Monday, February 7, 2011

Rob Riley Build: '55 Nomad

Here is yet another very kool custom model build from the mind of Rob Riley:
I have a lot of work in this one. It started out as a stock 55 chevy nomad model kit.
The first thing I did was cut up the chassis because it had a stock single exhaust molded into it.
Then i had to cut the rear of the chassis out to make room for the engine and transmission. The engine is an injected 327, and the transmission has a quickchange rearend mounted to it with a countershaft (this engine came from a model kit caled the Baja Bandito).  I painted the chassis competition orange and put a nice dropped chrome straight axle in the front. 
I had to cut out the rear interior floor to fit around the engine that was now mounted backwards in the rear of the car.  The interior floor pan is painted silver, while the seats are flat black. I made the roll bar out of some plastic tubing, and painted it silver. 
For the body, the first thing I did was radius the rear wheel wells to fit around the slicks. I cut out the firewall and the inner front fenders, and glued the hood to the body.  I cut out the firewall because this is a wheel stander, and the driver would need a way to see where he was going while doing a wheelie.
I painted the body competition orange and clear coated it to match the chassis.
The tail gate is now used as a wheelie bar, and I put 2 levers on the floor by the shifter to operate independant rear brakes. These would be used to "steer" the car while doing a wheelie.
I got my inspiration to build this car from the Chevado, which is an actual rear engine, street legal 55 Chevy Nomad wheel stander built by Gary Kleckner in the late 60's. The Chevado uses an Olds toronado 425 injected engine with an olds trans-axle in the rear. I didn't set out to build a replica of the Chevado, just something with the same idea.
If you have never seen the Chevado, here's a link to the website. My model is featured on the site under the "scale models" area as well as a replica model of the Chevado built by a guy named Sam Dunford. The Chevado is one of the wildest street legal 55 Chevy nomads that I have ever seen. As far as I know, the real car still exists, and Gary was trying to get it restored the last time I talked with him.
This is an incredible build and an equally incredible story Rob! Thanks for sharing it with Suede and Chrome readers!