1956 Chevrolet Nomad - All Decked Out

With Subtle Custom Modifications, this 1956 Chevy Nomad is Cut from a Different Cloth

Mike Harrington Dec 1, 2006 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0608_nomad_01_z 1956_chevrolet_nomad Rear_view 1/12

At first glance, this Nomad could mistakenly be dismissed as a nice restoration. To the untrained eye, that statement alone may ring true. This story, much like the ocean, runs much deeper than what initially appears on the surface. Let's dive deep and find out what sets this Nomad apart from its kindred brothers. Al Goe, the owner of this classy cruiser, has a soft spot for the '56 Chevy, and he can trace its roots back several decades. In fact, when Al and his wife were first married, they purchased a brand-new one, and the couple undoubtedly shared years of adventure roaming around in the Tri-Five middle child. As the years marched on, vehicles came and went, but the '56 remained on Al's mind.

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In the late 1990s, Al Goe was living the good life. A lifelong hot rodder never strays far from the fold, and he has always been mixed in the fray of hot rodders. The bug to own and operate his very own street cruiser didn't bite hard until he laid eyes on a car that belonged to one of his good friends, Carl, who had just finished having his project '32 Deuce built by none other than the legendary Art Chrisman. Growing up in Southern California, Al and Carl, like most young hot rodders of their time, were familiar with the exploits of such racing legends like Art. During the build of Carl's hot rod, Al developed a kinship with Art, who happened to also be one of his childhood heroes. When Al discussed having a hot rod of his own, the search was on.


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He decided to search for a Nomad. After months of scouring the land, Al found the car he had been seeking, and it was in Art and Mike Chrisman's shop that the dismantling started. After taking the Nomad apart, the project came to a grinding halt when they realized the car had more rot than metal. Needless to say, that kind of disappointment can take the wind out of anyone's sails; not these guys. They dug up yet another Nomad, and this time being able to cannibalize parts from one car to another served as a big advantage.

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Over the next six years, the '56 endured some serious metallurgic changes. It's hard to tell simply by glancing at it, but Art and Michael Chrisman created a one-of-a-kind subtlety mixed in with some stunning mods to the vehicle. For instance, a Camaro front clip was grafted into this '56. Al wanted to have a blown engine under the hood, and the only way to keep it under there was to use a lower-slung Camaro clip. Speaking of blowers, this 671 blower is not your average cast-blower housing; it's a billet blower machined by Dick Holt. How's that for being "fancy"? The intricate detail does not stop at just the blower. Take a look at the entire engine bay, and you can see how amazingly sanitary and clean this blown small-block looks. The firewall and the hood hinges are completely different. The tubular hood hinges recede into their own compartments in the firewall.

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Inside the Nomad, the attention to detail is as sharp as the outside. Milton's Auto upholstery installed a set of '76 Lincoln five-way power seats, and draped the rest of the vehicle in black leather. You may be thinking that with all this black paint and leather the vehicle must be hotter than Hades in the summertime. This would be true if it weren't for the dual A/C system installed, keeping it cool for all passengers. There's no doubt that with the Chrismans at the head of this project, the end result was going to be stunning. After looking at the photos, who could argue with that?

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