After an 18-month fabrication including countless greenbacks, body panels, paint colors, and interiors, Vinny Esposito finally finished his wonderful '56 Nomad. This flawless piece of artwork exemplifies the best that a restified Tri-Five could be. Perfectly straight, not a bubble in a sight, no waves to be found, and not a trim piece out of the place, this wagon belongs in a museum next to the Mona Lisa. Usually, though, you'll find it at a Super Chevy Show.
Snuggled deep in the swimming pool-sized engine bay sits a 350 cubic inch ZZ4 crate motor direct from GM Performance Parts pumping out 355 horsepower and 418 lb-ft of torque. The dual-quad Edelbrock Air Gap intake manifold supports a set of its 500-cfm Performer carburetors, both of which sport a thick layer of chrome. The engine bay is full of dress-up of both the polished aluminum and chrome persuasion. Vinny went to Billet Specialties for the air cleaner and valve covers. The four-row aluminum radiator is from Rodware.
A chromed March Pulley system mounts the Vintage Air A/C compressor, chromed alternator, and power steering pump. Ceramic-coated Street Performance 1 7/8-inch Block Huggers headers fume the small-block through a 2 1/2-inch stainless Flowmaster exhaust system (complete with X-pipe). Backing the small-block is a Tremec six-speed manual transmission, steel driveshaft and 12-bolt Posi-traction rear with 31-spline axles, 3.73 gears.
For the entire build, Vinny went to Norman Wisner of Hanover Auto Craft in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The custom-built front suspension consists of Heidt's 2-inch spindles and A-arms, QA1 shocks, and coil-over springs. Out back Norman installed 2-inch drop springs and 2-inch lowering blocks dropping the triple-nickel a total of 4-inch both front and back.
"The amount of parts Norman had to fabricate was astonishing, but when the car was done, I could not have been happier with the work he did. He had to fabricate floors, dash pieces, suspension components, and everything in between," Vinny gloated.
Billet Specialties SL64 wheels (18-inch front, 20-inch back) wrapped in Firestone Firehawk tires (225/40R18 front, 245/40R20 back) sit cleanly in the wheelwells and encase a tire valve on the inside of the rim to conceal the rubber stem from view. Trick components such as this run throughout the body and set this Nomad atop the rest of the pack.