Ecklers AutoMotive
Username Post: A ’56 From Way Up North Feature        (Topic#323038)
Ecklers Automotive 
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Posts: 243
Ecklers Automotive
Reg: 11-19-14
04-02-15 09:53 AM - Post#2536172    

Owned by Paal Skaalsvik, Bodo, Norway
By Ron Wolf
Photos By Paal Skaalsvik, Erik Stigsson & Robert Lund

In this case, “up north” is north of the Arctic Circle! That’s where you’ll find Paal Skaalsvik of Bodo, Norway working on and driving his favorite ’56 Chevy 150 4-door. And Norwegian Chevy enthusiasts like Paal can enjoy their classic car hobby 24 hours a day during the summer months because the Sun doesn’t set.

Not only are Norwegians a hardy people who sometimes have to contend with arctic weather, pursuing a classic Chevy hobby can be somewhat daunting. It’s not like here in the US where we see a car and then buy it to drive home and enjoy.Paal-05Although it’s easier to acquire these fine old cars now, prior to 1960 in Norway you had to be a doctor, police chief or priest to be able to import old cars. Paal couldn’t give me a good reason why those working in these particular professions were qualified to bring old cars into the country, but that was the law at that time. In fact, even if you were in the transportation business you still had to have written approval from the government to import old cars or trucks.



Since 4-door cars were the predominant models available that were already in the country (taxi companies and other transportation businesses used 4-doors exclusively), that was the only option open to most classic Chevy aficionados for project cars. The usual course of action was to buy a 4-door, search for a scarce 2-door hardtop or sedan body (it was permissible to import body parts as individual pieces) and install the body on the existing frame and drivetrain. Once the car was assembled, you could legally register it, but only if it had all stock original parts.



Paal’s ’56 project began in 1981 when he was only 17 years old, with a 150 4-door that he bought from a taxi company. He drove the car in its original form for the next few years. Then in 1985, while visiting his godfather, who had been buying old cars since the ’70s and was very familiar with getting good bodies from the USA, Paal asked him if he would sell the 2-door Sport Coupe body he had in storage for many years. His godfather agreed. So Paal sold his ’60 and ’63 Impala Sport Coupes and became the new owner of the 2-door Sport Coupe body.

Everyday before going to work and then again after work, as well as every weekend, Paal put many hours into completing his ’56 makeover. He finished the hardtop in April, 1986 by painting it the original Matador Red and India Ivory. He licensed the car in Norway for the first time with the new body in May, 1986.

A year after the ’56 hardtop was completed, Paal sold it to a neighbor and bought a ’69 427 Corvette coupe. He thought he wanted the power and exotic look of the ‘Vette, but the day after he sold the ’56 he knew he had made a mistake. The new owner rarely drove the ’56 and only clocked about 15,000 miles on the odometer during the five years he owned the car. It was in 1991 that the new owner decided to do a frame-off restoration, which Paal didn’t feel was necessary because the car was in great condition when he sold it to the guy. However, as Paal put it, “Everyone should do a restoration at least once.” He did tell the owner that he would buy it back if at some point he should lose interest in the car.



The years went by while Paal’s old ’56 sat in the neighbor’s garage. Finally, in 2000, the neighbor called Paal to say that he had now decided to sell it. The car was just boxes of pieces; only the frame had been restored. At that time, Paal had two other Chevy projects going so the ’56 would have to languish in his garage until it was time to begin putting it back together. Between 2000 and 2004 he bought and sold four more Chevys to raise money to bring the ’56 back to life.

The “new” ’56 project began at full-speed in the summer of 2004. Paal’s goal was to finish the project by the 20th anniversary of its first restoration in 1986 and also celebrate the 50 Year Anniversary of the ’56 Chevy. After 2000 hours of hard work, his old ’56 Chevy was ready to ride again just in time to celebrate both anniversaries.

Today, Paal and his family own three 1956 Chevys: a 150 2-door, a Bel Air Sport Coupe and a ’56 Nomad. Of the Nomad Paal said, “It’s in boxes and has been in our garage since 1992. Someday I’ll have the time to build that car. Until that time, we’ll just drive and enjoy our ’56 sedans.” He also promised he would send us photos of the Nomad when it’s finished, which will be photographed in those beautiful settings found in the land of the midnight sun.



[SIZE="4"]TECHNICAL DETAILS:[/SIZE]

    Car Creation Chassis

    LS1 Corvette crate engine installed 2004

    Tremec T56 transmission with 0.5 overdrive on 6th gear

    Dana 44 rear end with 4.11

    1987 Corvette front and rear suspen-sion, rack and pinion steering and brakes

    Wheels: Front – 225 x 45 ZR-17 Dunlop Sport 9000 on 8″ x 17″.

    Rear: 285 x 40 ZR 18 Dunlop Sport 9000 on Billets Talladega 9.5″ x18″

    New items: Be Cool radiator, stainless steel tank with in-tank LS-1 pump, all wiring, Dakota dash, ididit tilt column, interior, glass, glass frames, power windows, 15-inch steering wheel, Raingear, Kenwood stereo with 6 hidden speakers………… and so on.


    All that’s left of the original parts are ten screws, the door locks and the body and seat frames.


    Paint: Green Ford Metallic and Black Jaguar Pearl (with some green)




 
Ecklers AutoMotive
cnbell 
Deceased
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
04-03-15 01:01 PM - Post#2536479    
    In response to Ecklers Automotive

Nice build....

The green looks like 56 Laurel Green, looks great with the black.

Any pics of the engine & interior ?

Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
TAT_2 
"18th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 36071

Age: 66
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
04-06-15 07:18 AM - Post#2537180    
    In response to Ecklers Automotive

BACK IN THE HOOD "PHILLY" I WOULD WATCH EM GET CRUSHED INTO QUBES WHILE SITTING ON THE SIDE OF I95.THEN THAY WERE LOADED ON TO SHIPS,IT WAS A TRIP GROWING UP THERE,I WAS ALWAYS DOWN ON THE DELAWARE RIVER MUCH TO THE DISMAY OF MOM.

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NEXT ?


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