April 13, 2021


Crazy about car & automotive

Reader Tailor made Tasks: 1956 Olds 88/Nomad Wagon

Editor’s take note: When we introduced our September concentrate on restoration and customization, we questioned the local community to share its tales. And that’s what Mark Wojcik has done. We have faith in you’ll come across it as attention-grabbing as we have. Mr. Wojcik’s photographs and captions adhere to the textual content.

I’ll consider to make this quick. I can be incredibly ‘wordy’ when talking about automobiles! I’ve been an on-and-off subscriber to Hemmings for quite a few years, and I’ve usually believed of it for restoration elements and info. So happy to see the ClassicCars.com Journal is branching out into doing article content on customizing. I’ve been making rods and primarily customs for around 40 yrs, and I also do restoration operate as perfectly. But customs are in my blood. 

My very first one particular was a ’55 Olds 98 that I did mostly by myself, at property, but I realized to customise and how to do custom made paint by an aged-timer who designed and showed a custom ’54 Merc back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. He actually assisted do the chopped leading on the Olds back again in 1982 when I labored for him part time.

Above the several years I have finished a little bit in excess of 100 cars (105 I imagine),  practically all were being entire body and paint, some as much as frame off. This is carrying out it in my spare time, as I have labored for Exxon Investigate and Eng. and Engelhard’s motor lab (later, BASF) whole time. 

My greatest accomplishment has been the creating of the clone of  George Barris’ Kopper Kart. I know you’ve likely listened to of it. My friend, Vic Collins, owns (the clone), and he and I, and several good friends, crafted it in my most current store powering my house, in Howell, New Jersey. I experienced taught the others how to do welding and bodywork, even undertaking guide do the job, prior to and during the develop.

My most current venture is some thing that has been envisioned by numerous artists and modelers. I’ve usually liked Oldsmobiles, but I begun out owning and rebuilding ’55-’57 Chevies, so I still have a soft location for them. The challenge in the back again of my thoughts since the ’80s turned truth when my extended-time good friend, Pete Chasse, gave up hoping to restore his ’56 Olds ‘88’ Holiday break coupe, thanks to health difficulties. I acquired the car or truck, and established about seeking for the components to develop it as a Nomad-design wagon.

I had already acquired two Nomad/Safari roofs, but they were being in really lousy condition. I observed a different on Extended Island, New York, and started the transformation. Vic Collins aided by securing a ’57 Safari from our mate Lou Callisibetta, a extremely very well-known Pontiac restorer. This provided a whole lot of the missing stainless and all the interior moldings wanted. 

I have the entire body roughed out, getting to fabricate a good deal of the sheet steel all-around the wagon home windows and tailgate spot. Grafting the Nomad roof to the Olds windshield location was no simple undertaking as the Olds was about ¾ of an inch wider, and I made a decision to do a moderate chop on the prime, exaggerating this big difference even extra.  My thought was to build far more of a notion car or truck than a tailor made car, so I’m retaining all the suitable Olds parts, grille, headlights, tail lights, and facet trim (however acquiring 98 tail lights and aspect trim was not effortless). 

The body is off the frame while I modify the body with present day elements, ’76 Impala suspension, electric power steering and 12-inch electric power disc brakes, law enforcement-bundle rear drums and an Olds 455/Turbo 400 powertrain. 

Very first pic right here, is demo fitting the roof. I was not certain whether or not I ought to start off fitting it up from the front, or the back again.
Upcoming up is exhibiting the mismatch of the two roofs. I experienced to use the Olds entrance windshield, to continue to keep the Olds glimpse, alongside with holding the ahead leaning vent home windows, as opposed to the Chevy’s straight types. The tape traces are delineating the total of chop. I long debated executing this, I was opposed to it at 1st but looking at the roof on the automobile, it didn’t seem right. The previous thought cars usually appeared (or essentially Have been) chopped wanting. Longer, broader, sleeker than their creation counterparts.
Another crucial styling selection, was regardless of whether to continue to keep the Olds “dip” I the quarter panel or not. The Chevy eliminated it, while Pontiac saved a smaller sized version of it. I made the decision to keep the Olds taste, and protect the “dip”! The “B” pillar was quite lousy, so I wound up cleaning it up by fabricating new bottoms. The window spot was rotten on the donor roof, and the transition from roof to quarter was various on the hardtop, so I experienced to fab the total higher quarter location
As I stated, the full reduced window area of the donor car was rotted out, so new window channel/upper quarter had to be fabricated.The mismatched roof sections introduced a ton of troubles. Including sheet metal patches and TIG and hammering sooner or later mounted them.
The place around the tailgate experienced to be totally fabricated to blend the Olds quarters to the Nomad tailgate. I utilized sandbag and hammer, and my English wheel to smooth it all out.
The rusted out quarter have been preset with 56 Chevy patch panels. The only variation was some of the entrance of the wheel perfectly lip had to be reshaped. Moreover the rust, there was considerable collision injury.
Rescuing rusted out outdated vehicles, and creating them into customs, retains the guilt of slicing up pristine examples from haunting me!
The auto was an ‘88’, but my wondering was: if Olds made a Nomad sort wagon, it would have been with the best of the line trim, as Chevy did with the BelAir trim on the Nomad. SO I had to uncover and change the Olds tails to 98 tails. I also experienced a tricky time locating ‘98’ facet trim for the motor vehicle
The inside sheet steel is entirely different in a wagon, so I had to deal with that difficulty. I just resolved given that it most likely won’t been observed, I could do as I like! Though I did not need obtain panels for the quarter home windows, I did set in doors so I could get to the aspect trim fasteners. The bead roller was my excellent close friend in this article!
As common, the fenders required patching, none out there, so I manufactured my personal. Previous repair service position was accomplished with brass.
After the lots of hours of chopping, fabricating, welding, hammering, and filler perform, when she was in primer, it started hunting like it need to! Purchasing trim from Michigan, Indiana, and Sweden, this is the issue exactly where your enthusiasm gets a nice improve!! Amazing very little further I did, being aware of the principle cars and trucks generally had automatic things that the manufacturing cars and trucks did not. I created an electrically operated tail light-weight, so I could cover the gasoline filler behind it. A la 56 Chevy, but cooler!
So, now the human body is off body, and I’m working on assembling the chassis factors. As said in advance of, 1976 Impala entrance body section, with electrical power steering, and disc brakes. Tailored the Impala Law enforcement offer 12 in. drums to the inventory Olds rear. Incorporating sway bars, KYB gasoline shocks, and lowering springs. Cupro-nickel brake and gasoline traces.

That’s it for now. I do have far more in depth photos of rust repair, and these kinds of, but holding it to a minimum! I appear ahead to sending you an update when the vehicle is carried out!