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Restoring A 1971 Chevy El Camino Frame - All The King's Horses

Building A Better '71 El Camino From The Frame Up.

By Mike Harrington, Photography by Mike Harrington

It was a rust bucket when it was first purchased. Years of neglect and sitting under a rain gutter turned this once proud '71 el Camino into a rotting, zombielike corpse. harrison ortis purchased it for $1,200; it was a 454 big-block high school hot rod at the time. Finally, years later the pieces of the puzzle have come together and the el Camino is ready to become a complete car again.

In the February 2007 issue of Super Chevy, the El Camino received a proper coat of paint, and it was recently on the cover of our last issue (March 2007). After the paint job, Harrison pulled the frame out from under the car and sent it off to Corsair Powder Coating in Ontario, California. The frame came back to his shop in a beautiful gloss black, and it was at this point the El Camino crossed our camera's path yet again. While the El Camino may look like a million bucks, it's not a gaudy, bank-breaking vehicle, and it was never meant to be such. For all intents and purposes this '71 Elco is meant to be driven. In the interest of page space, we will jump straight into the process of rebuilding this frame.

By Mike Harrington
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