LS-Based 1957 Chevy Nomad Is A Modern Barn Find

Many folks are torn as to whether they want a modern ride, or vintage car and all the “character” that comes with it. Things like drum brakes, straight-sixes, and three-on-the-tree are all vintage vibes that’ll take you back to the ‘50s or ‘60s in an instant. The problem with all that arises when you’re faced with modern traffic. It’s a lot like listening to those Golden Oldies on today’s ultra-high-def sound systems. You’ll notice EVERY skip, nick, hiss, and dust-garble as you relish in the sounds of yesteryear.

Some folks enjoy being immersed in that vintage vibe, but when it comes to cars – and since you’re on LSxmag.com – we’ll go out on a limb and say that straight-sixes and a column-mounted “H-Pattern” may not be your thing. Thankfully, you can still get that farm-fresh feel with all the power and drivability of today’s LS-based engine and 4L60e transmission, thanks to this offering on Facebook Marketplace.

Of course, the reason for being here, the engine and trans has been updated with an Edelbrock-equipped 5.3L LS engine and 4L60 transmission. There is also a rebuild rear end featuring a 3.55 differential, new shocks all around, and upgraded sway bars, all leading us to believe this ’57 Nomad could be quite the driver.

The ad states this car is a long-term “project,” which lists out a nice helping of modern accessories beyond the engine swap. In addition to the power upgrade, you’ll also get a full complement of power disc brakes, updated wiring, a rebuilt front end with tubular control arms, a rack-and-pinion steering, Flaming River tilt column, aluminum radiator (with dual fans), stainless steel exhaust, and those always-cool Cragar S/S wheels wrapped in BFG rubber.

The ad states you’ll need to source some fender spears for the sides, but if you kept the black primer theme, who cares?!!!! Besides, those CRAGAR S/S wheels give plenty of bling.

To keep the car from appearing to “new,” the interior was left intact and is described as, “okay to use and is all there.” Looking at the pictures, we’d have to agree and wouldn’t change a thing. Outside, the images do show the car could use a little bit of bodywork. It’s easy to see rust has taken hold in some of the typical areas but it isn’t discussed if there are any areas under the car with the same condition. There is the ominous, “some rust repair needed,” which could mean a simple patch panel or up to a frame replacement. Even so, the body is in MUCH better condition than many of the cars we’ve seen from this vintage, and as described, the car is in very much usable condition, even if nowhere near considered for “Best of Show.”

Inside, where you'll spend most of your (s)miles, looks to be pretty complete. The accompanying brightwork seems to be in place and the seats are far above merely "usable." We've slept in hotel rooms that weren't this nicely appointed!

While not listed specifically, there are a few boxes of original parts and new parts that are included in the sale. Depending on what you want to do with the car, you may do well to separate the keepers from the swap-meet fodder to help recoup some cost. Not that we’re overly desirous of black primer front fenders or anything, but we’d simply get the car running, registered, and hittin’ the road just the way it sits. After all, there’s a big difference between driving a vintage car and wheeling around in an all-new, modern motor. With the vintage styling of a ’57 Nomad, the well-earned patina you can only get from living a life on the road, and the modern upgrades where they matter most, this long-roof shoebox has all the boxes checked. We dig it, and we’d drive it— a LOT!

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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