Hot Wheels For The Street: A Rear-Engined ’57

As we saw during my main coverage of this year’s Grand National Roadster Show, the event featured a special building dedicated entirely to the Tri-Five Chevy, with vehicles that spanned more than 60 years of custom car history.

There were dozens of well known machines on display, but one that really piqued my interest was Bruce Schultz’ radical ’57 Chevy two-door station wagon.

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Despite the attention the car was drawing, this is not a new build. In fact, it first appeared at the SEMA Show back in 2005, which coincidentally was my first time attending the Las Vegas event. My memories of that first SEMA Show are hazy at this point, but I do remember encountering Bruce’s crazy wagon back then.

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Bruce has had a long relationship with the Hot Wheels brand, and this car dubbed NoNomad is a life-size version of one of its popular diecast designs. As the name suggests, the car is not an actual ’57 Nomad, but a regular two-door wagon that’s been radically customized with a raked look reminiscent of a Funny Car.

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And it’s not just by stance that NoNomad has more resemblance to a race car than a street car. The engine – a blown Caddy V8 that sounds every bit as gnarly as it looks – sits in what used to be the ’57’s cargo area.

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But my favorite detail is the way the headers kick back and exit through this pair of oval-shaped tips in the rear window.

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Despite the radical powerplant and drivetrain layout, Bruce says the Chevy is not built to be a race car or wheel-stander; it’s a street car through and through, and is surprisingly tame in traffic. Just imagine how cool it would be to see this thing rolling down the 405!

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Even though the project is over 11 years old now, Bruce hasn’t stopped tinkering. Just before the GNRS, the car’s new paint job was completed – a slick flame job featuring multiple colors over bare metal texture.

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I often wonder where old SEMA Show cars wind up, and it’s not only amazing to see NoNomad still making the rounds, but that it’s still looking every bit as cool as it did back in 2005 too.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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very cool car,
any chance you guys could do an article on all the life size vehicles hot wheels have, even if its just at the HQ. I've seen a few in passing on fast n loud. I think it could make for an awesome feature


Sounds like a good idea!


Mike I might be able to help you with that.


That paint finish looks awesome! It reminds me of the "Spectraflame" finish you typically find on either old first-gen Hot Wheels, retro-classics, or the rare Treasure Hunts; that awesome tinted clear coat over bare metal!


I think that was the idea. Very cool!

MPistol HVBullets

love this!!


That's what I'd call MeanTastic


Well, I don't know where it ended up after it sold last time north of 100k, but the SEMA Thundertaker show car hearse/limo used to be mine so I can say where it was prior to being built into the show car it is now. I bought it off ebay in Eldora Iowa and had to go get it with a truck and trailer because nobody would pick it up for shipping from that location in the middle of noplace. Great road trip at least. It was a super rough 1960 Superior bodied Cadillac landau hearse. It never had the rear most side windows, they added those when they chopped the top. What the seller hadn't told me was that it was hail damaged, and that one entire rear quarter was bondo and sheet metal. I tried to pop a big flat dent out with a suction cup and it tore a chunk of the bondo body work off. I was pretty ticked off. It looked good in the pictures, and still smelled like fresh brushed on black Rustoleum when we picked it up. Someone did a clean up job before the ebay auction. The engine had a bent push rod and smoked like mad, but it did drive, and almost stopped. I had two of them, and the other one went to new york. It was rusty but a runner and driver. Sent the guy around 100 pictures of it and told him it was rusty and heard nothing about complaints from him when he got it. I don't know how he didn't understand how rusty it was, there were pictures and emails and descriptions and everything. Some people man. Anyway the second one sold, and vanished for 4 years, and then showed up again in the centerfold of hotrod magazine. Pretty trippy to see something I've driven in a very sad state of repair end up as a six figure car at SEMA in hotrod magazine. Hope someone uses it. They did a great job on the thing.