1965 Chevrolet El Camino

For lots of photos ==>  


Purchased September 2010 - Highly factory optioned El Camino

However many of the original options/parts are long gone or upgraded.

327/350hp SBC *
Turbo 350
12 Bolt Rear - 3.73 Non-Posi *
Factory SS Gauges including Tach *
Wood Grained Steering Wheel *
Power Disc Bakes
Power Steering *
Power Windows *
A/C *
Tilt *
Tinted Glass *
Bucket Seats *
Console *
SS Dual Exhaust (FlowMaster)

* Factory Options (some have been upgraded)

09C = September 3rd week
B = Baltimore (Assemble Plant)
65-13680 = El Camino Custom
EUC = Euclid, OH
732 = Fisher Body Unit #
772 = Medium Red Ramada Cloth, Imitation Leather
AA = Black/Black
WX =     Group 1 - W = Tinted Windshield X = Power Windows
2KMP  = Group 2 - K = A/C M = Powerglide P = Comfort & Convenience Group
3C =      Group 3 - C = Padded Dash
4P =      Group 4 - P = unknown

Click on images for larger view

As Purchased September 2010


October 2010

RetroSound Radio with AUX (IPad/MP3 input)

Tonneau Cover

American Racing Wheels - Torq Thrust II
Wheels - 17*8*4.75 w/4.81 BS or +8mm offset (#5157863)
Tires - Goodyear Eagle GT P235/50R/17
All 4 corners -- SAME

After building New Garage I finally got around to building the El Camino I have wanted for a long time. Had 3 El's in the past (1974-79-85) all black SS's but all were daily drivers. Found this one at Mecum auction in Chicago Sept 2010 and it definitely was a good starting point.  Been wanting a '65 Malibu or El Camino for many many year - preferred El Camino but either would have been OK.

I talked to one of the previous owners from about 2000-2008? and he knew the person who he purchase from who I think he said had it for 15+ years. Truck was never a work truck and for the past 25 years has been a cruiser. Hasn't even had as much as a bag of groceries in the bed during that time J. Much older frame-on restoration and it's showing in the paint (wearing thin in places). Frame is in great shape as is body.

Original 327 (numbers) is gone and replaced with correct dated block built to L79 (350HP) specs. Powerglide is gone and replace with Turbo 350. Front drum brakes upgraded to power disc. Factory A/C upgraded to Vintage Auto Air, the under hood firewall box and dash louvers remain intact for looks. Power Steering box upgrade to newer version.  While a somewhat RARE El Camino due to options there was enough changed for me to move forward with changes to make it "MY El Camino". Besides I'm not a purist but a customize-it and drive-it kind of guy.

And BEAUTY IS ONLY SKIN DEEP -- while installing NEW Radio to replace aftermarket cassette player, I noticed LOTS of wiring problems, include splices galore, melted sockets, bare wires and wires going to nowhere. However everything worked except hi-beam indicator because the left directional bulb was plug into that hole and the hi-beam socket was just hanging with no bulb. So I taped what I could and kept my fingers crossed. Didn't drive it much and even had it in storage but was planning and accumulating parts for what I had in mind for "MY EL CAMINO".

Everyone may not agree with my changes/upgrades but I'm 69 years old and sure am having fun and have been having fun for the past 55 years of busted knuckles and dirty finger nails.


February 2012

SC&C Front End Kit (Stage II Plus)
Adjustable Upper Control Arms
Tall Ball Joint (upper & lower)
SPC Performance Springs
Front 550#
Rear 135#
Bilstien HD Shocks
2001 S-10 Extreme Bump Stops

The suspension modification allow me to lower 2-3 inches and drastically improve driving capabilities. This took some time to get it ironed out but with the help of Marcus @ SC&C it is dialed-in with NO - I repeat NO rubbing.


Before              After

March-April 2012


This project, like most car projects, has had project creep. After you get tearing things apart you find items that need replacing which is normal BUT you also get in the while-Im-at-it mode and start adding items and more items. You would think that after 50+ years of doing this I would know better. NOT!

This has been both a fun and miserable project. The fun was adding lot of new goodies and getting them to work. The miserable is it seems like every bolt/nut/screw/wire needed special attention. AND worst of all was the after-market imported replacement parts (should be called JUNK). I think I filed, cut, bent or some form of alteration to most NEW parts. Having said that, parts like Flaming River, Dakota Digital, American Auto Wire and Alumitech to name a few USA companies everything was perfect.                "End of Soapbox"

I started out with needing to replace extremely bad wiring and decided to add some sparkle to the engine compartment by adding the 65 Corvette engine shielding, valve covers, intake, carb & air cleaner which were parts I had laying around after I upgraded my Vette.. Ended up with those and

Alumitech BB Radiator & Shroud
Alan Grove Brackets
American Autowire Wiring

Dakota Digital VHX Gauges
Flaming River Tilt Column
Lokar Pedals - Cables
Audiovox Cruise Control
Power Door Locks
Remote Entry

Lots More :)

As you can see I got more than that new wiring but I think that knowing me I would have eventually done all this stuff sooner or later like I always do.

Also enjoyed documenting everything (almost everything) as I went along. Had to do lots of wiring diagrams (17 to be exact) to keep track of what went where. Also lots of photos which help this old brain remember how it looked before I took it apart.

With above mods now have:
Much safer - Less chance of electrical fire
Emergency Flashers
Cruise Control - Install Info
Power Door Locks
Remote entry (Unlock/Lock) via FOB
Remote power window Up/Down
Correctly function A/C
Dash (gauges) you can actually see


Starting Point Starting Point Starting Point    
Mock-up Before Chroming Back from Chrome Shop Modified Exhaust
Final Mock-Up Plug Wires Added
New Wiring New Stuff Lokar Stuff Body -> Door Power Window Conduit Bad Wiring
Bad Wiring Bad Wiring Out with the Old   Insulation 
Sound Deadener Adding Power Door Locks Wiring Fun Relays Buttons 
Door Locks Manual & Remote Remote Windows Relay Diagram AAW to Rear Harness
Starting Back Correct "461" Holley 650 Wires/Cables Getting Closer
Lokar / Cruise Cables Lokar Pedals Pulleys/Belts Done Alumitech Radiator  
Dakota Digital Gauges Install Testing
DD Wires DD Wiring Done Dash Complete  
Flaming River Collapsible Shaft Flaming River Collapsible Shaft FR Tilt Column
DD Cruise Handle
 GM Sport Wheel
Console Installed
  '66-'67 BB Radiator/Shroud   Booster/Master Cylinder - Wipers
  Finished =========== Finally  
Needs Hood and
Clean-Up ==>


Bottom Side

Here is a few photos to show underneath of car. Definitely driver quality here but as you can see Frame is solid and original floor pans are rust free. New items include exhaust, air shocks, rear heavy duty stabilizer bar, front & rear springs and front shocks.




Skip forward to Fall 2013
Have put only 1,5xx miles on since rebuild with only a couple of minor problems. One being leaky valve covers, so I replace the early Corvette scripted ones with LT1 style covers. Power steering leak - install new JEEP Grand Cherokee steering box, new pump and lines.

Runs cool, starts easy and sounds GREAT :)

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