The Early Evolution of The Chevy Wagon
In today’s SUV and crossover saturated market, wagons are rare. But in American automotive history, the wagon held its own and created a special place in many classic enthusiasts' hearts. To celebrate the iconic Chevy wagon, we charted the evolution of Chevy's popular wagons for more than 30 years:
Classic Chevy fans easily recognize a Nomad. Introduced in 1955, the luxurious Bel Air model’s profile was more similar to the sedans than most wagons of the day. This two-door Chevy was the top-of-line wagon and a sought-after collectible today. However, Chevy built some great wagons prior to and after the Tri-Five era.
Fun Chevy Wagon Facts
- Although sometimes debated whether it’s a wagon at all, the Carryall is considered the first Chevy wagon. It evolved into the Suburban, but the early wagons did double-duty as tool and equipment carriers as well as people movers.
- The Nomad was advertised as the “luxury leader of the station wagon line” with its "dazzling new design — from a smoothly sculptured hood to gull-wing fenders…There’s a new larger windshield and a sweeping new wraparound window at the top gate.”
- Appealing to large families on a budget, the 1953, eight-seater Townsman 150 was offered with a “Thrift King” engine. Those with more to spend and seeking more power could opt for the 115-hp “Blue Flame” with Powerglide automatic transmission.
- Approximately 8,000 Nomads were sold in 1956, and sales dipped to about 6,500 for the Bel Air Nomad’s last year, 1957.
- The 1958 Yeoman was so pared down, armrests weren’t standard – only an option. The Yeoman was only offered for one year.
- Only 33,000 Lakewood wagons were produced for the ’61-’62 model years, but they share many mechanical parts with the Corvair. If you find one, it's relatively easy to restore.
- The Nova wagons were discontinued in 1967 due to poor sales, but Chevelle wagons remained in production until the end of the car series.
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