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1972 Chevrolet El Camino - Double Duty

Sometimes It's Right Under Our Nose

Kevin Lee Nov 1, 2002
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We are never sure where our ongoing quest for cover vehicles is going to lead us. When we initially came up with the idea for this month's cover, it seemed simple enough. How hard would it be to find a decent El Camino to haul one of our big-blocks around? Well, it turned out to be a little more difficult than we first imagined. The problem was that it seemed everyone who had restored an El Camino had no intention of ever using it as a truck again. Most of the bed surfaces were too nice to even haul cotton rags in. To make matters even worse, we didn't want a red one, which, in itself, eliminated half of the candidates we encountered.

Then, one day while making our rounds to some local shops, we spotted a copper-colored El Co sitting in front of a muffler shop waiting to have some work done. A quick look over and we could tell that, although this was a nice ride, it was still meant to be used for its intended purpose. We spoke to its owner, Marshall Ball, and explained what we had in mind. He was more than willing to come to our rescue.

Marshall's El Camino started out like many rebuilds: he first laid eyes on it parked next to a friend's shop with four flat tires and an owner that wasn't interested in selling. Marshall made several attempts to talk the owner out of it, but it wasn't until the body shop where it was parked lost its lease that he was finally able to call it his own.

Sucp_0211_04_z 1972_chevrolet_el_camino Tail_lights 3/6

He drove the hauler for a couple of years in primer while sorting out the bodywork and then decided to tear it apart to replace the tired engine and trans and to throw on some color over the primer. With some help from his friend, Rick Caywood, who mixed and shot the unique hue, Marshall had the El Camino on the road again in six months. A spray-in bed liner and few new trim pieces from Danchuk and The Muscle Factory, and the exterior was done.

The interior was kept simple, no bone-colored leather here; Marshall intended to use this truck. A seat cover from The Muscle Factory was installed by Westminster Auto Upholstery in Anaheim, California. A Vega wheel tops the stock tilt column, and some Auto Meter gauges were wired up to keep tabs on the new powerplant.

Marshall's El Camino is a success; it not only hauls (in every meaning of the word), but it looks good doing it. Now we'd better start looking for next month's cover car. Anyone know where there's a purple 7-second big-block Impala that gets over 35 mpg?

Tech Specs

Owner Marshall Ball, Tustin, CA
Vehicle '72 El Camino
Engine GM Goodwrench 350ci crate
engine with Edelbrock Air Gap
intake and Holley Avenger 570-cfm carb
Transmission Turbo 350 rebuilt by A-1 Transmissions
in Fullerton, CA
Suspension Rebuilt front and back with
Moog lowering springs
Wheels Colorado Custom Padaox's (18x8 with
4.5" bs and 20x8 with 4.5" bs)
Tires Yokohama AVS Sports
(245/40ZR18s and 245/40ZR20s)
Paint Custom-mixed Spies Hecker by
Rick Caywood at Paint Supply Anaheim,
Anaheim, CA



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