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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looked at a 57 today. Owner was told the bumper is a rare California one piece as oposed to..........?

Anything to this? As a Nomad rookie, I sure have no clue.

All coments welcome.
 

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not sure how rare they really are, calfornia cars came with one piece bumpers and frames. everything else was 3 piece bumper, and 2 piece frame. ive heard stories from people that their car came with one piece bumper although it was built outside Ca. maybe someone else can confirm this.

i see one piece bumpers for sale all the time on ebay, craigslist priced around 200-400. in my opinion, anything north of 400 is overpaid. just my opinion tho.

:anim_25:
 

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The so-called "California frames" were used in just about all of the assembly plants in the US. I don't know about the bumpers. I think the one-piece 55 and 56 front bumpers are way over-rated, imo, since you can't see the seam anyhow with the guards in place. They might be nice on a 57 since the seam is usually visible on them.
 

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I have the 1 piece bumper and seamless frame the car was made in Janeville Wi
I don't if it was 1st sold here in ca or not .California law at that time.
 

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The california thing is a misnomer. Its been discussed here before. both frames and bumpers, Just two different subcontractors and used in plants all over the country. Makes for a few extra bucks to the uninformed.
 

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I have one here. Canadian cars had one piece bumpers. :)
 

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see...not so rare after all :confused0006:

if you are looking at nomads, espcially entry level nomads, the one piece bumper shouldnt be a huge factor, i would make sure the tailgate and the roof is in good shape, since they dont make the metal for these areas and it was susceptible to rust. :anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! Thanks for all the input.

And yes.......rust is my bottom line concern.

Yesterday's 57 was anything but orriginal(big block etc) but was clean. 8 year paint job with no visible rust except for drivers floor pan.

Tailgate worked fine(speakers installed) and roof looked ok but then I didnt look to close at the roof.......

A great forum you have. :congrats:
 

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Silverbullet

Never tracked down the answers to the one piece bumpers for sure. The frames were mfd by a subcontractor in Cali. It was easier for him, given the equipment he owned, to make them seamless without the usual welds.
To my knowledge and best information ALL the one piece frames were shipped to Norwood, O. strange as that may sound. Some other assy plants, were sent stock from Norwood on occasion as needs arose.
If you find the history on the Black Widow Cars ( I owned one) you will see that all 20ish copies were shipped from Norwood to the GM skunk works at Lakewood speedway in Atlanta for NASCAR mods because all the frames at the Norwood facility, were one piece frames.
Im sure someone has owned mix match tri fives for one reason or another but back in the days, changing a body/frame to get the additional strength was just not a big deal cause us boys worked cheap!
Lots of personal history because quite a few of the guys from here who worked at the Lakewood assy plant in Atlanta were friends of mine and raced the trifives
Ive owned about 20 55-56-57s over the years. You may say Im addicted..its ok.
LOL
 

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Looked at a 57 today. Owner was told the bumper is a rare California one piece as oposed to..........?

Anything to this? As a Nomad rookie, I sure have no clue.

All coments welcome.
Not that rare a item..cars built in the Los Angeles and Oakland California plants came with them and the Canadian built cars from the Oshawa Ontario plant also. Bought three this summer..sold two on ebay to pay for the plating on the one im making a "smoothie" right now. $350.00 ea :)
 

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Not that rare a item..cars built in the Los Angeles and Oakland California plants came with them and the Canadian built cars from the Oshawa Ontario plant also. Bought three this summer..sold two on ebay to pay for the plating on the one im making a "smoothie" right now. $350.00 ea :)
Not all Oakland cars had one piece bumpers, my 57 has a seamless frame and originally had the three piece bumper, built in Oakland, November 56. Mine seems to be an oddity.
 

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ONE PIECE

There was a subcontractor in CA whose equipment was better suited to manufacturing the frames for the tri fives in one piece. Almost all of those frames were shipped to Norwood over the years...go figure. On occasion they would ship to other assy points if they were facing a potential shut down because of short supply from their regular suppliers. The reason the "Black Widow" cars were shipped from Norwood to Lakewood, Atlanta Skunkworks, Ga was because of the one piece frames.
I am amazed at the number of folks who would go all the way to frame off restore a tri five that was on a welded frame instead of a one piece frame.
The bumper story is not something I am as familiar with as I am the frames. I was born and raised near the Skunkworks and knew people with the local GM assy plant.
Again, I would not go all the way without a one piece frame and one piece bumper. One poster said you cannot see the seam on a 55 and 56 once the guards are in place, but YES you can.
Having owned dozens of tri fives, I would have to say not going with the good stuff is a bit like putting plastic siding on a chicken house. When you get through what you have is a chicken house with plastic siding.
 
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