DACC Feature Car
1957 Chevrolet Nomad
It all started in 1960 in upstate New York. I had just dropped out of college and gotten a job. I needed transportation and bought a 1955 Bel Air Coral and White Convertible. I put in a 283, a 3-speed on the floor and a 4-bbl carburetor.
After a year of working, I decided to go back to school. I drove the '55 Convertible thru my first year of Junior College. That next summer of 1962, I sold it and bought a 1955 Bel Air 2-door Turquoise and White Hardtop. I rebuilt the 265, and again added a 4-bbl carb and 3-speed on the floor. I graduated in 1963 and drove the '55 Hardtop from New York to Albuquerque, New Mexico, taking Route 66 from Chicago to Albuquerque.
Now that I was making real money, I wanted a new car. I ended up buying a 1964 Pontiac LeMans Convertible, Red with a White top, 4-speed and 326 HO engine.
I was drafted in late 1963, but got a deferment because of my job. I decided I would go back to college to get my BSEE at the University of Florida. I sold the LeMans and got a 1961 Pontiac Ventura 4-speed car. For the next 51 years, I had Pontiacs. I restored about twelve 1961-1963 Pontiacs, selling the last one in 2015.
Because of meeting Chevy Guys, Don Andre and Bill Preston, and becoming acquainted with the Dallas Area Classic Chevy Club, I decided to get a Nomad. I ended up buying a mostly original 1957 Nomad from California. It is Dusk Pearl with Imperial Ivory roof. The interior is stock with gray and black seats and interior panels, black headliner and carpet. The rear linoleum has been replaced with black carpet. MadMooks did a great job of straightening the lift gate. I put in hydraulic struts to support it and took out the torsion bars. With the body and interior being acceptable, I proceeded with a mechanical restoration.
Initially, I had it at a local restoration shop that let me do most of the work myself with their $75/hour help, when I needed it. I took the whole front end off of the car. After three months we had a new front suspension and steering on the car, with the firewall and frame cleaned and repainted. The problem was that I was running out of energy. I was driving 22 miles each way, four days a week, working on the car for six to seven hours. Then I had to find time to order all the parts on time, so the car did not sit without being worked on. I pulled the plug after three months, just after we installed the new SP350 crate motor. It has been back at my shop at home since early January this year (2016).
I have CDP power front disc brakes and “500” power steering box. All steering linkage is new, as well as front end suspension. I kept the front coil springs, because it had the ride height I wanted. It has a Vintage Air set up and Autorad custom core support with oversize cross-flow radiator and air conditioner condenser with two 14-inch Maradyne fans controlled by a Dakota Digital computer. So far it has run cool. I am running Coker red line tires on 7” Chevrolet rally wheels with 1967 Corvette center caps and beauty rings.
What should have taken me four-five months stretched out to nine months, before I was able to drive it. I am still fixing minor problems. I have a front end shimmy and the muffler shop put my mufflers on backwards. I still have to put in the Vintage Air dash controls, air ducts, radio and clock.
I look forward to doing another write up on this car next year after it gets some miles on it.
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