Newport Classic Cars

Bruce Willis' '55 Chevy Nomad

VIN VC55LO5689

Hollywood action star Bruce Willis was the previous owner of this beautiful Skyline Blue and India Ivory ‘55 Chevrolet Nomad 2-door hardtop wagon. We’ve heard because Bruce was born on March 19, 1955 he wanted a Nomad manufactured in the year of his birth. In a hand-signed note included with the car Bruce recalled  “the car brought me many years of fun, and happy memories” On camera, and in his personal life Bruce has always had an appetite for high-performance automobiles — Chevrolet Corvettes in particular.

To fulfill his desire for added performance under the hood of Bruce Willis’ Nomad the original 265 cubic-inch V8 has been upgraded to a 1966 Corvette L79 engine. We know this is a numbers correct Corvette L79 engine thanks to V0822HD stamped on the deck, and 3892657 cast into the rear of the block adjacent the distributor. The deck numbers indicate the engine was built August 22, 1966 and it is a 350-horspower 327 engine installed into a 1966 Corvette with factory Air-Conditioning. The L79 camshaft is the very first high-performance hydraulic lifter camshaft profiled by Corvette engineers. The L79 cam produces a tremendous amount of useable bottom-end torque while still having the ability to wind up to 5,800RPM. The advantage of hydraulic lifters is the absence of audible valve clatter, plus they don’t require time consuming valve lash adjustments. For carburetion Bruce kept the factory original high-performance aluminum intake manifold with a factory correct Holley four-barrel carburetor. The original chrome Corvette low-restriction air-cleaner rests in front of a “window-type”  Corvette distributor.

To transmit power smoothly to the rear wheels an aluminum cased GM 3-speed automatic transmission backs the 350-horse Corvette 327. For enhanced braking capabilities a Corvette dual master-cylinder is mounted in front of vacuum booster providing power assist to front disc brakes, drums are at the rear. Nineteen fifty-five was Chevrolet’s first year for factory installed air-conditioning. Bruce Willis’ ’55 Nomad is equipped with A/C but it’s a far superior modern day unit To handle the added demands on the cooling system placed by air-conditioning a heavy-duty Corvette radiator with a high-capacity aluminum flex-fan has been installed.

The original pleated beige and blue waffle pattern upholstery exclusive to Nomads in the station wagon line is in near mint condition. Exactly as original the freshly installed blue Daytona carpeting extends from under the firewall to the rear seat. In back the linoleum rear cargo deck is precisely the same material as original equipment. Above the headliner factory accented with polished stainless steel bows is covered with the exact pattern of perforated vinyl in the correct shade of beige. It’s important to note many interior trim items exclusive to the Nomad are impossible to replace, so its good to know this car is complete and the parts are in near mint condition.

The code 602 Skyline Blue and India Ivory two-tone paint scheme and exterior trim appointments on Bruce Willis ’55 Nomad are factory correct. All of the distinctive features exclusive to first year Nomad styling are in place including the chrome plated eyebrows above the headlights, the vertical chrome ribs on the tailgate, and flared rear wheel wells.

Appearance wise this Resto-Mod style ’55 Nomad inside and out is about as cherry as they come. Mechanically speaking the safety and performance upgrades Bruce made to the car have enhanced its drivability making it feasible for modern use — And yes, Bruce Willis’ ’55 Chevy Nomad comes equipped with a Die Hard battery under its hood.

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