Car info: Growing up my dad had 2 El Caminos that I liked. I believe the first one was a ‘78 V-6 forest green. The second car was an ‘80 V-8 pearl white. Since then, I have been fascinated with El Caminos and have always wanted to own one.
I bought my El Camino in Dubuque, IA, in August 2003 from a tow truck company that used the car as a parts runner. Slowly over the course of 9 1/2 years, my dad and I worked on restoring the El Camino. In the beginning of the restoration, I was able to work extensively with my dad, and was able to tear it apart with him and discover the extent of the damage.
The frame from the rear wheels to the rear bumper was completely rusted and useless, as well as the quarter panels. After college, due to jobs, I moved to Omaha, and due to work, family, and travel time involved, I was able to work on it less than I would have liked. I still tried, however, to get into the restoration tasks when I went home to my parents’ house.
In the early years of the rebuild, parts were extremely scarce, and fabrication of certain parts was required. After hunting through many swap meets, junk yards and a friend who was parting out his ’78 Malibu, we were able to acquire all of the parts that helped finish up the project. Originally, the El Camino was a maroon two tone color, but I chose the bright red similar to a fire truck although it was difficult to find the exact color. The complete two tone molding kit was also quiet expensive and usually on back order for 6 months or more at a time, so the decision was made to paint the car a single color.
After the restoration was complete, we took the El Camino back to the original place of purchase, and the son of the previous owner (previous owner had since passed away), was in disbelief. He claimed that we must have gotten a different car and taken the one they sold us to a junk yard, because the transformation of the car was so immense. In July of 2013, the car finally made it to Omaha and I have been enjoying it since.
Model: El Camino
Type: Coupe Utility
Engine: 305 C.I.D.
Rear End: 10 bolt
Paint: Red Viper with Metallic Silver Stripes