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Thread: When Did You Buy Your Tri-five and How Much Did You Pay?

  1. #1
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    When Did You Buy Your Tri-five and How Much Did You Pay?

    Have seen this on another website I am on for Chevy/GMC trucks and it had some interesting replies and stories. Play along if you care to, I'll start it off.

    I bought my '57 2 door sedan 210 in 1975 for the sum of $500. Found it in our local "Penny Power" magazine advertised as "57 Chevy, 2 Dr. V8, 4 spd, $500" It was in a small town north of me about 20 miles, called the number and made arrangements to see it the next day after work on the way home since I was driving about 35 miles north of me for work. Fellow was selling it to raise $$ to buy (of all things, LOL!) an import of some sort. Ran, front bench and rear seat intact, currentlly street legal and titled, in primer, all trim removed and in the back seat or trunk. Had $200 with me for earnest money, made the deal and picked it up that weekend, driving it home. Raced it for a couple years, speed costs money boy, how fast you want to go. Married, two kids, house payment, job requirements, etc. Couldn't afford to go very fast, parked it in the garage and intended to ''get back to it" again and again. Converted to front disc brakes in late 70s courtesy of the old Classic Chevy International Club. Was a member from late 70s thru 2018 and the Eckler's crowd. Dropped the membership as the magazine was mostly just a 65-70 page sale catalog for any GM product on the street by that time. Working a LOT of overtime during my work years I threatened to sell the '57 many times, each time my wife told me it was my car but I would kick myself if I did. I still kick myself for selling a 65 Impala SS, 300hp/327 with factory 4 speed and tach. Realized she was right and it stayed in the garage for a LOT of years. Three boys, two thru college and one thru a trade school. Retired in 2010 after 36 years with the Boeing Co. as a crane operator and decided "it was time". Wife was totally on board with spending the kid's inheritance and enjoys going to car/truck shows with our restored '71 Chevy 4x4 and '71 Chevelle. We were married in '71 and just recently celebrated our 50 years together. '57 now sports a '64 Chevelle 283 block, bored and cammed, Appliance headers, old school Thrush mufflers to the rear bumper, stock '57 dual-fours aluminum intake, Carter WCFB carbs, Muncie M-21 with Mr. Gasket bench seat shifter, 3:55 posi, Mr. Gasket traction bars for the old school look, full paint and interior. Lots of time, money and beer but we love it. A bit of a long read I know but brings it up to date after owning our 57 for 46 years.

  2. #2
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    I forgot about the Penny Power weekly we had it here too. I bought my 56 from a newspaper ad in 1974. I was put on back burner may times untill I finally finished it 30 years later. If I recall I paid about $200 and it had a Muncie 4 speed and 327.
    Last edited by markm; 06-17-2021 at 09:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered Member Troy's Avatar
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    My dad bought me my '55 2dht in 1972 for $100, I was only 10 years old so I had to wait a few years to get it but I couldn't wait!!!

  4. #4
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    My first Nomad (a '55 turq/ivory) I purchased in Aug of 1974 in Huntsville, AL the same week I graduated from engineering school; my wife and I were still living in a mobile home at that point (without a garage), but we immediately began looking for a house with a garage which we found a few months later. I think I negotiated the seller down from $750 to $450 by agreeing to let him keep the heads which he'd apparently spent a few $$ on; he was selling because he'd just paid for a paint job which began 'peeling/curling' off a few months later (apparently due to use of paint stripper but insufficiently removing and neutralizing the stripper before painting). The '55 was assembled in Tarrytown, NY and I've no idea how it came to be in Alabama! This Nomad has been 'stored' in my garage for over 45 yrs while I spent years collecting new and NOS parts to someday finish it... it still 'awaits' that task!

    My second Nomad is a '57 6-cyl with 3-spd OD which I purchased in Pascagoula, MS in 1988. It is an Atlanta built car. I paid $2500 but it came with a LOT of NOS parts. Since purchase I spent several years disassembling, stripping/blasting the body and chassis, replacing/repairing sheet metal after building a roll-over frame for doing the metal repair. It stayed on the rollover frame as I got diverted (for over 20 yrs working on other cars and Corvettes, etc). In 2014, I jumped back on it and completed restoration of the frame and chassis components, and had someone to work on the body which got put in a couple of stages of primer/sanded and the floor bottom painted/sealed, but I gave up on that fella ever painting the body so I brought it home and went looking for a '56 'driver nomad' to buy!

    My third Nomad I bought in 2014 as a driveable car (although it needed quite a lot). I Paid 15X more for the '56 than I paid for the '57 32 yrs earlier (the '56 Nomad remains the most expensive auto I've ever purchased, including the 10 or so new cars I've bought over the years!). This Nomad was assembled in Oakland, CA plant and spent most of it's life in Calif before getting sold to a NJ man a year or so before I purchased from him (via an intermediary). Since purchase I've rebuilt the front suspension, redid the brakes, replaced the rear with an 8.5" 10-bolt from a Nova, replaced the rear springs, and redid the interior (rebuilt the seats, new seat covers, daytona carpet), redid the cargo space (linoleum and stainless), straightened/rechromed the liftgate, replaced the seals/etc. .. along with a few other improvements like redoing the VA system so it actually WORKS now..

    My last Nomad I bought in 2017 as a '57 Project, although it had received the necessary body work and was painted... I basically paid for an expensive paint job (and got the Nomad for free)... it was originally a sierra gold/adobe beige car, but was painted RED when I found it. I found/bought it from a Dentist (who had apparently figured out how much it was going to cost him to finish it!) in Nashville, TN although it was an LA assembled car, and had spent time in Calif and Texas prior to coming to TN. and I don't want to tell you how much I've spent so far for parts used on this car...! i generally do all my work myself in my garage 'with a little help from my friends' when necessary and possible!

    I'm 'car poor' car-nut, since I have these along with a couple of trifive sedans, 5 Corvettes, a '69 Z28-RS, and a '72 EC along with a pair of newer 'drivers' for my wife and I.
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 06-17-2021 at 09:40 AM.

  5. #5
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    BamaNomad, now that's a STORY, ! Love that, 4 Nomads,? I am officially jealous, LOL.

  6. #6
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    First one- 1975. A 1957 bel air 4 door wagon. Non running hand-me-down thru the family. My dad said "get a job and make some money and I'll help you get it back on the road". I was 15 and getting off my bmx bike and having a car was creeping up on my radar very quickly. We rebuilt the 283 and got it road worthy. Drivers license at 16, then spent my high school years with it, painted it 2 tone (black with silver roof), added Cragars, air shocks in back (raked up stance), yada yada yada. Lost my virginity in that car too. She was definitely the kind of girl Bob Segar sang about in "night moves"

    Then I sold it at 19 in favor of a Chevy Luv 4 banger truck, because gasoline prices rose so much that driving it made it a bad economic decision.

    Fast forward to about 2000 and I got the bug again, but this time I'm married with 3 "pre-teen" kids. Found a 1957 9 passenger 210 wagon in Texas, and had it shipped out to CA and then spent the next 7 years fixing it all up, customizing here and there, etc. Had a ball in that wagon, going to car shows all over So Cal with my wife and kids. Sold it about 5 years ago as the last kid was off to college.

    But a couple of years PRIOR to selling that 9 passenger, a 1957 Nomad came up for sale locally and I just had to have it. It was a project in the middle of build mode that the seller was losing interest in. After I bought it and put it in my garage, it sat for another 7 years while we put the 3 kids thru college and I came up with a better plan for the custom restomod I had envisioned in my head. I've made a bit of headway with it in the last few years, as all our kids are "off our payroll" so-to-speak and doing well on their own. So Ive been able to put money into it lately and still have a long way to go (needs paint, bodywork, upholstery, etc). But it's drivable, and I'm starting to go farther and farther out from my town as it's quickly becoming dependable and roadworthy.

    I have dreams of taking it on AutoCrossing events, (parking lots set up for quickest time thru the cones" as it has the C4 suspension grafted into the frame, and an LS1 motor and 6 speed trans, and it just drives like a slot car.

    I'm no where near being done, and this year...I've been preoccupied with a near complete house teardown and a practically new house built in its place...but once THAT's off my plate, I'll get back to finishing this Nomad and starting to do weekend destination cruises with my wife and friends. Got a big one "West Coast Tri Five Invasion" coming up in October at Famoso Dragstrip in Bakersfield. (about 90 minutes drive from me). This is Danchuck's new west coast get together that was postponed 2x due to Covid lockdowns. Finally gonna happen.

    Ya only live once. Make your plans, work your arse off, make friends and have FUN in the journey!
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  7. #7
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Paul,

    It looks like you're about a day's drive (7-8 hrs) of Reno Nevada, where in July the Nomad convention will be held! You should make plans to take YOUR Nomad to meet his brothers and sisters..

  8. #8
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    I began my hands on interest in building cars at 14 going on 15. Had my first car running just priour to my 16th birthday. Which was the Friday Pres. Kennedy was shot. So needless to say, I did not take my driving exam for a couple of weeks. 1953 Henry J with a 1953 DeSoto hemi engine and '54 Dodge 3-speed transmission.

    Summer of '65, at the insistence of my parents who were hoping I might live long enough to give them grandkids one day...... I pulled the DeSoto hemi and Dodge transmission and spent the summer swapping them into 'something heavy enough to hold the road' as my parents put it. In this case, a '55 Ford 2dr sedan.

    I continued my interest in souped up Fords through the '60s. Bought my first '55 Chevy business coupe in 1970. Through the mid '70s, I had one running and another under construction at all times. Built (4) '55 business coupes over time, including one that began life as a 210 2dr sedan which I converted.

    After returning to military service in the mid '70s, I built (1) other Chevy. My '65 GTO ragtop with a near new '74 400 engine was totalled, so I built up the 400 Poncho engine and rebuilt Muncie 4-speed and swapped them into a '56 Chevy 2dr sedan I bought from a short timer stationed aboard the tender who was mustering out. Backed it up with a '69 Camaro 12-bolt rearend. It was a marriage of convenience swapping the big Poncho mill into the '56 Chevy, but it turned out to be the best driving of all the '55s and the (1) '56 Chevy I had built up to that time.

    Fast forward to 1998. I was driving a little '62 Dodge Lancer. Bone stock slant 6, pushbutton automatic. Loved that car. But eventually, the original slant 6 gave up the ghost and I scrounged up the parts to drop in a 360 V8 & 4-speed AOD tranny from a new '98 Dodge truck, '79 Lincoln Versailles 9" disc brake rearend and front disc brakes from the full sized MOPAR B-body cars.

    Then the ruptured disc and back operation. After which I found that my range of motion was limited and I could no longer get in and out of a small, low car such as my Dodge Lancer. So I reluctantly sold the Dodoge to a fellow who wanted it because his father had raced one like it in a road race held in Argentina in those days.

    Sold the parts except for the new Dodge truck engine and transmission, so decided to look for an early Dodge Dakota truck (for daily driver). The idea being to drive the truck until the engine gave out and then drop in the new engine and transmission.

    So one Saturday morning, armed with several ads for 1st gen (late 1980s) Dakota pickups...... Off I went.

    As it happened, all the Dakota trucks on my list had been sold before I arrived and by then it was near noon and I was down in Angleton, Texas...... Over an hour's drive from our home up near Spring. So I decided to head for home, but managed to take a wrong turn...... Or perhaps it was a right turn..... And at the end of a dead end road behind which was an older home and beyond it, plowed fields as far as you could see...... Was a '57 Chevy 210 4dr sedan. White over turquoise. On the dash, so it was visible from the road, was a 'For Sale' sign.

    So I stopped to have a look. It had been many years since I had seen an original, unmolested '55 -'57 Chevy and I just wanted to see the car. Truth be known, '55 business coupes were my thing. I never really had an interest in '57s. Too heavy, too much chrome. Fins. But this one caught my eye. I knocked at the front door and the owner came out and showed me the car. It was all original. Only thing missing was the original jack handle. Hub caps looked as if the farmer who had owned it originally had beat them on with a wooden mallet but otherwise, it was a solid, original, good looking car really. 235 inline 6, 3 on the tree, original tube type radio and single dash mounted speaker worked. Original rubber floor and trunk mats and seat covers. A little over 90,000 original miles on the odometer.

    This was in 1998. The car was wearing 1976 Saskatchewan plates and had last run 22 years before. The present owner had towed it from Canada to Texas, arriving the night before. Although I had no priour plans to buy such a car, there was just something about this one and I had to save it. It was just too cherry and original to allow it to be butchered or abused.

    So we worked out a deal. I would pay his asking price if he would allow me to work on it in his driveway at my expense...... And I could get the engine to run. After 4 hours (tune up, change oil and filter, flush cooling system, fill with water and anti-freeze, install new hoses and fan belt, install new battery, after squirting Marvel Mystery Oil into each spark plug hole and spinning engine over until fresh oil pumped up to rockers and fresh gasoline up to carb...... Reinstall plugs and plug wires...... Then started engine. Ran fine. No leaks. Started and stopped it a couple of times. Then eased out of the drive and took it down the road a ways and back. No issues except that whenever you stepped on the brakes, it would pull. And never the same way.

    So we made a deal and signed papers. Money exchanged hands. Had no money left to have it towed, so called a couple buddies. 1 to follow in his car whilst the other drove mine as I drove the '57 home. That was an adventure. 2nd redlight on the old highway...... Light turned red. I stepped on brake pedal and it went to the floor. Pulled hand brake and 1 rear wheel locked up. So slid through intersection at about 65 MPH partially sideways between a couple of large trucks and eventually came to a stop. Seems the right front hydraulic brake hose had blown. So drove the rest of the way gearing down and using the hand brake if I had to stop. Once on the Beltway, cranked the 235 up to 75 MPH and held it there the rest of the way until I had to exit and make my way home through the remaining 12 blocks. Engine ran flawlessly.

    Walked in and told wife I had found a car. She came out into the drive expecting to see a Dakota pickup and walked around the '57. Finally said, 'It has fins! What is it?' I had forgotten that my wife is 12 years younger and she was only 2 years old when these cars were new. So I explained that it was a '57 Chevy. Her reply was, 'Well, you can't leave it out here!' And she backed her new car out of the garage and donated that space to the Chevy. Its been sitting there ever since, as I was either working long hours or between jobs looking for work and couldn't spend time and money on it then. Perhaps one day, I will get the old girl roadworthy but for now, she is still 'resting up' in our little car and a half suburban garage.

    Best regards,

    Harry
    Last edited by enigma57; 06-17-2021 at 11:39 PM.
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

    Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez......

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3nncd4sxaM&t=466s

  9. #9
    Registered Member 55mike's Avatar
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    $1000 1990.
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    Keep it up guys, love the stories and the pics.

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