October 2014

The Story

65-el-camino_4798Sometimes searching for something leads you down a different street. Such is the case with this ’65 El Camino

By Owner Ed Todd #22741508, Marietta, GA

Photography by Colin Date

It seems that all our old cars have a “Story” and my ’65 El Camino story really starts back in 1964. Fresh out of high school, I had read in the September ’64 issue of Motor Trend that the Malibu was to be made available with the optional L79 327 Corvette engine, 12 bolt rear end and a 4-speed. I took the plunge, borrowed some money and ordered a Danube Blue ’65 Malibu with those aforementioned options. I had it by Thanksgiving. I had to sell that car a year later for cash to start college and have regretted losing it ever since– even though it was certainly the right thing to do at the time. If I fast forward through about 40 years, with my understanding wife Karen, two kids Susan and David, grand kids, many jobs, many moves, and many other old cars, the nagging memories of the ’65 Malibu and the urge to find another one still haunted me. Like a lot of other “found” cars, I wasn’t looking for an El Camino when I found this one in Loganville, GA in 2004. But the idea of an Elky grew on me and it was soon towed home to Marietta. It was going to be a total rebuild project as it needed floor pans, door skins, engine, suspension, many patch panels, right inner fender, chrome, paint, interior, engine, and transmission– basically everything was needed! Continue reading

El Camino: the Dr Pepper of classic cars.

Colinheadshot-newBy Colin Date

The El Camino is a curious vehicle and, like the soft drink mentioned above, can be so misunderstood. I’ve never really met anyone (and I’m referring to “car people” here) who didn’t have a strong opinion on them one way or the other. Nobody seems to fall into that gray “umm, they’re alright, I guess” zone. More often than not I’ve found the subject of El Caminos is accompanied by puzzled comments and facial expressions. Personally, I really dig them (no surprise to you there, I’m sure). I have a bias towards the ’60s/early ’70s incarnations, especially the ’69, which just happens to be my favorite year of Chevelle. Make mine an SS 396, in Cortez Silver please! Continue reading

Installing a performance front sway bar

sway-bar-1Story and photography by Colin Date

Many factors contribute to creating a well-balanced and tuned suspension system. From braking, cornering, and steering to tire traction and various weight transfers, the highly detailed equation of suspensions can be overwhelming, and often times leave us in the dirt. Needless to say, there are a few fundamentals to understand here.

At the top of the list in any application is traction. Whether you rely solely on the bite of the rear meats for quick quarter mile action, or the “four-wheel” gripping force in heavy side-to-side cornering, the traction yielded from the tires ultimately determines how your car is going to handle. Think about it. You can invest thousands of hard-earned dollars into expensive handling components, yet if the car will not “hook” on the pavement, what good is it really doing?

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