April 5, 2019 at 15:58 #63547Rik HovingKeymaster
“I’ve been doing a lot of later model stuff in my shop, besides the paint job on Les PoPo. But I wanted to be able to attend the 40th Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, 2020. My 47 Chevy build is dragging along, and really just needs a lot of cash to finish it up, stuff out of my hands. Upholstery, Chrome plating, etc. So the plan was to build this car and have ti ready for the long ride to Kansas.
1956 Olds “88” Holiday Coupe. Given to me by Pete Chasse, long time friend. Pete started the restoration when he retired, but age and health issues slowed, then stopped his progress. He gave the car to me.
It has a special place in my heart, as well as being my favorite make car. My old boss and mentor, John Pazsik, did a bunch of bodywork, and custom work on it for Pete. Nosing, decking, shaved handles, tunneled antenna. Always a work in progress, though never finished.
Pete ran it with the Olds 324 for many years, but it gave up it’s ghost eventually, and another guy I worked for, Manny Bastiao, (owner of the Les Cove built 4 door chopped and sectioned hardtop 51 Merc) did the 455 Olds, turbo 400 swap for Pete. Pete put a few thousand miles on the car before settling down to restore it; Oh, and the engine/trans came from another custom source. Jim Monahan’s junkyard. Jim had a 46 Merc that John P chopped (and I redid the rear window, and other things) and that Vic Collins (Kopper Kart) bought, got running and uses to cruise around in.
So the car has lots of local history, and lots of meaning for me.
I had always wanted to build an Olds Nomad, after seeing a rendering back in the late 80’s I believe. Maybe Steve Stanford, maybe Thom Taylor? Vic even did a 1/24 scale model of one, and was selling resin copies. Jim Laga did this Photoshop of one, too.
So that’s the back story. I’ve got the car in my shop, and was lucky enough to find a good Nomad, after buying 2 that were pretty much JUNK. Let the build begin!”
Enjoy the beauty of Customizing1+April 6, 2019 at 14:51 #63555Larry PointerParticipant
It will be fun to follow this one, Mark and Rik. Fun combination, and the Olds 98 trim would be the perfect accent.0April 7, 2019 at 02:36 #63558TorchieParticipant
I’ve been watching this one else where. Good to see it here.
It’s going to be a great build!
Torchie0April 8, 2019 at 16:14 #63576
Trial fit of the roof. This is going to be the most difficult roof job I’ve done. So much going on! The roof is a bit too narrow for the Olds roof to match up to, though the profile is the same. One of the most difficult things to figure, is where the end of the roof winds up, and where it places the tailgate. Is it close to where it should be in relation to the quarter panels? Or do we have to move the “B” pillar? Or extend or shorten the roof? The upper tailgate is another bump in the road. It is made of pot metal, so it can’t be cut and welded if we need to tweak the rear area. We also cannot lean the entire tailgate area forward, as one would when fitting up a tempered glass rear windshield, if the roof is too short. This would change the curvature of the quarter window glass.
A big part of the planning stage is that so much of what I have to work with is so rotted out, it falls apart when sandblasting or handling it. While I can make replacement patches, the entire upper quarter, and tailgate jamb area is extremely rotten. Even the 1/8″ thick lower tailgate brace is in real bad shape.
No matter, one way or another, I’ll figure it out!1+April 8, 2019 at 23:30 #63582TorchieParticipant
Always a lot of work when you have to fab or repair stuff . I can see why people use cars that I would consider too nice to cut up as platforms for their customs. So much less work.
Torchie0April 15, 2019 at 13:53 #63644
So….CHOP the top! so much for looking for less work to do to get it on the road!
My 55 Olds was chopped 2 1/4″, and looked like it was cut more. So I decided to do this one 1 1/2″, so it wouldn’t look too squashed. Cut the A pillars, spread the roof to fit them. Used a piece of 3/4 tubing inside the A pillar for extra support.3+April 20, 2019 at 02:28 #63673
Once the A pillars were welded solid and the support behing the windshield, I went right to the “B” pillars. Didn’t feel like fighting with the trimming and welding and hammering on the almost flat roof. The transition from Olds to Chevy roof looked like it was going to be trouble.
So I laid the upper quarters on, and against my original thought, kept the ‘dip’ in the Olds quarter, and started. I cut a few pieces of 1/8″ stock to provide reinforcement from the Olds door jamb support, to the one in the Nomad roof. Then a template, sheet metal, and now I have a new B pillar. And I think I like the dip!4+May 8, 2019 at 22:42 #63888
Not a lot going on, to post pics, but work is progressing. Lots of replacing rotted out metal, along the quarter windows, and the entire tailgate area. Bought a set of Vent window housings to chop. Pete had his original ones rechromed, VERY nicely, by Frankford Plating in Philly. I didn’t want to cut them up, so they are for sale. Now I have to figure out how to weld up the Potmetal!
Also scored a set of NOS Foxcraft skirts out at Carlise Swap Meet! Pete had fiberglass bubble skirts on it. They have to go, as well as the Continental kit.4+May 9, 2019 at 12:03 #63896James DParticipant
Wow, talk about making something from nothing – those Nomad parts are really trashed. I’m amazed at builds like this.
Not 100% convinced with the Olds side trim. It looks like it fights the line of the B pillar a little.0May 9, 2019 at 22:24 #63900David WolkParticipant
Looks great so far, it will be a lot of work but it will be very cool when it is finished.
About 5 years ago, I saw a nomad roof at a swapmeet for $200. It was kind of rough but I will always regret not buying it.0May 24, 2019 at 15:44 #63978
Change of plans???? Vic Collins (Kopper Kart clone) negotiated with Lou Callisibetta for this 57 Safari wagon, to help the project along!
HUGE thanks to Vic, Ed, and Lou for making this happen!
The Safari has all the trim I need, interior and exterior, the glass, and the fold down back seat. Now stripping off all the glass and trim to see if the upper quarters are in good enough condition to just chuck mine, and use the Safari tailgate area, and upper quarters. Might seem like more work, but I think it will save time in the long run.
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Wow, very interesting project….I really dig the Motorama ’50s GM styling and concept cars so this seams like it will capture that era well 🙂
Always loved your chopped Olds.1+May 24, 2019 at 17:22 #63983Mild MitchParticipant
What a great find and looks like all these parts will bring things together for you. Sometimes a step backwards, really isn’t.
I really like the direction your “estate” (wagon) is going too.
Mitch0June 5, 2019 at 20:45 #64225Bryan RuskParticipant
Wow! Very cool project. Ambitious, but that’s one of the things that makes it great. Looking forward to seeing updates.0July 22, 2019 at 01:21 #64774
The parts car was able to yield all the interior, and some stainless, and the back seat that I needed, but the exterior sheet metal was real bad. Might be able to use the inner tailgate jambs, and structure. The chop is giving me fits. The transition between Olds and Nomad roof was tough to make, and Doing the long seam, side to side, was tricky. Kept getting away from me, I believe, due to the stress between the mismatched panels. So I cut it out and put in a 6″ strip of new metal. Seems to be working much better, and I have Kenny and Dave helping me out with the hammer and dolly work, since my left hand is still weak, and very painful.
Had to switch gears, with the frustration the roof was causing. SO I fixed the hood, which always bothered me. John P. had done the customizing on it many years ago, and it was all cracked, done in brass, with copper tubing on the hood peaks. Pete tried to fix the rot on the very front (common 56 Olds problem) with small pieces of steel MIGed up. I cut it all out and stared fresh.
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