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1972 Chevy El Camino - Who's Laughing Now?

One Man's Perserverance Created This Clean Pro Street Elky

Mike Petralia Jan 1, 2001
Sucp_0101_01_z 1972_chevy_el_camino Front_view 2/8

Patience is a virtue, a wise man once said. And it is the inherent lack of said virtue that makes many car enthusiasts jump head first into a project, only to get buried in trouble and debt before deciding to sell or scrap their dream, unfinished of course. Chris Schittler must possess more of the patience gene than a dozen men combined. You see, it took the Reading, Pennsylvania, resident 13 years to complete his Pro Street '72 El Camino. Thirteen years that he spent working, saving, getting married, having a kid, buying a house, and generally ignoring his beloved project car. Only after persistent ridicule from friends and family did Chris decide to take the bull by the horns and finish what had evolved into a perpetual project. Sometimes that's exactly the kind of approach needed to get the job done.

Never giving up was the key to Chris's ability to produce such a fine ride. His goal was to have an awe-inspiring, blown big-block Pro Streeter, and by golly he was not going to settle for anything less-even if it meant working 14-hour days and waiting almost half his life to complete it.

The Elky started as his daily driver. Chris bought it for $2,800 when he was 19, and the Pro Street bug burrowed deep beneath his skin soon after. The project started off with a thud when Chris got taken for a ride by the first body shop he brought the car too. Some $2,500 later, Chris hauled his El Camino home in pieces and tackled the bodywork himself. The chassis was sent off to be back-halved at Ed Quay RaceCars in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, while Chris worked overtime to pay the bills.

Chris met Dave Keehn, who offered to help him build his dream powerplant, a blown 454-cid Rat. Plans-and lots of cash ($10,000)-were laid on the table to make that engine a reality. Then Chris and his friend, Chris Young, put together the totally trick custom interior, building the gauge panel and center console themselves and having it all covered in beige tweed by Andy's Interiors.

For all his patience Chris was rewarded an Editor's Choice plaque at his first Super Chevy Show, and took home top Pro Street/Truck honors, as well! He plans to show and enjoy his Elky often, now that it's been completed to his satisfaction. And in the meantime, he'll cruise around town with his wife Lynn and son Terry bidding to ride shotgun.



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