The story behind this build is relatable to probably every hot rodder out there. The seed for this ride was planted many moons ago when a young Art Boze fell in love with his neighbor's Nomad. Young Art would watch longingly as his neighbor came and went and ran all over town in that dream wagon. Longing became obsession, an obsession that stuck with him for life. Fast forward 60 some years and several hot rod builds later and Mr. Boze finally saw his dreams become reality with his latest addition to his stable, "Gone Mad 55".
Mr. Boze trusted his dream to the very capable crew at Classic Car Studio out of St. Louis, MO. The bones for this dream machine were found in Arizona, another hot rodders "someday project that never was". Immediately upon the arrival to St Louis, the well worn Nomad was stripped down to bare metal and the gang started working their magic. A year and half later Classic Car Studio delivered beyond expectations and Art had the keys in hand for his childhood obsession. A ride so crazy it just might make a guy "go mad".
The first thing that hits you when you see "Gone Mad 55" is the cutting edge paint job. The final incarnation is a far cry from Art's original idea for a red on red scheme. The BASF Glasurit Rescue Green and accent Mercedes Benz Gold Metallic draw immediate attention. This radical color scheme gives "Gone Mad 55" an aggressive look and feel, this is a ride with attitude. This baby be MAD! To match the unique and one of a kind exterior, unsurpassed attention to detail was paid to the interior. A killer look is putting it mildly. According to shop owner and builder Noah Alexander, when developing the mood for the interior of this rolling wonder they wanted a "vintage chilled out cigar lounge vibe". Heavy on rich, masculine materials. The result, nada stock and "C" for Custom, for darn near everything on the inside. The custom door panels and console are covered with the same Relicate leather that was used on the custom Scat racing seats. The interior trim pieces, dash, and headliner are all custom and hand painted to mimic burled wood. Custom sheet metal fabrication is throughout the interior, undercarriage and engine compartment. Nestled in the immaculate engine compartment of "Gone Mad 55", is an all aluminum 509 big block from Shafiroff Racing Engines that pumps out 650hp. Take a close look, no hoses or wires visible. How's that for the super clean almost sterile "little lab", the perfect environment to allow those horses to run wide open. A couple more specs on this ride: there are custom stainless headers made by Classic Car Studio, a 4L80E Bowler Performance transmission with a Bowler Compushift computer. She rolls with Billet SLG wheels on Pirelli P Zero tires. Wildwood components, give this draggin' wagon the all stopping performance she could need. Last but not least the foundation for all this innovation rests on a Roadster Shop chassis. According to Noah, the Nomad was "built to be practical". No bags here, that's her static position. Keeping true to the original exterior Nomad lines, "mini tubs" were worked in to accommodate some fatter shoes, giving the ride "a big fat stance in the rear". All total this is one over the top, mind blowing, right on ride.
Somewhere in the range of 2000 hours was spent building this ride with a staggering 800 hours on the interior. Look what you can do in 18 months, you can create one of the coolest conveyances going. Classic Car Studios and Art Boze have gone "Mad" and we have followed suit. Now see for yourself, theres no escaping going mad for "Gone Mad 55".
Now here's the latest installment of your favorite show Builders Showroom TV. This episode we are going mad for "Gone Mad 55".
I have two words for whats coming up next. "Blow Dart". Use your imagination.
I have to apologize for a seemingly bum link from the last Builders Showrooms "Pick of the Week". When we originally posted, the link went directly to the pages that contained the pictures of the DSE Willys. However Detroit Speed posts frequently and in great numbers. Yea for Detroit Speed but very bad for the "Pick of the Week". Lesson, come back and come back often. These Builders Showrooms galleries change daily! Sorry for any confusion!
Not sure if you are aware of this but Detroit Speed absolutely smashes it out of the park with their YouTube posts. In addition to the hundreds of new FaceBook and Instagram posts our prolific builders constantly add, they are updating their YouTube pages with amazing videos of their builds as well. Detroit Speed is one of the stand outs in the YouTube sphere. Their videos are as cherry as the rides they feature. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with DSE and their YouTube videos. They are outstanding! Here are a couple videos of their beautiful Willys.
What you are looking at is the manifestation of what the inner 10 year old Scott told his adult self to build. Take note; listen to your inner child. When you do you get a no limits build and if you're lucky something in the league of "Old Smokey"! Believe it or not this marvel came out of a 2 man shop. The dynamic duo that is Chuckles Garage believes in high quality low volume. Again, take a look at that truck and you'll see their definition of high quality is more like shooting for the stratosphere. This down to earth builder arrived at SEMA to "show" his truck and talents, not to compete. Scott doesn't believe anyone really wins in that "compete" scenario. Let's just say Scott "shows" well, very well.
The evolution of this build is fantastic. "Old Smokey" believe it or not was a Craig's List find. Yep, the seller was asking a whopping $300 for the F1 but Scott was able to talk him down to $225. Way to go buddy! At first Scott saw the Ford as a flip project. But the "monkey face" Ford started to grow on him. He then thought shop truck and there you go, Scott had new project on his hands. What does a good shop truck need? A solid reliable Cummins to get the truck around town. But hey 164hp was kinda lame so, a bigger turbo was needed. With that "old" Cummins upgraded to 500hp a new front end and bigger brakes had to follow. Which of course meant the truck needed a suspension upgrade. But if that old monkey face was cruising with 500hp wouldn't 800hp be better. A bigger turbo would do the trick. "Old Smokey" was really starting to cook, putting out 800hp. But that much horsepower necessitated bigger brakes and a tube frame really augmented the truck. Shortly there after, the word was getting out about this wild ride and hip hip hooray, the parts started coming in. I have to add here, nearly the first words out of Scott's mouth were how grateful he was to his sponsors and how much he wanted to express his thanks to them. He had 20 at the time of our talk and definitely wanted to sing their praises. All ya'all out there, a huge thank you from Scott and Chuckles Garage. If someone important wasn't mentioned point the finger at yours truly, ok.
Just to give you a bit of perspective there are over 3,000 hours of labor in this ride. To put a price tag on a build of this caliber the figures would be staggering so donor parts heck ya. Ok then, back to the evolution. What do you do with a "shop truck" that puts out 800hp and has no usable bed because it's filled with nitrous bottles? You start drifting with it and take it to the track of course. Currently, what Scott has on his hands is the third and possibly the last incarnation of "Old Smokey". ALC Racing Engines engineered the twin turbo, 1200+hp Cummins sourced from a Freightliner. The truck rides on a tube frame back half, NASCAR inspired chassis, with Wildwood brakes and a full custom race interior. Toyo tires, Auto Meter gauges, a 4 speed sequentially shifted transmission built by Total Performance Diesel, a Winters quick change rear axel start to round out the build. And all of this high tech wonder and more is housed in a well seasoned 1949 Ford F1 1/2 ton pick up.
"Old Smokey" debuted at SEMA and almost instantly went viral. This old "monkey face" is a true social media darling. The truck's popularity is almost as mind blowing as the truck itself. Heavily featured is putting it lightly. Print, online, television you name it, "Old Smokey" has been there. Oh and a fun fact, it's street legal. Do you know what a feat that is in a state that has such strict laws as California. Scott's a self proclaimed CDOT ninja. If he can work his way around that bureaucracy can you imagine what he can do around a track.
Incredibly successful debut at SEMA, check. Overnight social media sensation, check. Publication in multiple print and television spots, check. What's next? Why the land speed record for the mile in a diesel truck of course. If you are going to do it, do it and crush it with an exclamation point on it. The current record is 178 mph. Scott and "Old Smokey" are gunning for 200 mph. The power to weight ratio is in the bag with the engine set back 100% behind the front axle, and in my humble opinion I'd have to say shooting for an extra 28 mph is an exclamation point and then some. He has several upcoming events to realize his goal. And heck yah, I'm on team Chuckles. Scott has, and this is a direct quote "a serious problem with knowing when to stop". Scott please don't ever get over that problem. I for one am a huge fan of your no limits approach to a build. More please.
Now let your peepers roam and check out this purpose built, race everything, twin turbo, 1200+hp Cummins powered, super truck!
Now for our third installment of Builders Showroom TV starring the no limits build "Old Smokey".
If you were wondering and I know I was, just where Scott came up with that fantastic name for his shop, it's a really cool story. He named it for his Dad, a proud police officer who would spend his spare time in the garage with his son. Scotts Dad Chuck, "Chuckles" taught his son through example the pleasure and pride you get from working with your hands. From a very young age he would watch his Dad work on his car and lucky for us Scott was a quick study. Fast forward a few decades and faced with naming his business Scott didn't hesitate to name it as a tribute to the inspiration behind his passion, his Dad. A fantastic name for a equally fantastic shop. Thanks Scott! We'll be pulling for you and "Old Smokey". You've got it in the bag!
More SEMA Super Stars on the horizon. Does a Nomad custom wet your whistle - it should!