You may have noticed that we don’t update our website very often. It doesn’t mean we’re not working on any new projects. It’s more a case of working on too many new projects. We’re a small shop and don’t have the luxury of a dedicated web person. At our shop the same people who build the cars are the ones who work on the web site. We recognize the importance of the web but with limited time, the car restoration come first.
Having said all that, we had some time over the long weekend to do some updates !
There are 3 new pages of build stories: The 1967 El Camino has been completed, we have an update on that 1971 Camaro from a while back and also a 1969 Camaro project. We’re currently working on a 1972 Bronco, we’re deep into the 1957 Belair and just received a 1967 Camaro. More on those projects coming soon……
We’ve been working on this El Camino a lot longer than it typically takes us to do a full build. This car had been through a couple of shops before coming to us which resulted in a lot of extra work and missing parts. The lack of used or reproduction parts for these cars and the custom features that the owner requested also slowed down the build a bit. Despite some delays, the ’67 LC is in the final assembly stages. It’s been a while so I thought I’d remind everyone what we started with. Note the condition of the steel in the back corner. There were places like this all over the car.
The engine compartment is almost finished in this shot. The owner wanted this space un-cluttered. Most of the hoses and wiring have been tucked out of sight. The car does have AC and it is fully plumbed in this photo.
The owner wanted to update the dash with a look that combined new, hot rod and original features. This is what we came up with. The interior is still a work in progress but you can get an idea of how it will look.
A traditional 1967 Chevelle/El Camino SS hood would not work with the monster motor. We had to go to a cowl type hood and do an “interpretation” of the old style SS hood stripes to make them fit. the stripes are not decals. They are painted satin black. We will use the satin black in other areas as an accent color.
Nothing sets off a restoration like a new set of shoes ! We went with 17″ diameter, 7″ width in the front and 9″ width in the back.
The car was originally a bench seat, automatic, column shift car. We converted it to bucket seats, five speed manual with a Chevelle factory center console. We went with after -market bucket seats for their improved comfort and safety. More pictures coming soon. We expect this beast to be wearing down the back tires in a few weeks.
Work continues on the 1967 El Camino project. In case any of you are considering restoring a ’67 LC, be warned: Parts are REALLY difficult to find. The ’67 has a lot of “one year only” parts so there isn’t enough volume to encourage the parts companies to make reproductions. If it was a part that was shared with the Chevelle, you’re OK. If it’s an El Camino only part, you’re in for a real parts safari.
The owner wanted the underside of the car to look like the top side of the car. So it was back on the rotisserie for some body and paint work. While we had the car separated we painted and detailed the chassis. Up front is a really sharp Billet Specialties serpentine kit for the 396 motor. The last picture shows the underside with the body and chassis mated up. We love the contrast of the black frame against the blue metallic sheet metal. The inside of the bed underwent major restoration and has been painted too. No bed liner for this car ! The dash and new steering column have been installed and we figured out a way to get around those huge headers with a steering shaft. We prefer to get a vehicle running then finish the body work and paint. On most TV shows they paint the car first, then drop in the power train. What they don’t show you on the car shows is how many times they have to repaint the cars due to engine installation damage.
The El Camino project is moving along rapidly ! All of the steel replacement and most of the major body work has been completed. Still lots of work to do as the owner wants the underside, engine compartment and bed area painted body color. Soon we’ll be separating the body from the frame.
The previous shop thought it would make their life easier if they cut out the entire transmission tunnel to make room for a five speed manual transmission conversion. You can see from the “before” picture that the transmission would have fit just fine in the stock tunnel. All that was needed was the access hole for the shifter. We fabricated a new tunnel for it. You can see the new tunnel in it’s almost finished form.
Here is the custom tunnel we fabricated
Transmission tunnel in mutilated state
The sheet metal is now straight and the body lines look like they should. We installed new door hinges which allowed us to get the door gaps really nice. The factory drip rail has been removed and roof edges smoothed in. In these pictures the front fenders are just hanging on by a couple of bolts. We won’t put those on until later in the assembly. There are still many steps involved in the body work before it is ready for paint. If this was just going to be a daily driver work vehicle, it could be assembled and painted now and look good. However, for a show car there are many hours of fine tuning the body work left to do.
and the rear view…..
Here’s the front view of the restored body
Work continues on the 1967 El Camino to restore the damaged sections.
Lesson 1: You should not remove body filler with an air chisel that has a point on it! Bill had to cut out the perforated sections and weld in new steel.
Lesson 2: Don’t just tack a piece of steel on the backside and call it restored. Cut it out and replace the whole section.