Every car guy has their dream car, for Dan Caggiani of Boynton Beach, Florida, his dream is becoming a reality, as he nears completion this custom 1955 Chevy Nomad that he calls Project Bruiser. All the work is being done by the crew at HotRod Dynamics, and even though it isn’t complete just yet, it’s clear that when it’s done, there is no doubt it’ll be a head turner at any show.
HotRod Dynamics is a shop that specializes in the art of the restomod. As owner, Joe Lutz, describes, a restomod is all about, “Taking classic cars and applying modern technology such as fuel-injected engines, modern suspensions, brakes, and creature comforts, to bring the best of both worlds, both classic and modern.” HotRod Dynamics builds award winning cars, and will take on anything from 1920’s hot rods to modern street muscle. With staff from all backgrounds of technical trades, they can handle any job. That being said, this car is the kind of thing they do on a daily basis.
This ’55 Chevy is powered by a 6.2-liter L99 fuel injected engine, backed by a 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission. The body is mounted on an Art Morrison chassis that features an independent rear suspension. While Joe enjoys building high horsepower exotic rides, Dan just wanted a reliable cruiser that looks like a million bucks, and that is what he is getting. While the drivetrain isn’t anything to scoff at, it isn’t built exclusively for the track either. The modern touches on this car entail a keyless entry system, push button start, a hidden gas filler behind an automated fold-out taillight, Dakota Digital VHX gauges, and Vintage Air climate control.
One of the things we talked to Joe about was the issue of overcoming creative differences between the builder and the owner. “Creative differences can pose quite a challenge,” Joe tells us. “Often times, a customer will give us a general direction and leave the details up to us. As it turned out, Dan had some very specific ideas for this car. As the owner, Dan ultimately has final say, and is getting exactly what he wanted.” Joe did tell us a little more about how he works around these issues if they occur, “We try to keep an open dialogue to discuss the various options such as paint, wheels, engines, etc. By sharing ideas and showing each other examples, we can generally come to a consensus on the various design decisions.”
As with any build, it is sometimes hard to look at before and after pictures and see the same car, Project Bruiser is no exception. It was really rough when the work started, but the guys at HotRod Dynamics were able to straighten or replace anything that was damaged with no trouble. Their paint and body expert, David Day, put a lot of time and effort into getting the body gaps and the paint just right.
Although the car is still several weeks from completion, it is already looking great. It just needs some fine tuning in regards to the EFI system, some final body assembly, and then it’s off to the upholstery shop for completion. The guys at HotRod Dynamics have done an impressive job giving this old Nomad new life. What do you think of Project Bruiser and the design choices? What would you do if the final say was yours on a project like this?
While you are at it, check out this thread on the Tri-Five forum for even more information about this specific build.
Since we have started the Homebuilt Heros segment, we have received a few candidates, but we need more. Send us a few pictures of your car with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected]