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.
Overview of What Happens
Not a vehicle that one should drive in the rain as the entry is through the roof. However, if water should get inside it would likely not stay long as there is a large hole in the floor. Near the end of the clip, the camera lowers, and you can see the pavement rolling past through the hole in the floor. That hole is a symbol of these cars. They are made to be driven daily. They branch out from automobile restoration and cross over into the realm of customized daily drivers. They represent a vision of the builder and are meant to be raw with an unfinished edge to them. They are as close to Frankenstein as a mechanic can get. They are pieced together from bits and pieces, and they push builders to become innovative in their design and skills. This 1957 Chevy Nomad Rat Rod has the look of an ally rat that has been through its share of scrapping. That is another thing that drives this hobby — nobody hides the scars. You can see, for the most part, how this car is put together. When you climb in you are sitting on original seats. That is the original dash with gauges. Somewhere back in 1957, this Nomad was the envy of a block. Today, it would likely horrify those people, but not for those of us who love Rat Rods. If you had your way, which old car would you turn into a Rat Rod?
Watch and Hear THis Custom ’57 Chevy Nomad