Before. We've been driving our '64 El Camino with a fresh-swapped GTO LS1 from the May '07 issue without so much as an oil leak for a couple of months. We've enjoyed its 365-rwhp surprise and have handed a few Audis a right-lane pass after being ignored as a fast-lane contender. Problem is, it's uggo. We've crossed the line between flavored use and just plain worn out. The car gets ignored at Bob's Big Boy on Friday nights, avoided at car shows, and seems to be the equivalent of a car on blocks when parked in the neighborhood. Short of reckless driving, we can't get any attention in it at all, respect either. After. Like the ugly girl in beauty school, we have a plan. To improve the 100-yard opinion of the lowly Chevy, we coated the car in one color of cheap primer so we could slowly fix the body a piece at a time when we have the budget. When we're done with a panel, we can do a quick respray to get the car to match again. That way, we are neither driving a car with three different colors nor are we offending the neighbors with a junkyard-fresh pile. It won't be too nice, because we still need to use it as a tow truck and a hauler of engines and other greasy parts, but you won't want to gouge out your eyes when you see it either. Along with the paint, we added some fake vintage speed shop art to further disguise the fender rot and plan to make up a fake vintage speed shop story to go along with it. Now, instead of a rusty beater, the El Camino looks like a speed-shop-parts-runnin' beater, which we all know is much better. Remember, traditional is another name for cheap. If you have been following along, you know we scored this beater '64 El Camino for $2,000. We've owned a few of these cars, so we already know what to look for in a restorable body. This car had good metal around the rear window and the cab corners, and we pulled the floor panel out of the bed to inspect the area behind the spare tire panel. Those are the expensive fixes, but they were all good. The lower quarters, front fenders, hood, and floor were all bad. But we know there are inexpensive replacements for that stuff. If you have been following along, you know we scored this beater '64 El Camino for $2,000. The Elco was equipped with a smoky 283 and a Powerglide that glugged oil and trans soup everywhere we drove it. Since everyone is currently focused on green environmental stuff, we decided to swap in a Gen III LS1 from a GTO using hard parts from Street and Performance and a Keisler A41 overdrive for better mileage and less oil gluggage. The Elco was equipped with a smoky 283 and a Powerglide that glugged oil and trans soup ev Had we purchased a '65 or better yet, a '68 to '72 El Camino, we could buy a reproduction valance panel that fits between the grille and the front bumper. Instead, we had to use a body hammer to knock the bent support back into place. All the rest of the parts are available from the aftermarket. Had we purchased a '65 or better yet, a '68 to '72 El Camino, we could buy a reproduction The upper grille molding was riveted to the support. After drilling the rivets out, we kept all the fasteners and junked the rest. You can buy a complete grille kit for less than the cost of restoring any one of these pieces. The upper grille molding was riveted to the support. After drilling the rivets out, we kep We popped the broken emblems and trashed them because you can buy complete nameplate kits that include the Chevrolet hood letters and fasteners. We stripped all the moldings and fasteners and saved them for later. The hood spear alone is worth $100! We popped the broken emblems and trashed them because you can buy complete nameplate kits Both the front and rear bumpers were replacements that had been hit hard from the rear and the driver side of the car, so we junked them. We are planning to reskin the tailgate, so we pulled the emblems and plan to leave them off until after the job. Both the front and rear bumpers were replacements that had been hit hard from the rear and 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!