AMT 1/16 1955 Cheverolet Nomad
KIT #: 8657
PRICE: $35.00
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1996 release


The Chevrolet Nomad was a station wagon model made off and on from 1955 to 1972, and a Chevy Van trim package in the late '70s and early '80s, produced by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors. The Nomad is best remembered in its two-door 1955-57 form, and was considered a halo model during its three-year production as a two-door station wagon.

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

The Nomad's unique design had its roots in a General Motors Motorama show car of the same name that was based on the Corvette. The Concept was introduced at the GM Motorama in 1954 as one of Head Stylist, Harley Earl's "dream cars".

GM approved production of the vehicle if the design could be transferred to its standard model, because top GM brass felt that they could sell more models if it were attached to the popular Bel Air model.

Ford also had a similar two door station wagon as your editor's first car was a 1958 Ford two door station wagon.


Those of you who build car models know that there is a small group who like bigger scales, one of those being 1/16. From what I've seen over the years, it was AMT that produced a considerable number of kits to this scale, though I've seen little from them since their reorganization many years back.

This particular kit had been languishing in the LHS for many years and one day I just decided to pick it up. I've always liked the more unusual and to my knowledge, this is the only injected plastic kit of the 1955 Chevrolet Nomad that has been done. (Late note: a reader has informed me that AMT did a 1/25 version that was out as early as 1984 and has been reissued several times) Now to most, AMT has always been a step behind Revell or Monogram in terms of the quality and buildability of their kits. This one is a prime example.

For instance, while the parts count is reasonable for a kit of this size, the crispness of the parts is somewhat lacking. There is some flash on the parts and the mold seams are generally larger than what one finds on other kits. This is not to say that the detailing sucks, it is just that R-Ms is a bit better. Past building experience has shown that the fit of AMT parts isn't as good as one gets with a Monogram kit, for example. Nothing horrible, just that more work is needed to achieve the same results.

The kit comes with a one-piece body that has the hood and doors open so you can install the opening doors and hood. The tailgate is sealed. There is a good interior with the pedals molded to the floor. The car has a number of options in terms of making it a stock or a custom vehicle. This includes a turbocharged engine, wider tires and wheels, custom exhaust side pipes and a hood scoop for those who wish to use those items. The engine is nicely detailed and the kit comes with vinyl tubing to be used for spark plug wires.

Instructions are well done with complete painting information provided in each of the steps. Any options are also clearly shown. One does have to make a choice of stock or custom right from the beginning, but one can mix things up if one wishes. The chrome parts are all very nicely done without any sign of the chrome chipping away from the parts. A decal sheet is included that provides license plates and flames. As this kit has been sitting on the shelf for so long, the decals have started to yellow. These older AMT decals often had the backing turn yellow and the decals prove to be fine once one slid them from the backing sheet. They are well done and are the thicker type we have come to expect from AMT during this era.


I'm not sure just how available this kit may be or if it has been since reissued, but if you like large scale cars, this would be one to seek out.


June 2010

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