1954 Corvette Prototype Cars


The 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Nomad was a concept car built by General Motors and introduced at the 1954 General Motors Motorama In New York City.  The Nomad was decidedly a sporty wagon way ahead of its time. 

1954 Corvette Concept Car

The Corvette Nomad experimental car made its debut at the 1954 General Motors Motorama in New York City. The vehicle looked like the 1953 Corvette that was an experimental show car at the 1953 Motorama. 

General Motors produced 5 of the 1954 Corvette Nomads for the auto show circuit, only 3 are known to exist.  The Chevrolet Design Studio would create a forward thinking and forward looking design for the 1954 Nomad, including round headlamps mounted on gently curving fenders, a trademark Corvette grille and a forward sloping B-pillar.

1954 Corvette Nomad Experimental Car

The New York City Motorama also featured the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Hard Top. This was a “Convertible Coupe”. It was one of the Corvette based Motorama dream cars shown in 1954 and was a version fitted with a removable hardtop. 

The hardtop feature would not become available until 1956.  It took General Motors and Chevrolet three years to figure out that the consumer wanted roll up windows, outside door handles and door locks.

1954 Corvette Hard Top

The last of the Corvettes to make a debut at the Motorama that year was the 1954 Corvette Corvair. It is one of the fabulous show cars or experimental models that came from the advanced styling studio at General Motors.  As you can see it looks very much like the 1953 Corvette. Reportedly the name Corvair came from the Corvette first produced in 1953 and the Bel Air trim package first introduced on the 1950 Chevrolet’s.  Based on the 1953 Corvette, the Corvair featured a fastback roof that swept back to form a recess in the license plate area.

1954 Corvette Corvair (Front)

1954 Corvette Corvair (Rear)

Some have referred to the 1953 and 1954 Motorama as the birth place of the American Sports Car.  The 1954 Chevrolet Nomad Sport Station Wagon made a great impact on the attending public at the 1954 Motorama.  So much so that Harley Earl ordered the Chevrolet Design Studio to apply the name and looks to a 1955 Chevrolet Station Wagon.  The name “Nomad” would become classic over the next 50 years as thousands would be restored by old car buffs that grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

1954 Motorama

The two-door Nomad differed from other station wagons of the era by having unique styling more reminiscent of a hardtop than of a standard station wagon.  Chevrolet shared this body with its sister Pontiac, which marketed their version as the Pontiac Safari. 

While considered to be a milestone vehicle design, General Motors discontinued the original Nomad at the end of the 1957 model year due to low sales and the introduction on a new body for 1958.

1957 Pontiac Safari Station Wagon

For the 1958 model year, Chevrolet moved the Nomad name to its top-line for-door station wagon.  Chevrolet continued to use the Nomad name until the end of the 1961 model year, when all Chevrolet station wagons adopted the names of the regular sedan models.

The Nomad returned again in 1964 and 1965 as a two-door mid-sized Chevelle 300 station wagon, and between 1968 and 1972 on the base station wagon model in the series.  In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the name returned again on a trim package for the full size Chevrolet Van.

1964 Chevelle 300 Nomad Station Wagon

1968 Chevelle 300 Nomad Station Wagon

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