Rick Newberry’s Champion Rat Rod With the Soul of ’57 Chevy Bel Air Nomad


This is an intimate look of a 1957 Chevy Nomad, though, here, they refer to it as a Bel Air. It is a Chevy Bel Air Nomad. The chief difference from a visual perspective is that the Nomad had only two doors; whereas the Bel Air was a four door vehicle. Regardless, this is a Rat Rod, and it only must emulate what was once an original car.


Owner Rick Newberry and Car Builder Chris Walker

Rat Rods are one of my favorite types of vehicles. For me they are the embodiment of functional art. They are limited only by the builder’s imagination and in the case of Rick Newberry’s 57 Rat Rod, $3,000. We have no idea how much Rick paid for the vehicle. It was built by Chirs Walker of ITW Hot Rods. ITW stands for In The Weeds, and is a shop based out of Stacy Minnesota, which is near the St Paul and Twin Cities area. Chris was tasked with building this beast for under $3,000 for the 2013 Build Off Drive Off where this vehicle walked away with the top spot. In 2014, Chris won the silver in the Build Off Drive Off contest. You get the feeling the Chris may know what he is doing.


The 1957 Chevrolet Nomad Rad Rod

I love that a Rat Rod is often an exaggeration of the original concept of the vehicle. This is still very much one of the hottest and most recognized brands of Chevy to hit the road. The 1957 Chevy introduces the V8 engine to the people and in so doing a revolution in automotive occurs. The original 1957 Chevy Nomad featured:

  • A 283 CID V8 with options that could push total horsepower to 283.
  • With six-cylinder engine sold for $2,757.
  • With V8 sold for $2,857. (Notice all the 57’s)
  • Total production 6,103 units

We are not give much detail about the 1957 Nomad Rat Rod, but we do know that it comes equipped with a 355 Roller Racing engine. With a little detective work, I discovered that the HP model can push 425 HP and 440 ft-lb of torque. With excellent equipment, these engines can top 700 HP. Those massive tires on the back suggest some temperament in the engine.

Keep Reading