with a rear bench seat that folded down to accommodate cargo. It also featured a two-piece tailgate with a glass upper portion that swung up, with a tailgate that folded down.

While considered to be a milestone in vehicle design, General Motors discontinued the original Nomad Sport Wagon at the end of the 1957 model year. About 6,000 Nomad models were built for 1957, with a total three year model build (1955 – 1957) of approximately 22,000.

Although the Nomad name was used over the years as a trim designation on other Chevrolet models it is best known as the top of the line sporty 2-door wagon of the 1955-1957 era.

Fast Forward 60 Years

While unique styling and brute horsepower defined the 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, the newest Chevrolet wagon/SUV crossover provides style, performance and leading-edge technology and safety.

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is a versatile crossover. It’s also Chevrolet’s second most popular vehicle, after the Silverado. Equinox sales, since it was introduced, have reached approximately 2 million units.

Equinox features for 2018 include:

  • Completely redesigned to be approximately 400 lbs. lighter than its predecessor – a 10-percent weight reduction.
  • All-new expressive styling echoes sculpted designs seen in Volt, Malibu and Cruze
  • All-new interior with elements including available denim-style seat fabric that blends high style with durability
  • New available safety features, including Safety Alert Seat, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking and Surround Vision
  • Chevrolet’s first all-turbocharged multi-engine propulsion system lineup, including a segment-exclusive turbo-diesel offering a GM-estimated 40 mpg highway
  • Standard 1.5L turbo engine and available 2.0L turbo and 1.6L turbo-diesel – with a new nine-speed automatic transmission paired with the 2.0L turbo
  • Available switchable AWD system that enhances efficiency by disconnecting from the rear axle when not needed
  • Connectivity technologies include 7- and 8-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot