November 2014 Feature Car
I got hooked on old cars in 1966 when I acquired my first car. It was my dream car, a 1955 Chevy Bel Air 2 door hardtop. I liked the V-8-283 engine that came out of a ‘57 Corvette that was in it. My first car is still sitting in my garage today, featuring a Z06 engine and six speed standard transmission.
In the Spring of 2010, I bought Mike Dodson’s stunning black and white 1956 Nomad, which was built by Donny Bright of Burleson Texas, who by the way does fabulous work. The car was built in 2007 from a hopeless looking pile of metal pieces in exactly one year. The Nomad body and frame were chemically cleaned to bare metal with a dipping process at Metal Rehab in Arlington, Texas. Donny painted and assembled the frame and new suspension parts with 2” drop spindles and 4 wheel disc brakes. (It was featured in the August 2008 Classic Heartbeat)
When we bought the car it had a ZZ4 crate motor, Tru-Trac Front Runner System and a dual 4 Barrel Edelbrock 500 carburetor. In 2012 I replaced the ZZ4 engine with a LS-2 GTO engine with a 4L60 E transmission. We added Doug’s Headers and a Total New Wiring Harness. We also added a new Vintage Air System which was a great improvement over the Classic Fit Air. We went to a smaller original style steering wheel which improved the steering.
We added cruise control to the car and new electrical brake booster for much improved braking. The car also features a satellite radio receiver with speakers in the front and rear. We added a Madmook one-piece stainless steel anti-rattle tail gate plate which added beauty to our tailgate and stopped the rattling. We also re-insulated the entire car with Dynamat in the floors and doors and ALS added a rubber mat under the carpet along with Borla stainless steel mufflers to improve the interior noise at cruising speeds. Electric windows and door locks were installed for the modern creature comfort aspect .
We love our Nomad with the many improvements we made. We trailered the Nomad to our first Chevrolet Nomad Association Convention in 2011 in Dayton where it was awarded first place in the 55-57 Modified Trailered Class and also Best Engine in that class. We had such a great time at that first convention that we were set up to trailer to Sacramento in 2012, when the Nomad had major engine trouble and couldn’t make the trip. But my wife Sandra and I drove on out to California and had a great time even without the Nomad! It’s a whole different experience without your car to take care of. I enjoyed judging and helping fellow Dallas Area Classic Chevy Club member Rich Purvis carry home all the trophies he won there with his ‘55. (We would have been in the same class, so we’ll have to coordinate our trips to the conventions.)
With the 2013 Convention back in the central region, we sure weren’t going to miss taking the Nomad to Itasca, Illinois. The CNA was good to us again, awarding our Nomad People’s Choice Modified, Best Engine Modified Trailered, First Place Modified Trailered, and to top it off I won part of the 50/50 pot!!! What’s not to love about these conventions…
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