Chevy Tri Five Forum banner

1 - 20 of 495 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So since my introductory post several months ago I've been picking away at stripping my Nomad down, trying to get to the point where I can pull the body off the frame.

My buddy Dave recently took pity on me and suggested that we move her to his shop where there is significantly more room to work now that his Panel Truck is almost done.

So this morning I rolled her out of the garage (into daylight for the first time since 2000); here's a couple of pictures of her in the driveway waiting for the ramp truck I'd booked to come and collect her and deliver to Dave's.

A little background on the car; I'm the 4th owner, bought her at the Swap Meet at Hot August Nights in 1990. I was able to contact the 2nd owner via an old registration slip in the glove box and he gave me the car's history.

Apparently the original owner lived in Mill Valley California and in 1960 traded her in at the local Ford dealership. Owner #2 purchased her off their used car lot as a 2nd car and his wife drove it for 12 years as their grocery getter. He was also the one who had it repainted in 57 Buick Seminole Red as his wife wasn't a fan of the original Dawn Grey/India Ivory combo.

In 1972 they were ready to sell it and based on the advice of a neighbours kid who was a bit of a gearhead they took it to Reno to a "big car show" (I'm thinking maybe it was the first convention for the old National Nomad Club). They drove into the parking lot at the hotel they were booked into with a "For Sale" sign in the window and the guy that I eventually bought the car from approached them and had bought the car before they had even checked in.

We drove the wheels off and had fun with it for almost 10 years until late summer 1999, when with 164,000 miles on the original 265 I dropped a valve coming back from a Sunday cruise. Last time I've driven her was when we moved in February 2000, when I limped on 7 cylinders the 2 1/2 miles from our old to our new house.

Oh, and "Snobad" is the family's name for the car, our children used to love going for a ride in her when they were small and that was how they pronounced Nomad.

Looking forward to sharing progress as we work towards my target of driving her to the Nationals in 2019.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Snomad Story

I love the family connection you have with the kids and your Nomad. I'm Glad your getting started on your Nomads rebirth. I'm also getting started on mine as its been parked for 26 years since 1991. Keep us all posted on you progress.
The Original Madman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,653 Posts
Good luck with the Nomad project! Too much history there to not finish it :)

Keep us informed with photos as you progress... and we'll look forward to seeing you at a convention in the next couple of years!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66,005 Posts
cool project, thanks for sharing. :anim_25:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
It will be fun to get it back on the road and drive the wheels off it again. Great history on the car. Neat to have that background.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
I have to admit I'm pretty stoked to be taking on this project. Since Arlen and I were teenagers, and that was a LONG time ago :sign0020:, neither of us has ever been without ownership of at least one Tri-Five. But the last time both of us had running and licenced '56 Chevys at the same time was 1980! I can't wait for our cruising adventures to start again.

Snobad's tear-down has already begun. The old carpet and sound deadener is cleaned out, and I can see we've got some nice solid floors with virtually no rust issues. Today I'm beginning construction and fitting of some very unique seat frames. Stay tuned!!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So Dave and I had a pretty productive day on the Nomad today.

As he mentioned above, he was able to strip out all the carpet and underlay on Thursday which revealed a pretty nice solid floor. I stripped out the rest of the interior today, removing the rear seat, seat belts, headliner and gutting the dash and doors.

We also got the front clip off and broken down and when we removed the fenders we found the number "13" chalked on both sides of the cowl where it wraps around towards the door. Assume that this was some sort of factory inspection mark.

I was also curious about the build date for the car so using the "Vin No. vs. Daily Production" table in the Tri Five Library we determined that Snobad was assembled in the Oakland plant on April 27, 1956 (exactly six weeks before I showed up!). I think that given that the Dawn Grey/India Ivory combo was dropped halfway through the model year due to low sales numbers, I suspect that this must be one of the last Dawn Grey/India Ivory cars built.

The last 56 I restored was a 210 4 door hardtop which was also a Dawn Grey/India Ivory car, so I decided a while ago that even though there are going to be a lot of modifications to the car to make it more driveable and enjoyable, I was going to keep the same colour scheme on this car.

Then to cap the day off I was able to pick up a 700R4 from a friend who pulled it from a wrecked IROC Camaro back in 1988. He says the car had less than 12,000 miles on it and the trans has been sitting in his basement for the last 19 years. He's going to put an LS6 in his 55 & cannot use the trans so there's one more piece of the puzzle completed.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,726 Posts
I was gone and missed this one. I will be following your build. Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66,005 Posts
looks solid, nice progress. :tu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
Arlen has given me his blessing to "spill the beans" about ideas we're incorporating into this build. He wanted bucket seats, but as many of us will agree, it's hard to find seats that look "right". If GM had offered bucket seats in a Tri-five, what would they look like? They might have resembled the bench seat to some degree. So with that in mind, I placed the original bench back in the Nomad and marked center of the driver's position. After measuring from the outer edge to center, an equal distance was marked towards the middle on both sides.
Then the seat frame was cut apart, as was the frame of a second original seat, and the two were shortened and spliced together. This will be repeated on the passenger side.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
That brings back some memories for me as I just have to install the bumpers and then hit up my buddy for his lift to install a fuel sending unit and my '56 210 is finished.
There will be some frustration along the way when you need a part or something will not fit correctly, but in the end you will be so happy when it is completed.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
With the spring cages removed, a similar procedure was used for the backrest frames. To maintain a "stock" appearance, the original seat tracks were modified to created a new inboard track next to the transmission tunnel. At this point I've attached the old outer and new inner seat shells and temporarily mounted the seat to check the fit. The seat looks right and moves back and forth okay, but I need to trim the cushion shell next to the tunnel for a bit more clearance. I'll get the passenger side done to this same point, but I also have to flip the track adjuster mechanism to work from the opposite side. Once I have both seat frames done, I'll trim down the spring cages to match.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I’ve known Dave for over 40 years and I’m only half joking when I refer to him as the mad scientist of upholstery. When I floated the original idea to him about making “stock” bucket seats his immediate response was “yeah, we can do that”. There’s not many people I’d trust to cut up two bench seats but based on what I’ve seen him do in the past I had no hesitation in turning him loose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Progress since my last report;

-finished stripping the Nomad interior (steering column and under dash wiring)

-removed all the body mount bolts ready to pull body off the frame. We were really surprised by how few shims there were. When I did my 4 door hardtop a good few years ago there were only 2 -3 of the body mounts that didn't have a least one shim, the Nomad only had 2 that did; 1 shim at one mount and 4 shims at the other.

-pulled the original 265 Power Pack/3 speed OD. These will be cleaned up a bit and then placed in storage to hopefully be used in a future project.

-Dave has finished the framework for the "stock" buckets and the reworked seat tracks have gone to the plating shop for cad plating.

Waiting on delivery of the rotisserie I've ordered; once it's arrived we'll pull the body and mount it on the rotisserie so it can go to Mark, the guy who will be doing the sandblasting for us. I'm comfortable sending it to him as he's a car guy who's done the body stripping on several local high end street rods without any issues.

As the car was heavily undercoated we looked into getting some or all of the car redi-stripped. Just about fell over when we were quoted $7,000-$12,000 (depending on how long stuff had to stay in the tank) with a vague timeline of 4 to 8 weeks, maybe longer. Going with plan "B" which is the messy, tedious option of stripping off the undercoat with razor blade scrapers & putty knives.

Dave started on the hood this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised at how the stuff on the underside of the hood chipped off dry and fairly easily meaning he could just vacuum it up when done. Hopefully the rest of the parts that are undercoated will be as cooperative.

Once the body is off the frame we'll get the frame stripped clean of undercoat, sandblasted and then comes the fun part, mocking up all the suspension mods and the engine and trans mounts prior to sending it off for powdercoating.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 495 Posts
Top