Curtis H 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2dr Station Wagon

Rt 66 Chicago to LA and Back in my 56 Nomad

I purchased a 1956 Bel Air Nomad from a friend's wife after he passed away.

He had stripped the car down in 1968 and left it sit in his home garage with the intent to someday restore it. He traveled around each year purchasing old original Bel Air Nomad part from the dealerships (when they were still available).

The Nomad had 4,600 original miles on it when parked in 68. after I purchased it and sorted through his three garages 2 sheds and the attics of the garages and his home, I located all of the extra parts he purchased and brought them home and began the 5 year restoration in my spare time.

Last May 2013 I completed the rebuild and drove it around to a few local shows. The local antique auto club I joined was 50 years old in August of 2013, and to celebrate the anniversary we planned a trip to LA following the old RT 66 and back.

When we started about 70 members of the club met us at our starting point for the sendoff. We took group pictures then fired them up.

We ended up only having 4 vehicles take the trip, (mostly due to some last minute drop outs for many different reasons) my Nomad two other 1955 Bel Air Sedans and one 1965 Ford Fairlane was what we ended up with. We took our time traveling and stopped at most of the sites and attractions along the way. One of my favorites was the old TeePee hotels we stayed at on the way there and on the return.

Being three Chevy guys with one Ford owner we teased him that we would remove 4 of our 8 spark plugs so that he may be able to keep up with us.

In Amarillo TX we took the scenic tour with a friend of our group through the Palo Duro Canyons, The others mounted up in a couple of off road SUV's and I followed in the Nomad. They were surprised to see that I kept up with them and even traveled through the washout passes with running water as deep as the just below the door openings. ( it did not take long to clean it up afterwards.) and no damage were done from the excursion.

After 31 days we returned back home from the long trip, all stayed good friends throughout the trip and continue to enjoy each others company when we meet. The Club members once again welcomed us back by being there at the same place where we had started from.

Now just a little more than one year later the Body shop that painted the car for me had their new shop grand opening. With all of the restorations and other nice vehicles he had finished and invited to the open house for a mini car show and building dedication. My Nomad was the center of attraction where he had placed it in the new paint booth, where the others were located around in the shop area and outside. The Paint booth with all of the lights could not hide any flaws in his work or that of my own in putting the finishing touches on the restoration by rebuilding and installing all of the bright work, interior and drive train. I am very proud to say that I am a Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad owner.

If allowed I'd would like to mention the body shop as Bob Zook Auto Body, a Caldwell Company. Bryan Caldwell owner. Bloomington, IL

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