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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There was a thread on here a little while back, (actually a couple threads) about some mangled '56 Nomads for sale...but I can't seem to find them...anyone know the ones I'm talking about?

I want to bring the '56 Nomad below home, but I will be restoring it back to stock as best I can, and will not be using the race frame and cage (there is already a thread on it in the classifieds).

I'm trying to decide between finding a donor car, or just go with all new floors and frame...what would you guys do?

Am I crazy??

Edit: ...forgot the seller's pics...
 

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if I had the money, I would get one from one of our sponsors. :tu
 

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There was a thread on here a little while back, (actually a couple threads) about some mangled '56 Nomads for sale...but I can't seem to find them...anyone know the ones I'm talking about?

I want to bring the '56 Nomad below home, but I will be restoring it back to stock as best I can, and will not be using the race frame and cage (there is already a thread on it in the classifieds).

I'm trying to decide between finding a donor car, or just go with all new floors and frame...what would you guys do?

Am I crazy??

Edit: ...forgot the seller's pics...
The simple fact that we're all hanging out here messing with all these old cars is proof enough that we're ALL crazy. From that point, it's only a matter of degree. :sign0020:

Buy the whole floor turn-key. Then add whatever else you need to finish the job.

(This coming from a guy who has never attempted a full-floor replacement - but I do know the difference between hard and harder. :) So, I can't give you any intelligent advice on the step-by-step specifics of the floor replacement.)

Also - get at least one parts car. I don't know what you'll need off of it, but you will find yourself scavenging parts from it regularly.
 

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What a mess. You will need a donor for the inside panels, maybe a Handyman, stripped Nomad/Safari chassis, a burned out Nomad/Safari or possibly a previously converted Nomad pickup. If you find a Nomad pickup, it might be easier to redo the pickup and use this as a donor car to restore the pickup back into a Nomad. If you get a stripped Safari, it will be for the inner and bottom sheet metal because it has a longer frame.
 

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What a mess.
X2
If you want to restore one to stock look for a better start and leave that one to someone that wants to hack one up into a racecar. That mess it just a whole bunch of grief in the making. No wonder they want to sell it...
 

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Crazier then me.

Yeah you read the title right, if your gonna try and put that back to stock I hope you have mental health coverage on your insurance plane. My 56 Nomad is or was a rust bucket and is less work then what you have there.If that car has a good tailgate (lower section) keep it and sell off the rest. Maybe even the front clip if it's metal. If your determined to keep it go with all new floors with attached inner rockers to start off. As far as a frame nomad don't have any different frame then any other Tri-Five with the exception of the rear body mounts. The best I could see that car becoming is a pro street or pro touring type. Good luck the big box stores sell Tums and Rolaids in really big bottles your gonna need em trust me I know






There was a thread on here a little while back, (actually a couple threads) about some mangled '56 Nomads for sale...but I can't seem to find them...anyone know the ones I'm talking about?

I want to bring the '56 Nomad below home, but I will be restoring it back to stock as best I can, and will not be using the race frame and cage (there is already a thread on it in the classifieds).

I'm trying to decide between finding a donor car, or just go with all new floors and frame...what would you guys do?

Am I crazy??

Edit: ...forgot the seller's pics...
 

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Yeah you read the title right, if your gonna try and put that back to stock I hope you have mental health coverage on your insurance plane. My 56 Nomad is or was a rust bucket and is less work then what you have there.If that car has a good tailgate (lower section) keep it and sell off the rest. Maybe even the front clip if it's metal. If your determined to keep it go with all new floors with attached inner rockers to start off. As far as a frame nomad don't have any different frame then any other Tri-Five with the exception of the rear body mounts. The best I could see that car becoming is a pro street or pro touring type. Good luck the big box stores sell Tums and Rolaids in really big bottles your gonna need em trust me I know
Busted Knuckles, Before My Time contacted me via PM a couple of weeks ago. He wanted to discuss a couple of possible projects for purchase. I dug around a bit and found some other alternatives within several hours of where I live, including http://gorescorvettes.com/1956 BELAIR BRONZE.htm
and http://charleston.craigslist.org/cto/3883219953.html .

I found the 4 door intriguing. BMT said he was looking for a project and the blue hardtop was quite interesting, but a bit far away for him.

Instead, he found this Nomad close to home.

I've known (and seen the projects in progress as well as the finished product) 2 guys who cut the whole floor out a tri-five 4 door and dropped another body on top of it. One was a '57 2 door hardtop, and the other was a '55 convertible. Yes, a convertible. Both individuals sawed the bodies apart at the top of the rocker panels and spliced them together.

Would I take on this project? Absolutely not. Will I offer any advice on undertaking this project? Absolutely not. But, I know it can be done.
 

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There was a thread on here a little while back, (actually a couple threads) about some mangled '56 Nomads for sale...but I can't seem to find them...anyone know the ones I'm talking about?

I want to bring the '56 Nomad below home, but I will be restoring it back to stock as best I can, and will not be using the race frame and cage (there is already a thread on it in the classifieds).

I'm trying to decide between finding a donor car, or just go with all new floors and frame...what would you guys do?

Am I crazy??

Edit: ...forgot the seller's pics...
Ive tackled crazier projects. but then, nobody ever accused me of being overly bright.

IF it were me, Id forget about trying to do it bone stock. Just to much money for the gain. Some level of modified would make more sense, so you can fab some parts you can't find.

Some of the guys have been using late model caddilac seats which turn out nice.

A nomad parts car is about as rare as a covertiable parts car. (Some people would call your car a parts car) LOL I wouldn't hold out trying to find one. Anything worth calling a parts car is being restored.

I did see a rough pontiac safari on ebay a few weeks ago in upper New york state that did not sell for under 1,000 dollars.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-56-PON...rue&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557#ht_769wt_883

you might try contacting him.

Your first problem will be getting the frame and cage out of the car. Do you have any thoughts on how you will go about doing that?

A sedan frame will work(about 500 dollars) as well as a one piece floor. Restoration world out of Dayton has them for about 900 dollars.

Ecklers and others have the rear cargo deck and spare tire well.

Again, IF it were me, Id stick with a stock type drive train from the 50's thru 70's . (You have enough headaches) 283-350 type.
 

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All it takes are two things

You got it time and money oh yeah skill and experience, tools, equipment and the right shop. I have known some pretty talented metal men over the years and have been complimented as such as well, that being said I have seen more then one refugee from the junkyard brought back to life, but as some would say why when you can just go out and spend the money and buy one done or in much better shape. Now going into the 6th year of working on my Nomad I often hear those words and say why didn't I do that. Why cause I'm a builder I get as much enjoyment out of building a car, repairing or replacing one panel on a car as some of these guys who buy someone else's project get out of taking it to a cruise nite. It's all about what floats your boat solution own two one to work on one to drive..........:sign0020:

He just pm messaged me for my phone number and like you I'm happy to help in anyway I can with in reason, I have only so much insanity to go around...lol
I checked out your choices of alternative projects and I would personally go with the coupe myself.

Swapping body's on Tri-Five's is nothing new not even on convertibles We Tri'-Five owners have seen and done it all, reflected here on the site. Frame swaps complete floors every single body panel with maybe one exception I can't recall anyone here doing a roof but I've seen it done in person. I guess the same with a lot of other old cars age kinda warrants that just like us old guys. You never see a young kid talking about his hip replacement surgery....:sign0020:
One thing thats critical when you remove or replace a floor is to properly brace the body before you cut the floor out. I have unfortunately seen cars twisted beyond repair because people didn't do things the right/safe way. Its been my experience with building race cars their not made to come apart especially a drag car, by that I mean the body is not coming on and off on a regular basis like the body work on a race motorcycle. or Funny car. Heck most NASCAR type stock cars the bod panels are fastened to the frame/roll cage which is built first. If he takes on this project I wish him luck and hope he documents his progress it should be very educational...
 

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Gary I have to contact that guy to see if the tailgate is good but something tells me probably not
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And this is why I asked the questions I asked...to get the feedback from you all to make me sit up and think about what I am getting myself into, and/or what I should take as my next step.

Yes, I/we (family and I) are looking, (have been looking for a couple years now) for a project. It has been a while since I've been down this road, but I like the work, and my daughter wants to learn to weld, paint, rebuild an engine, upholstery,...etc. This, (or what ever car we end up buying if not this one) will be her car one day.

As far as getting it apart...my guess would have to be with an exo-roll-cage, and tack everything to that to keep it safe, straight and true. I say that, but I would ask a friend much better at this than I am to help me do this work...and if someone is paying for the frame/floor, it may be removed at the Nomad's expense to make sure they get their money's worth.

At this point in my life, it would be easier to have a project on the go, plan ahead, and buy as we go, vs, dropping a big chunk of change on a done car. There is most definitely something to be said about buying a car that one can just get in and drive, (and there are days I think my wife would prefer that) but just not in my/our budget right now, and with time passing, I'd like to get started on a car before my daughter hits college, then university. Besides, I like the chase to find that missing part, I enjoy the satisfaction I get when I get something done, and we look forward to the adventure or taking on such a project.

As for this car...I just know I really want a '56 Nomad, and finally got my daughter on board with the idea (she originally (maybe still) wanted a 2D HT). I wish I could find a more stock, even abandoned '56 like stoveboltgeek outline in post #10 (I'd jump on that second one if the price was fair, and it had papers) but so far, nothing remotely like that has come up...at least not close enough that I don't have to spend another $1500 to $2500 to move a none running project...needless to say, I got petty excited when I found this car not that far from me.
 

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I've been studying the pics and thinking about how I would go about it. I would remove all the top portion of the roll cage first. If it's done like the rest of the chassis its most likely welded to the frame so a plasma cutter is the way to go if not in the budget as most a saws all and a 4" grinder. My reason for removing the top portion of the cage or lets say maybe modifying it are for several reasons.

A: if you intend to remove the body and go with a stock floor and frame you will need to support the body by welding in braces from the A pillar to the B pillar (across the door opening) then from side to side I go from B pillar to B pillar left side of body to right side of body. Same in tailgate area an X pattern is best, in the rear seat/cargo area same deal left to right with a big X pattern in between you may also consider bracing close to the floor area as well some may say this is a bit overkill. Now you can cut the inner rockers away from the existing floor and hoist the body up off the floor. The supported body should not go on your rotisserie (about $1500 to $2000) you can weld a floor in without it but trust me you don't want to. Much easier to stand and work rather then lay on your back or bend over. Do your do diligence and research floor floors with attached inner rocker panels a much easier way to go then putting it in without them attached. Once our all done welding you do all the seam sealing priming and painting etc.


Option #2 you decide to keep the frame and go for a pro-street or pro touring kinda vibe you'll need to modify the cage to facilitate getting in and out of the car, so the door bars will need to go away and if really desired I owuld opt for a swing away diagonal door bar held in place by a pin but in my opinion roll bars on street cars are more for show. They just get in the way and you bang your head on them. Plus you need some monster motor because putting a stock 283 in a full caged car is kinda dorky......:sign0020:
If you go this route you will need to change the body mounts most likely. Most guys who build race cars us sold body mounts because they don't give a hoot about comfort and vibration not really a big deal but another thing you'll need to do.
The deciding factor for me would be the condition of the body, it would have to be rust free and straight and yes it needs to have a tailgate. These are almost impossible to find and when you do be prepared to part with some coin.

My final though is building a car like this is all the little things that will nickle & dime you to death yes the floors will be a big expense but all the things that are not important to a drag racer like moldings interior panels and trim especially for a Nomad will eat your budget up in a heartbeat.
 

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Since you asked for opinions here's mine...
Two things,

1. Somebody went through an awful lotta work to build that cage and frame.
Seems like a shame to destroy it. Weirdo's like me would love to find a
starting point like that to build off of.

2. If you decide to tackle it, keep in mind that the hole you're going to be in
from the very start is going to be very, very deep. Like the old
saying said, "don't bite off more than you can chew". I'm not saying
you can't do it, but why??

I know you want to restore a car, so doesn't it make much more sense to find one that is closer to stock from the beginning to restore???
 
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