Classic Car Articles
Classic Car Project Nomad #6
I needed to get the Nomad over to Forrestville so that Mark and the team at Safety Service Centre could pull the engine and gearbox. After finding a pallet that they could put it on once out of the car, I rang around for a towing company to throw it on a flat bed and get it there. Now common sense should have prevailed - I had used Bakker Towing from Mona Vale to get it from Mascot and had nothing but pleasing results but for some silly reason that even I couldnít explain I decided to get a couple of competitive quotes. Another local mob came in slightly cheaper, saving me about the price of a Corona beer down at the local so I went with them.
You know the story. Pick up at ten in the morning. Phone call at ten thirty saying we are a little late, should be there in fifteen minutes. At ten to twelve I call them to be told the towie is stuck at Palm Beach. Another twenty minute goes by and another truck finally arrives. We turn up at Forrestville three hours late and Iíve just blown off the entire day for the price of a beer. I donít know how many times I have made a choice on price and then in hindsight ask myself what was I thinking. In future Iíll just call Bakker Towing as I know I wonít get dicked around by them.
Anyhow, my stupidity aside, the team at Safety Service Centre had the engine and gearbox out with no fuss and when I fronted the following day it was sitting on the pallet awaiting pickup by the successful eBay bidder. Mark was kind enough to let me keep the engine there over night as we needed his engine lift to load it into a trailer the following day. The Nomad now looked a few inches higher in the front end as it sat there engine less and looking a little forlorn.
With the engine out it was time to rip into deconstruction. First on the list were the mouldings and chrome and to make it easier on me I decided to have two separate piles Ė one for chrome pieces and the other for all the mouldings. One of the things I love about old cars is the shiny stuff. If you look at modern cars quite a few have no bright work on them at all. A 57 Chevy Nomad has a lot but it wasnít until I was pulling them off that I began realise just how much there was. I may need to take a second mortgage on the house just to get these trim pieces looking like new again and the respective piles kept growing as the pieces came off.
As usual, some fully cooperated and nearly fell off in my hands as I touched them. Then there were the pieces that despite my best efforts and all manners of persuasion werenít going anywhere. You could be a little more aggressive with the chrome stuff, particularly the bumpers as the robust nature of these pieces could be leaned on a little harder. The mouldings are very fine and made of alloy, dent real easy and it was definitely worth taking the time required to get them off without making a meal of them.
In the western suburbs of Sydney is a company called Moulding Repairs and Polishing who are artisans and will restore your mouldings, hubcaps and trim to as new condition. My intention is once all the pieces are off I will take them out to Kingswood and have Allan McCoy and his team work their magic on them. They donít do chroming, so the chrome stuff will be sent elsewhere. The piles grew larger and covered the workbench, half the floor and the tops of a few boxes in the garage. After two days I had all the bits that I could get off littered around the garage. The only bits that were left were the tailgate button which I needed intact to be able to drop the tailgate and all the chrome trim around the curved windows that I didnít know how to remove and decided to leave for the experts.
One interesting sidebar with doing all this yourself is you get an appreciation for what has transpired in the past. Clearly someone had taken the bumpers off before and rather than getting a bumper bolt replacement kit they had scrounged up any bolt and nut that went together and fitted through the holes and thrown them in. Three bolts were the same, I suspect original and the rest were a dogs breakfast. Some had rusted solid, others were burred, two of them couldnít be fully done up as the threads disappeared in a malaise of rust and mashed metal. It wasnít boding well for what else I may find during deconstruction.... Next up are the panels, what is left of the interior and the ancillary bits in the engine compartment that wonít be needed in the future. Watch this space...
Words by Mark, proprietor of Classic Car Gurus