G3 Rods-Built Custom ’56 Nomad Shines Bright On The Hot Rod Scene

When you’ve been in the automotive industry for some time, every once in a while, you’ll come across a vehicle that you know you’ll never forget. Whether it’s because of the builder, the expert craftsmanship, or the story behind it, there’s just something intrinsically special about certain vehicles. John and Sheila Emacio’s 1956 two-door Nomad, built by G3 Rods, is one such ride.

Over the last half decade, Tri-Fives have become increasingly popular in the hot rod community. While they have always been part of the scene, it wasn’t until recently that every third vehicle at your local car show is a ’55, ’56 or ’57 Chevy. Because of that, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to build a Tri-Five that stands out from the next. But, that’s exactly what the talented folks at G3 Rods have done with this unique Nomad!

Not just another Tri-Five, this beautiful ’56 Nomad is one of the hottest wagons in the industry!

Making the Nomad immediately stand out from the rest are tons of custom aesthetics. Modifications like the custom-formed front sheet metal and wheel openings, to a custom G3 Rods-exclusive grille and grille shell, all of which compliment the perfected body lines of the Chevy. Other finite details like a modified front bumper, chopped and tucked rear bumper, custom drip rails, and shaved door handles give the wagon a sleek finish that draws you in even further.

Digging deeper, you’ll find hidden tailgate hinges, mini tubs that meld perfectly into the the rear belly pan, and a custom engine compartment. All aspects that take the build to another level. Even the side trim on the Chevy is one-off, having been custom machined by Atomic Machine and Design and chromed by Ogden Chrome (who also chromed the bumpers and all of the moldings). Flanking the build are headlights from JW Speaker, and LED taillights from Dakota Digital.

Even the emblems on the Nomad are custom, thanks to Atomic Machine & Design – not that we’d expect anything less from a G3 Rods build!

All of these custom details are highlighted with a gorgeous coat of BASF Glasurit Frost White paint laid by G3’s Tyler Nelson and topped off with custom emblems from Atomic Machine.

Everywhere you look, you'll find more and more unique components on the Nomad. Check out the custom G3 Rods-built dash, Deep Blood Red leather-wrapped Corbeau seats, and black leather floors!

Inside, the Nomad shines just as bright, boasting a fully custom interior from Salt Lake-based J.S. Custom Interiors. Features of the interior include a custom dash built by G3 Rods, inset with Dakota Digital gauges; a Billet Specialties steering wheel is attached to an ididit steering column, and custom Corbeau seats are wrapped in Deep Blood Red leather with custom emblems and stitching. The interior was designed by Eric Brockmeyer and produced by J.S. Custom Interiors.

A custom center console and door panels (which feature hidden LEDs) is also covered in Deep Blood Red leather. The black leather floors accentuate the Kugel Komponents pedal assembly, Vintage Air heat/air conditioning, and a complete Kicker sound system with a touch-screen Pioneer head unit. To say that the interior is plush and elegant at the same time would be an understatement.

While the aesthetics of the Nomad, both inside and out, will draw you in, it’s the wagon’s impressive performance components that will ultimately keep you coming back for more.

As if good looks and custom components weren’t enough, the ’56 Nomad features a 515ci aluminum engine good for over 600hp and 600lb-ft of torque! Talk about the ultimate ride!

Powering the Nomad is an all-aluminum Chevy 409 block that has been bored and stroked to 515ci. Features of the engine include a COMP Cams custom-grind camshaft, Edelbrock heads and water pump, a Performance Rod and Custom aluminum radiator, custom Hogan Cross Ram intake, an Inglese 8-stack, Sinister Products pulley system, and an MSD ignition.

The exhaust consists of a custom stainless-steel headers that dump into a 3-inch stainless exhaust system with Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers, both built from scratch by G3 Rods and polished by Ogden Chrome. Dressing up the engine is custom machine work done by Atomic Machine. This stout engine produces 609hp at 5,500rpm and 648lb-ft of torque at 5,600rpm.

Every angle offers another unique vantage of this one-of-a-kind wagon!

Don’t recognize the grille shell or insert? That’s because it’s fully custom, hand-formed by the guys at G3 Rods!

Underneath the Chevy, you’ll find an Art Morrison C-6 chassis and complete suspension system. Backing the powerplant and pushing as much of that 609hp to the rearend as possible is a 4L65e automatic transmission from Gearstar.

Out back, a robust Eaton Detroit TrueTrac rearend with 3.70 gears spins 18×8-inch front and 20×12-inch Billet Specialties Grinder Extreme wheels wrapped in 225/40/18 and 335/30/20 Pirelli P Zero tires respectably. Behind the wheels, which are backspaced 4 inches in the front and 5 ½ inches in the rear, are Wilwood discs with 6-piston calipers and 13-inch rotors to provide a hearty source of braking power.

What’s that saying? Hate to see you go but love watching you go away?! With a back end like that, we just couldn’t help it!

We’ve seen this impressive build at various shows around the country since it’s debut, including the Goodguys Colorado Nationals and the 2017 SEMA Show, and every time we see it, we fall even more in love with it. Truly one of G3 Rods’ best builds yet, this Tri-Five is going to be hard to beat even by other leading builders in the industry!

If you ever get a chance to take a look at this car in person, we highly recommend doing so. But for now, enjoy the photos we captured of the car at the Speedway Motors Goodguys Heartland Nationals back in July in the Rod Authority GALLERY below!

At the Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals, the Nomad won one of the most prestigious awards up for grabs – the Lakeside Rods and Rides Builder’s Choice Award. Notable, but this certainly won’t be the last major award this gorgeous build brings home!

Photo gallery


About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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