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1956 Chevrolet Nomad Riding High With 700 Horsepower

By gearheads

When a team gets their work together and aces a certain style, they sometimes start to draw the attention of magazines. Randy Schmitt and John Tinberg have the Gasser build style absolutely nailed. That’s what earned them the phone call for a commission which resulted in the ’56 Nomad we see today.

A Full Restoration Going Gasser

Most of the time when we see Gassers restored, they’re coming from a scrapyard and headed for greatness. In the case of this Nomad, is had already gone from zero to hero after restoration for a museum. Eagles Mere Auto Museum called the guys to get their classic 1956 Chevrolet higher with more power and a front end tilt.

It all started with a custom subframe connected right to the original frame rails. With the car already restored with prefect chrome trim in place, the straight axle on the lifted ride had to have the same. Triple chrome plating went on to the new leaf springs and tube axle, drag link, tie rods as well as the shocks. 

This entire setup came forward four inches while the rear axle moved 6 inches in the same direction. That much movement of the axles meant that there was metal work to be done before touching the engine bay. The larger 29.5 inch Radir Slicks on the back wheels meant the rear fender openings were expanded by 7 inches towards the front.

Building 700 Horsepower In Style

The guys called in 409 Chevy Performance because they needed the right block for what they wanted to do. This resulted in a GMC styled stroked and bored 409 motor topped with a 6-71 blower. Its completion also included the addition of dual carbs and aluminum heads.

This bigger W motor needed the firewall to move backwards as the engine itself came back 6 inches. Fender well headers were custom fabricated and ceramic coated in silver to match the chrome trim. Taking the 700 horsepower from there to the wheels is an M-23 super Hi Performance transmission. The 11 inch dual face clutch from Centerforce was specifically picked to handle the power.

Meeting The Needs Of A Front End Tilt

The heavy steel on the front end made the specific request made by the customer a real challenge. It took a serious amount of trial and error to make it work but the guys eventually figured it out. The pivot point of the hood was moved backwards to balance against its center of gravity. As a result, tilting that massive front end takes next to no effort thanks to their ingenuity.

Final Touches To The Interior

Aluminum bucket seats came in to accent the interior with leather that is pleated to match the door panel pattern. The door panels themselves were designed and created as complete one offs offering a unique look. As for the dash, display, and controls, everything is intact and restored to factory standard. 

In the end, Schmitt and Tinberg finished off this unique Gasser that’s ready for the track and the street. The museum definitely picked the right team for this unique and interesting vehicle’s new build. We look forward to seeing it at shows and in the museum gallery in the future.

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