John Gutt was perusing car sales on Ebay when he came across a listing for a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad. His teenage daughter Sallie liked the color -- Regal Turquoise/ India Ivory – and he had always liked Nomads, preferring the 1955 to the ’56 or ’57 version. He tapped the keyboard to place a low bid, thinking nothing would come of it.
A few days later he owned the car.
Professionally Gutt is a corporate pilot with Supaire Inc. in Wheeling. He describes himself as “one of those car guys” who restores cars as a hobby and has had his share of old classics. Currently the ’55 Nomad is the only classic car he owns, and on June 22 it won Best in Show at the Lake Bluff History Museum Auto Show – an event that attracted nearly 150 classic vehicles to downtown Lake Bluff for a spectacular day of cars and community – and, thankfully, sunshine after weeks of rain and fog.
The Nomad was in decent shape when Gutt received it. “It was a fun drive,” he remembers, but it had some issues. “Things leaked and made noise, and once in a while it would just stop running.” He decided to undertake a resto-mod--- meaning he restored the car while also making improvements such as better brakes, a more reliable engine, and better-fitting body panels.
“We ended up with a late-model car with the classic looks of an older car,” Gutt says.
On June 22, it didn’t take the LBHM Auto Show judges long to choose the Chevy Nomad for Best in Show 2019. “The paint on the car was outstanding and the color was the original Chevy color combination,’ says Ray Kracik, LBHM Auto Show co-founder and organizer. “The power train was updated with a 350-horse power engine and many of the components were chrome. The interior colors were also original Chevy white and blue. The car was meticulous in every aspect.”
Gutt says he was thrilled to win Best in Show – but also surprised … and motivated. Surprised because there were so many great cars at the show that day. And motivated because one of them caught his eye—a 1956 Chevy 3100 pickup.
His daughter Sallie liked it too.
“She says we need to do a 1955 Chevy Pickup next,” says her dad.