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1965 Chevy El Camino - The Blower Car

We Should All Have A Parts Chaser That Winds Up Looking Like This.

Photography by

Valvetrain: Mike LeFever picked the flat-tappet hydraulic Crane cam with 282/288 advertised duration and 0.625-inch lift on a 112-degree LSA with Crane roller rockers.

Exhaust: Hooker headers with fat 211/48-inch tubes feed a 211/42-inch custom exhaust system utilizing Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers and exiting in the stock location behind the rear wheels. The tone is hairy without being absolutely obnoxious.

Power: 768 hp, 830 lb-ft at the flywheel

Transmission: A Muncie M20 wide-ratio 'box that has been with the El Cam since the '80s backs up the blown big-block and acts as a governor of sorts since Ron knows it will grenade if he gets nuts. The clutch-pedal set and factory four-speed console were taken from a junk '65 20 years ago.

Rearend: The Currie-built 9-inch rear was scored from a friend of a friend who'd ordered it and then bailed on his Chevelle project. It runs Currie's Torque Sensing Differential (TSD) and 3.50:1 gears with 31-spline axles. Part of the score included a set of Corvette-style rear disc brakes.

Suspension: To get the down-and-dirty look Ron wanted, he opted to use an Air Ride Technologies air-spring system in place of conventional coils. Global West tubular control arms replace stamped stockers up front, while Edelbrock rear control arms mount the axle. Shocks are from Deutsch Tech to suit the airbags.

Brakes: A set of single-piston discs from a later Chevelle are used up front. The aforementioned Corvette-style aluminum PBR rear discs mount the rear axle.

Body: The '65 still wears most of its original sheetmetal, though it's been hammered and sanded straight by Ricky Tomin at Ricky's Auto Body in Gardena. Ricky also created the raised box section in the bed floor that clears the differential, allowing the Camino to lay its frame on the ground when the bags are dumped. Paco Lopez of A Universal Auto Body, also in Gardena, laid down the PPG Candy Blue, and it looks as glassy in person as it does in the photos.

Interior: Stock '65 Chevy bucket seats that Ron scored way back in the '80s were re-covered years ago and still look fresh. The four-speed console is another '80s find-Ron's had it for so long he's rechromed the top plate twice. The instrument panel is from Convan's Classic, filled with Auto Meter gauges. Even Ron hadn't located an original tilt column in his years of parts hoarding, so an ididit unit takes over and mounts a Billet Specialties wheel.

Wheels/Tires: Dubs, baby. Classically styled American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels in 20x8 and 20x10 wrapped with Nitto 225/35-20 and 275/35-20 tires to "make it look low even when it's aired up."

Thanks To: Wife Kim, Paul Alabab, and Wayne Watanabe

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Car Craft