1955 Chevy Nomad Street Rod


Dave Hall has been traveling the last two years with his 1955 Chevy Nomad street rod, “NewMad,” and winning A LOT of awards. Steve’s Auto Restorations in Portland, Oregon, handcrafted this beauty with a custom chassis underneath, and big block Chevy power. Read Dave’s own account about building the NewMad and see the project in photos from start to finish at www.stevesautorestorations.com.


I’ve always been partial to ’55 Chevys since the early days of my youth (early 60s) when I did a frame on resto on a Belair hardtop. It was a one-owner (teacher), 50k mile, pristine car that had never been molested. The car was built with a 60 over bore 283 (292 CI) with 327 heads, 63 Corvette Rochester Fuel injection, Borg Warner T10 4 speed and 411 posi rearend. Exterior was painted Chevy Marina Blue and it ran 15 inch chrome reversed rims and red line tires. A hot set up for the times and quick, 12.96 at 108mph in the quarter with street tires and closed exhaust.

So you can understand why in Jan ’95 while attending the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction after seeing several Chevy ’55s cross the auction block, I started a thinkin’ about the ‘good ole days’ and my first Belair. I struck up a conversation with an auction seller who had a collectable car business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He told me that he had a lead on a ’55 Nomad wagon from an estate sale in Texas. After several months, numerous phone calls and a visit, I bought an older restored salmon and grey (top) Nomad. I drove the car and showed it at several local events over the next few months but I had my own “tinkering” thoughts that kept coming back.

I wanted to find some shops that could help me achieve what I was beginning to formulate in my mind. After several months of scouting, I finally settled on a classic car restorer in North Phoenix (Patrick’s Classic Cars) who started the process by disassembling the entire car. After the initial disassembly, changes took place slowly over the next 18 months. We finally mated the frame and body back together in a unceremonious event in the spring of ’97. By this time I had decided on a retro 60s hot rod theme with a 502 BB Chevy, ASM tuned port, 4L80E trans, Ford 9 inch rearend, Billet Specialty Legacy wheels (17″) and BFG tires. Interior changes included, front bucket seats and custom rear seat, custom center console and door panels, and Dakota digital instruments and minor dash modifications.

Once the body/frame came together, the car stayed at Arizona Speed & Marine (ASM), the mechanical modification shop for the next couple of years while work progressed slowly. Part of it was lack of time on my part due to work and the arrangement I had with ASM to use the car as ‘filler work’ in the shop giving me a discounted rate of their shop charges.

By now the car had been apart over 4 years and it had become a standing joke among friends, family and co-workers about Dave’s now infamous Nomad that was always talked about but never completed. It sort of took on a life of its own.

In 1999, I decided to retire after 20 years with Intel and 35+ years in the electronics industry. I made it a personal priority to finish the Nomad as one of my first retirement objectives. Several months before the ‘big day’, I began a serious discussion with ASM about putting the car on the front burner and completing it within the next year. This meant dedicating more shop time.

The shop decided they couldn’t offer more time. I was left in a very difficult position–I was going to have to move the car to get it finished. I immediately began casting my search net over the rest of Arizona and then farther west to Nevada and California. I was amazed during my search to find that many of these ‘bigger than life’ shops you read about in the car magazines turn out to be little more than ‘hole in the wall’ businesses with limited capability. This was a big eye opener to me and helped me decide exactly what kind of shop I wanted to finish the Nomad.

A close co-worker and fellow gear head who worked at one of Intel’s Oregon operations mentioned that I should check out the shop in Oregon that built his ’55 Chevy Post Sedan, a hot car–‘Porsche red, flawless tan leather interior, halibrands, sits right, runs like no tomorrow’ cool ride. Our discussion over a couple of micro brews one evening after work went something like this: “Yea, I hear what you say Larry, but boy I just don’t feel comfortable having the car so far away where I can’t be there to help make it happen. Especially now that I’m retiring and have the time to dedicate to see the project through. (Larry) “I hear what you say, Dave, but you owe it to yourself to check out Steve’s Auto Restorations. I think you’ll be impressed.

A couple of months passed, I retired and my wife and I planed an antiquing trip to Portland. I decide at the last minute to drop my wife off at the show and swing by Steve’s Auto Restorations. I was blown away with what I saw. They were in the middle of building the now infamous ‘RealMad’ which started life as a modified ’55 Nomad which was getting stretched (6″ width, 12″ length) over a custom fabricated frame housing 2000 C5 Corvette suspension, rear transaxle driven by a ’94 LT5 Corvette cammer motor. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. After picking myself up off the floor, I asked them several questions to see if they could work on another Nomad. I told him the car’s lengthy “sordid” history and the direction I wanted to take it. Basically, I just wanted it “finished off.” The owner, Steve Frisbee, introduced me to his in-house designer, Dave, and we discussed the project in detail.

They told me that with the whole shop ‘turning to’ on RealMad, my car would have to wait until late in the year before work could begin. More delay, but despite that, I just felt it was the right shop to finish my Nomad. Another trip to the shop cemented the plan with the decision to have the car, pieces and all, transported to Portland in early September. During that trip, one of Steve’s customers, Chris Ito, was visiting his car at the shop. Steve introduced me and during the conversation I learned that he was a car designer who went to design school at the same time and place as Chip Foose.

We discussed my project making comparisons to RealMad. I told him that while I appreciated the car, I thought the design went too far loosing the ‘soul’ of what made a ’55 Nomad a Nomad (open rear wheel wells, roof ribs, slanted B and C pillars, side chrome trim, etc). I wanted to customize my body slightly, but it still had to be recognizable as a ’55 Nomad when it was done.

After we finished talking, Chris sketched some ideas on his tablet while we stood in the shop. In a matter of minutes, he sketched my car and ideas while we continued talking. I was blown away–talk about talent. My wheels immediately began turning…would it be possible for Chris to design the car and Steve’s shop build it? Would Chris be willing to take on the project in addition to his full time design job at ASC? My questions were quickly answered and we formed the team. The die was cast for creating ‘NewMad’ (the actual name is credited to Chris who made the suggestion in the beginning).

The car was delivered to Steve’s Auto Restorations in early September and I made several trips over the following couple of months to work with Chris on the design. After several sessions, it was evident that my design direction was little more than random, undefined thoughts/ideas that I’d gathered from years of hotrodding experience. Chris began putting ideas on paper until we came up with a ‘contemporary’ design theme. Basically, we took the key design elements of the original car and modernized them–sort of like ‘what a ’55 Nomad would look like today if you designed it’ theme. While the original design was followed closely, small changes were made as the actual shop execution took place. It is much easier to draw something on paper than to make it a reality in the shop. And so NewMad began to take shape starting in January 2000.

Much of my original direction for the car and the associated parts/changes was shelved as the new design and direction unfolded. Chris turned out to be much more than just the designer of the car stepping in on my behalf to ‘project manage’ the car’s build over the next 15 months. I flew up and visited the shop every couple of weeks and spent hours reading emails and viewing .jpg shots of the progress.

I credit much of the success of the car to Chris Ito, Steve Frisbee, and Chuck Barr, the shop foreman and the shop members. It was truly a ‘team effort’ from the beginning and everyone enjoyed working on and being associated with the car. The “little” things impressed me, like the hand cast grill bar that was initially hand carved from a block of wood that was made into a mold and then cast or the ‘NewMad’ script that was hand carved from a block of aluminum using a dremel hand tool. This, too, was made into a mold for casting more pieces; all the chrome molding that was made by hand out of brass stock or the bumpers the were hand formed from flat 14 gauge steel; shaped on power hammers, English wheels and pull-max machines. The NewMad is a true work of art from some of the best metal craftsmen in the business. See the NewMad project at www.stevesautorestorations.com, choose “Projects”, and then click on “Project 2.

Room doesn’t permit talking about every small story that made up what you see today. To say it was an adventure is an understatement. Building NewMad was one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences that leaves one with fond and lasting memories, life long friends and a true sense of accomplishing something extraordinary. Something in my life I will always cherish.


  1. Stick with tried and true aftermarket equipment when doing mechanical modifications, for example, use OEM crate motors or completely rebuilt/dyno’d motors from reputable manufacturers.
  2. Try to avoid cutting corners or using cheap parts.
  3. Lay out a plan and budget ahead of time. Do your research before you begin to avoid costly changes during the project


Preservation of key design elements that distinguish the 1955 Nomad from other similar era cars was our primary design objective. These elements included the front fender/side chrome detail, canted ‘B’ and ‘C’ pillars, tailgate chrome strips, rear wheel well openings and horizontal roof ribs. It was determined from the beginning that these design elements would be retained in one shape or form in the final product.

The critical eye will note that the slab sided body, thick roof section, short front fenders and bulbous hood give the original car a ‘boxy’ appearance. Hence the term ‘shoebox Chevy’ became synonymous with the tri-five Chevy built between 1955 and 1957. To this end a secondary design objective was established to eliminate the ‘box’ from ‘shoebox’.

Of course all of these design elements are what give the Nomad character or what we like to refer to as its soul. Without these it would be just another ‘shoebox’.

A melding of these objectives created an integrated design theme that enhances and ‘contemporizes’ the original cars styling. The end result is a reborn ’55 Nomad that is’ Contemporary’ in design, yet maintains the ’Classic’ styling elements of the original car.

We call our Contemporary Classic, “NewMad”.



  • Channeled 3”
  • Roof sectioned 1 ½”
  • Pillars chopped ¾”
  • Wheel Base lengthened 3”

Front Fenders:

  • Wheel openings re-contoured & moved forward 2.5”
  • Fenders extended 2.5”
  • Modified head & parking lamp openings
  • Custom fabricated parking lenses


  • ’64 Mercury Marauder modified
  • ’64 Mercury electric wipers recessed


  • Lengthened 3”
  • Hand formed & peaked sheetmetal w/custom inner structure
  • Dodge Stealth hinges w/60# gas struts
  • Custom latch w/internal release


  • Custom hand formed sheetmetal w/custom inner structure
  • Double wall construction for wiring, plumbing & components
  • Hidden brake master cylinder

Engine Compartment

  • Hand formed inner fender wells
  • Hand formed radiator support
  • Custom air intake w/K&N filters


  • Vent windows removed
  • Flush fit to inside trim detail
  • Bear-claw latches added
  • Power windows & locks
  • Custom lower body detail w/recessed trim
  • Radiused corners

Front Bumper

  • Hand formed custom fabricated
  • Flush fit to body
  • Peaked Center to match grille opening and hood
  • Integrated hand formed body color valance panel
  • Smooth face with hidden fasteners

Quarter Panels

  • Taillights angled forward
  • Re-shaped wheel openings
  • Custom lower body detail w/recessed trim
  • Hand formed inner fender panels
  • Hidden gas filler behind left tail lamp assembly
  • Hidden battery switch/terminals behind right tail lamp assembly


  • Roof skin sectioned 1.5”, shortened 5”
  • A-pillar hand formed, laid back & flushed w/windshield
  • B-pillar hand formed, laid forward and narrowed
  • C-pillar hand formed, laid forward & flushed w/quarter glass
  • Drip rails removed
  • Re-contoured roof ribs swept back to match B & C pillars

Rocker Panels

  • Hand fabricated w/reverse reveal removed
  • Lengthened 3”
  • Boxed & smoothed

Lift Gate

  • Hand formed tube frame
  • Custom hinge w/power lift & remote control

Tail Gate

  • Re-contoured sheet metal, shortened 1”
  • Radiused corners
  • Custom latch, hidden hinges


  • Custom hand formed to allow 3” body channel


  • Re-contoured opening w/peaked center
  • Custom cast and chromed grill bar and emblem
  • Custom laser cut grille insert mesh

Rear bumper

  • Hand formed custom fabricated
  • Flush fit to body
  • Custom license & exhaust openings
  • Integrated hand formed body color valance panel
  • Smooth faced hidden w/hidden fasteners


  • Windshield – ’64 Mercury, Chopped 1.25”, narrowed 5”, flush fit
  • Door – Custom single piece, hardtop style finish
  • Quarter – Custom one piece, flush fit
  • Lift gate – Custom frame-less one piece


  • Window – hand formed, solid brass, chrome plated
  • Belt-line – hand formed, solid brass, chrome plated
  • Lower body – Frenched, polished aluminum insert
  • Grill – hand formed, solid brass, chrome plated
  • Stock headlight bezels modified to flow w/ belt line trim
  • Park light bezel – hand formed, solid brass, chrome plated
  • Custom cast and chrome plated ‘NewMad’ emblems
  • Custom fabricated flush exterior door handles integrated w/ side trim
  • Custom side mirror stanchions integrated w/side trim


  • One-off custom rear tail lamp lens/assembly
  • One-off custom parking lamp lens/assembly
  • HID headlamps
  • Custom interior lighting w/fader
  • American Auto Wire Premier fuse panel


  • Body – House of Kolor Majestic Blue w/Kandy Cobalt
  • Top – House of Kolor White Pearl



  • Hand fabricated w/ends integrated into door panels
  • Custom gauge & glove box openings blended to console
  • Leather wrapped w/colored insert
  • Instrumentation – 2001 Cobra instrumentation cluster w/150 mph speedo
  • Custom one off Budnik leather wrapped steering wheel


  • Modified Lexus SC400 10 way power seats
  • Hidden aircraft style seat belts
  • Custom hand fabricated rear seat modules

Door panels

  • Hand formed composite w/integrated armrest & door pull
  • Jaguar XJ8 door handle assembly
  • Custom stainless sills leather wrapped w/SAR logo


  • Hand formed composite material
  • Pleated rear section to match exterior roof ribs
  • Articulating rear left hinge cover


  • Custom fabricated full-length w/integral front/rear armrests
  • Corvette C-5 Trans shifter
  • Front storage compartment w/ hidden suspension controls
  • Integrated Porsche window switches
  • Hidden access panel for fuse panel


  • Hand formed composite tonneau cover w/chrome accent trim
  • Hidden compartments for amp, speakers and batteries


  • Custom dyed two-tone Grey leather throughout
  • Ultra-suede Grey headliner
  • Multi-tone Sahara fine-point square weave carpeting

Sound System

  • Clarion DRX9255 head
  • Clarion CDC635 six disc CD changer
  • Rear – Sound Stream SP6 6” mid-range speaker Sound Stream SPL 60G 6.5” woofer
  • Front – Sound Stream SP6 6” mid-range speaker w/separate tweeter / cross-overs
  • Hand formed perforated steel speaker grilles
  • Rubicon 550 Watt 5/3 Channel Amp
  • Dyna-mat insulation on all interior surfaces



  • 496 Cu In Arias aluminum Big Block Chevy
  • 540 HP, 565 Ft Lb Torque
  • Brodix Oval Port Cylinder Heads w/2.190 intake & 1.880 exhaust valves
  • SCAT crank/rods, Clevite Bearings
  • Comp Cams roller camshaft/lifters
  • SpeedPro Pistons/Rings
  • Jessel Belt Drive
  • March Performance billet surpentine belt system
  • Meizere billet water pump
  • Custom fabricated Hogan TPI intake manifold w/36 lb Accel injectors
  • Arizona Speed & Marine 58mm Throttle Body
  • BDS Custom wiring harness
  • Make Fast Engine Control Module
  • Accel Ignition system
  • Oberg membrane oil filter
  • Power Master gear reduction starter & 120 amp alternator
  • Lokar throttle cable
  • Setrab oil cooler w/Spal fan
  • Custom cast aluminum induction cowl


  • Hughes Performance GM4L80E automatic four speed overdrive
  • HGM Compushift On-Board programmable controller
  • Hughes 2500 stall speed torque converter
  • Setrab trans cooler w/Spal fan

Cooling System

  • Ron Davis custom aluminum x-flow radiator
  • Dual 16” Spal cooling fans
  • Custom aluminum reservoir and recovery tanks

Fuel System

  • Custom aluminum 18 gal. Fuel tank
  • Holley in-tank 255 liter/hr fuel pump
  • Inner frame stainless fuel lines
  • Hidden filler neck behind rear tail lamp

Exhaust System

  • Custom fabricated stainless steel headers w/8 primary tubes
  • Custom fabricated 2.5 inch polished stainless steel exhaust system
  • Spin Tech polished stainless steel mufflers and exhaust tips



  • 4”x5” custom fabricated rails w/tubular x-members & body mounts


  • Front – Corvette C5 IFS control arms w/Air Ride Shock-Wave suspension
  • Rear – Corvette C5 IRS control arms w/Air Ride Shock-Wave suspension
  • Front/Rear Torsional sway-bars


  • Dutchman IRS aluminum housing
  • Strange Engineering 9” center section w/ 3.89 posi & steel billet yoke
  • Custom Dutchman axle w/Porsche CV joint


  • Baer Racing 14” rotors
  • Baer Racing 4 piston calipers
  • Ford Cobra Hydro-boost power master cylinder
  • Stainless/braided lines
  • Lokar parking brake cable


  • Narrowed C4 Corvette Rack & Pinion
  • Borgeson Polished Stainless U joints
  • Flaming River custom tilt column


  • Front – 20”x 8.5” Budnik/Ito One-off / BFG g-Force T/A 255/35ZR20
  • Rear – 20”x10” Budnik/Ito One-off / BFG g-Force T/A 275/35ZR20


  • Power door locks
  • Speciality Power windows
  • Power lift gate
  • Power disc brakes
  • Power Steering
  • Cruise Control
  • Tilt Steering Column
  • Tinted Glass
  • Air Ride Suspension
  • Vintage Air Automatic climate control
  • Remote opening rear hatch
  • Lexus power seats


Owner…………………………………Dave & Barbara Hall, Phoenix, Arizona

Fabrication…………………………Steve’s Auto Restorations, Portland, Oregon

Design………………………………..Chris Ito, Dallas, Texas

Interior……………………………….Paul Reichlin, Seattle, Washington

Audio System………………………SoundStream

Wheels……………………………….Budnick Wheels, Huntington Beach, CA

Tires…………………………………..B. F. Goodrich

Brake System………………………Baer Racing, Phoenix, AZ

Transmission……………………….Hughes Performance, Phoenix, AZ

Engine………………………………..Arias Racing Engines, Gardena, CA

     Hogan’s Racing Manifolds, Santa Maria, CA

     Blower Drive Services, CA

Comp Cams, Memphis, TN

Suspension…………………………..Air Ride Technologies, Jasper, IN

Differential…………………………..Dutchman Motorsports, Portland, OR

Chrome Plating & Polishing….Oregon Plating, Paul Thompson, Portland, OR

Glass……………………………………SAR, Bent Glass Design, King of Prussa, PA

Cooling System…………………….Ron Davis Radiators, Phoenix, AZ

Paint…………………………………..House of Kolor, Portland, OR

Display…………………………………R.A. Reed Productions, Portland, OR

Exhaust……………………………….Spin Tech

NewMad Awards

Shows and Awards


  • St Ignace, MI – John Moss GM Invitational display
  • Custom Rodder Top Ten, Goodguys Custom Rod of the Year Finalist and Custom Rod of the Year winner, Goodguys Heartland Natls,Des Moines, IA
  • Boyd Coddington’s Pros Pick winner, Goodguys Columbus, OH
  • SAR display, Goodguys Puyallup, WA
  • Absorber Display, National Street Rod Assoc (NSRA) Nationals Louisville, KY
  • SAR display, Goodguys Pleasanton, CA
  • America’s Best Custom. Also ‘Big Bucks & Bitchin’ and ‘Long Distance’ winner, Seaside Roadster Show, Seaside, OR
  • Mother’s Wax Innagural ‘Shine’ Award – Best of Show; Super Rod Magazine Ten Best SuperRods of the Year, Speciality Equipment Manfacturers Assoc (SEMA) Show, Las Vegas, NV
  • Tri-Five Class Gold, Best of Gold Custom and Outstanding Workmanship winner, Super Chevy Show, Tucson, AZ
  • Boyd Coddington’s Pros Pick, Goodguys annual Judi Murray Award, Goodguys, Scottsdale, AZ


  • Custom Sweepstakes, Best of Show Display, Grand Nat’l Roadster Show, San Mateo, CA
  • CA Custom Sweepstakes, Best in Class, Outstanding Engineering, Best of Show Display, Sacramento Autorama, Sacramento
  • P Silver Cup, Display award, Portland Rod & Custom Show, Portland, OR
  • Best of Show Custom, Best in Class, Display award, Detroit Autorama 50th Anniversary, Detroit, MI
  • Gold Cup, Display Award, Seattle Roadster Show, Seattle, WA
  • Outstanding Elegance Award, Fresno Autorama, Fresno, CA
  • Custom De Elegance finalist & winner, Nifty-Fifty Pick, Award of Excellence, GoodGuys 20th All American Get-Together, Pleasanton, CA
  • K&N Best of Show, Goodguys 2nd Del Mar Nationals, Del Mar, CA
  • GoodGuys Great Northwestern Natls, Spokane, WA – Display only
  • Goodguys 16th West Coast Natls, Pleasanton, CA – Display only
  • America’s Best Custom, America’s Best Custom Seaside Roadster Show, Seaside, OR

Publication Coverage:


  • Super Rod August 2001 – 12 pg technical article, cover & centerfold, SAR ad
  • GoodGuys Goodtimes Gazette September 2001 – 10th Heartland Natls participation, Custom Rod of the Year winner
  • Chevy Nomad Assoc ‘Nomad Post’ September 2001 – 1pg technical article
  • Bodyshop Connection November 2001 – 4 pg technical article
  • Rod & Custom December 2001 – 3 pg technical article/pic shot at Columbus, OH (GG event)
  • Super Rod December 2001 – Ten Best winner, Cover, Centerfold
  • Street Rodder December 2001 – NSRA Nats participation (Absorber Booth display)
  • Old Cars Weekly News December 2001 – SEMA Show participation, Mother’s Shine Award winner


  • Custom Rodder January 2002 – 9 page technical article/pic (shot at GG Des Moines, IA), Calendar, Top 10 winner, Dave Bell Character page
  • Popular Hot Rodding January 2002 – Cover, 6 page technical article/pic shot at Columbus, OH
  • Super Rod January 2002 – 10 Best/Top 100 winner
  • Drive! Event Guide January 2002 – Grand Nat’l Roadster Show participation
  • Rod & Custom January 2002 – Top 100/Best of the Best winner, Absorber ad
  • Drive! Event Guide February 2002 – SAR/NewMad article
  • Grand National Roadster Show Program 2002 – SAR/NewMad show participation
  • Rod & Custom April 2002 – 4L80E Automatic overdrive transmission use in NewMad
  • Chevy High Performance April 2002 – ’01 SEMA Show participation & Mother’s Shine Award winner
  • Chevy Nomad Assoc. ‘Nomad Post’ April 2002 – Cottage/Garage/NewMad article
  • Super Chevy May 2002 – Nov ‘01 Tucson Super Chevy Show participation
  • Rod & Custom May 2002 – 53rd Grand Nat’l Roadster Show participation
  • GoodGuys Goodtimes Gazette May 2002 – 4th Southwest Nationals participation
  • Chevy Classics (Super Chevy) Spring 2002 –3pg technical article/pic shot at Columbus, OH GG event
  • Goodguys Goodtimes Year Book –2001 Custom Rod of the Year article/pic shot at GG Des Moines, IA
  • Popular Hot Rodding June 2002 – 50th Anniversary Detroit Autorama participation
  • Super Chevy July 2002 – Goodguys 2001 Southwest Natls (Scottsdale, AZ) participation
  • GoodGuys Goodtimes Gazette June 2002 – Cover, 20th All American Get Together Pleasanton event, Custom D’Elegance award coverage
  • Car & Driver June 2002 – 50th Anniversary Detroit Autorama participation
  • American Rodder July 2002 – 50th Anniversary Detroit Autorama participation
  • Street Rod Builder ‘On the Road’ Summer 2002 – 4pg technical article
  • Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette July 2002 – Del Mar event participation
  • Rod & Custom August 2002 – Goodguys DelMar event participation
  • Chevy High Performance August 2002 – Goodguys DelMar event participation
  • Custom Rodder September 2002 – Goodguys Pleasanton participation, Custom D’Elegance award
  • Chevy High Performance Sept 2002 – GoodGuys Pleasanton participation, Custom D’Elegance award

Other Coverage:

  • SEMA’s www.enjoytheride.com website May 2002 –‘A Completely Modern ’55 Wagon’ article on NewMad
  • Mother’s Polish Website, www.mothers.com January 2002. SEMA Shine Award coverage
  • ESPN Mother’s Polish Car Show Episode#106, Dec 8, 2001. SEMA Shine Award, Las Vegas, NV
  • TNN Horsepower TV Show aired March 2/3, 2002. SEMA participation.
  • KSBW Channel 7 (San Diego, CA) Morning Show April 5, 2002. Goodguys Del Mar Show coverage featuring 2002 Custom De Elegance winner (NewMad) and Rod De Elegance winner (Chevy Master)

Dave and Classics Before NewMad:

My brother-in-law, Dennis, was the one who actually got me hooked on cars in my mid-teens when he was dating my older sister. He would come over to the house in his wild ’51 Ford coupe and shake up the neighborhood. One Sunday he actually let me drive it to the donut shop and after that I was hooked. He later helped me by my first car which was a ’39 Ford coupe with a small (354) Chrysler Hemi which later became a B-Gasser that we drag raced at the local So Cal strips (Lyons, Bakersfield, Colton, San Fernando, etc). Several years later we also campaigned a small block Chevy-powered sling shot dragster. Like I said, I was hooked.

I had numerous cars over the next 10 years but ceased much of the activity after getting married in ’73. The marriage came with a ready family of three children so needless to say there was little money or time for hotrods. Fast-forward another 20 years and by the mid 90s, the kids were gone, I was in the later years of a very successful career in the electronics industry and had both time and money to rekindle my hotrod desires. I actually started in the early 90s with a new Z06 Corvette but found after a couple of years that it was difficult to tinker with. I actually tried swapping out the motor in it and ended up putting it all back together out of frustration. It definitely didn’t satisfy my hotrod cravings and that’s when I began my NewMad experience.


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Read next Up next: Interview and profile – Steve’s Auto Restorations, Inc.- The Shop Behind the Newmad


    I had numerous cars over the next 10 years but ceased much of the activity after getting married in ’73. The marriage came with a ready family of three children so needless to say there was little money or time for hotrods. Fast-forward another 20 years and by the mid 90s, the kids were gone, I was in the later years of a very successful career in the electronics industry and had both time and money to rekindle my hotrod desires.

    My brother-in-law, Dennis, was the one who actually got me hooked on cars in my mid-teens when he was dating my older sister. He would come over to the house in his wild ’51 Ford coupe and shake up the neighborhood. One Sunday he actually let me drive it to the donut shop and after that I was hooked

    I actually tried swapping out the motor in it and ended up putting it all back together out of frustration. It definitely didn’t satisfy my hotrod cravings and that’s when I began my NewMad experience.

    But for the rest of us, the door is still perhaps open for a color-shifting paint treatment for some future Mustang model.

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