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1955 Chevy Nomad - Torched!

On Purpose

Photography by Steve Reyes

Tom Owens of Kennesaw, Georgia, isn't a firebug. He just used an acetylene torch on the fender and door trim of his Gold Class '55 Nomad to add a unique effect after silver paint was applied. It worked! The rest of the car works too, even if it didn't need the same treatment.

Owens had wanted a Nomad for about 10 years when he found this car in an ad in the local antique and classic section. He called the owner, liked what he heard and drove to Florence, Alabama, to check it out. The car drove well, and seemed to be solid, although it had been painted about four times. It had been with its present owner about 27 years and he wanted to use the money from the sale of this Nomad to build an old Corvette. As you can tell, Tom bought it, brought it home, and started work on it right away.

For once, this is a story of a car that was as good underneath as it appeared to be. No body damage had ever been done, and no rust-good start! The strangest discovery was that the car had two pieces of right front fender molding instead of one right and one left. These pieces are unique to Nomads, and to '55 model years. Fortunately, an employee of Danchuk nicknamed Mr. Nomad, had one and shipped it out. Other than that, the rest of the car was all there. After another year-and-a-half, Tom had the car on the car show trail, where it never fails to wow the crowd.

TECH SPECS Owner Tom and Judy Owens, Kennesaw,
Vehicle '55 Nomad
Engine '98 Chevrolet 502ci crate motor,
Street & Performance fuel injection,
Sanderson Block Hugger 2-inch headers,
Jet Hot coated, Tubular glass packs,
polished A/C, alternator, belt pulleys,
chromed fuel injection and valve covers
Transmission GM 700R4 by Street & Performance,
Mena, Arkansas
Rearend Detroit Locker, 3.73:1 limited slip,
polished Winters center section
Front Heidt's chromed 2-inch drop spindles and
polished tubular A-arms, Heidt's chromed
coilovers, Wilwood 11-inch disc brakes,
605 power steering
Rear Heidt's coilovers and polished four-link,
Wilwood 11-inch disc brakes.
Suspension by T&T Customs, Canton,
Front Billet Specialties, Legacy model, 15x8,
4 1/2-inch backspacing
Rear Billet Specialties, Legacy model, 15x10,
3 1/2-inch backspacing
Front BFGoodrich, T/A radial, 225/60R15
Rear BFGoodrich, T/A radial, 285/70R15
  Stainless steel grille
Color PPG Black
Painter T&T Customs, Canton, Georgia
Interior Ididit tilt steering column, Griffey bucket
seats in Graphite leather, power windows,
custom door handles and dash trim,
custom black leather door panels and cut
pile carpet by M&M Upholstery, Holly
Pond, Alabama, Dakota Digital gauges,
Billet Specialties Legacy steering wheel,
B&M Hammer shifter
Stereo Sony AM/FM/CD, Kenwood speakers.
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