The story began after seeing an ad on Craigslist two years ago. Not really intending on a purchase of a 1967 El Camino, but after seeing it and speaking with my wife we decided let’s do it.
With 6 children, the youngest is now 17 (I am building a ’67 Mustang coupe for her high school car), having a muscle car went on the back burner many years ago. So we acquired the El Camino (nicknamed Black Betty by my wife, Trisha) and the rebuild began. The car came with the following good parts, although they were completely worn out from the racing it had been punished by in the past:
427 BBC (apparently built in the 1990’s) also had a lot of new parts on the outside of the engine installed by the previous owner.
2 speed PowerGlide transmission (full of water)
12 bolt rear end with 4.56 posi. (totally worn out)
Be Cool Radiator
So after initial investigation and finding out the status of the drivetrain the following happened:
Rebuild of the BBC, was in such bad shape I decided to build it as a 454 instead of 427. Went .060” overbore and .010”/.010” on crank. 468 cubic inch total at 10.2 compression ratio, with Comp Cams valve train (roller rockers, push rods, XE 284 Cam), World Products Merlin heads, Speed Pro pistons and h beam rods. Used ARP studs throughout instead of bolts. Weiand tunnel ram intake with 2- Holley 600 Vac. Sec. carburetors. Lamar Walden Automotive in Doraville, GA completed the magic (Rob and Jim are awesome).
Two Speed PowerGlide Transmission: Rebuilt by Sid Neal in Snellville, GA (he and his son are ‘glide experts), 3000 RPM stall converter, full manual valve body.
12 bolt rear end: Rebuilt by Doraville Drive Line in Doraville, GA.
3.73 gear ratio Dana/Spicer components
Eaton Posi. unit, C-Clip Eliminator
Other work completed (by my son and I, my son Aaron helped me many times, but as my wife said I literally did 90% of it.):
Rebuilt the front suspension (ball joints, etc.)
Disc brake conversion on front from factory drum brakes (all new brake lines front to rear)
New shocks (front and rear)
Boxed and rebuilt upper and lower control arms on the rear suspension
New gas tank
Rebuilt rear drum brakes
Rewired various areas of vehicle including the brake lights
Replaced one floor board (passenger side)
Replaced both rear wheel well lips (due to rust, flared the fenders a little extra for tire clearance)
Running 235/60/15 tires on 15×7 wheels on front and 275/60/15 tires on 15×8 on rear. (Cragar Street Star wheels currently)
Work completed by my friend Brad Davis (with me assisting):
Louvered tail gate (inside panel and outside)
Louvered front bed panel (transmission cooler and fan mounted/recessed within)
8 point roll cage installation (with 4 point harness, safety first)
3” exhaust to the electric cutouts, then 2-1/2” from there back to 2-1/2” Magnaflow mufflers to turndowns (next to no bends or crimping of pipe)
Creation of fender flares, shaping and installation
(Brad is a good friend and master craftsmen, builds rods old school as they say.)
Body work and paint by me, in my driveway. You really have to choose your days and weather to do it.
Left to do:
Install door rubber and other rubber throughout vehicle (not purchased yet)
Install glass (door, front, and rear)
Cut and buff paint
Need various chrome pieces for the outside (bed rails etc.) reusing old for now (straightening and polishing). Ordered my grille kit from you yesterday.
Interior: Carpet, headliner, seat upholstery, door panels, I.E. everything (not purchased yet)
Gear Vendors on PowerGlide (gets me a 2.89 final ratio for highway cruising) (not purchased yet)
Dakota Digital gauges (not purchased yet)
What Black Betty means to me:
And a special thanks and all my love to my wife Trisha for understanding and putting up with my mistress Black Betty as she has come to call her (even though she is now Sunset Orange Pearl). Betty now runs and drives great and is ready for street/strip duty along with cruise-ins and car shows.
This ’67 El Camino is different from a typical nut and bolt restoration, which is what I was going for, back to the day when it had a rake front to back. Big tires in rear and smaller in front (even a hood scoop). I will be 52 this year, and aside from the enjoyment I get from doing the actual work on the El Camino, seeing the smiles on my wife and kids faces, friends and neighbors and people we meet at shows and in town makes it even better.
These relics from times gone by that we resurrect, we save from a fate in the crusher, we breathe new life into. Bring back great memories and make new ones at the same time. I hope they never disappear entirely, that would be a sad day. Even though I only get 8 MPG. When you turn the key and it pounds the ground….. nuff said.
I will send more pictures as we go, and can send some earlier ones to show progress. Thanks again for considering this vehicle for your company’s website. Looking forward to getting the best parts and prices from Ground Up Inc. Have a great day.
Written By Brian Scurlock