Steve O’s 1966 El Camino December ’21 Customer Car of the Month

Built From The Ground Up

Steve O’s 1966 El Camino December ’21 Customer Car of the Month

Steve wanted his first car to be a 1966 El Camino. He had his eye on a local Ellie that was for sale and saved up just about enough money to buy it. Unfortunately, it must have sold before he could get his hands on it. He was 16 years old and very upset that the truck of his dreams was snatched up before he could buy it.

He ended up with a 1972 Chevelle, and although he loved the Chevelle, it wasn’t the El Camino he had dreamt about for so long. Fast forward 26 years, he ended up coming across a project car. Being in the middle of the pandemic he was looking for something to keep him busy. The El Camino checked all the boxes, being a manual transmission, had an SBC engine, a straight body, and most of the parts were in the bed of the truck. The bad news was the engine didn’t run. The transmission was not shifting, nor could he get the unit in neutral. The El Camino needed wiring, and the interior was non-existent.

He and his cousin decided to take a 100-mile drive after reviewing it on eBay. Only to fall in love with this 1966 El Camino shamble of a project. The next day they returned with cash in hand, a trailer and he took his new baby home.

The engine is an SBC 327 with an Edelbrock 600 carb, Doug Thorley headers, manual 4 speed Muncie transmission, and a Posi rear end. He recently upgraded the cooling system with a Cold Case 2 row aluminum radiator and a SPAL 16″ electric fan. BMR 2″ drop springs (complete suspension rebuild), Pypes stainless 2.5″ violator X-pipe exhaust system, Dakota Digital RTX dash, American Wiring complete harness, Retrosound Hermosa Headunit with R-TB8 full range truck boxes.

He added Noico sound deadening material to insulate the entire interior before the new interior went in. Added 18″ wheels in the front with 20″ in the rear, factory air-conditioning, no power steering, LED lighting (minus the headlights). A Powermaster one wire alternator, proform chevy orange valve covers, Edelbrock performer intake manifold, K&N Intake.

An interesting story, on this 1966 El Camino is the OEM configuration did not include a power steering upgrade. He was told the OEM A/C was a 400.00 upgrade and the P/S was a 50.00 upgrade. So many went with the P/S instead of the A/C. However, it was rare to see the A/C configuration not include the P/S option. This is a very rare configuration, and he plans to keep it that way.

He’s looking to upgrade the 1966 El Camino Drum Brakes with 4 wheel disc brakes, LED headlights, and tubular control arms.

"I chose Ground Up SS396 for the quality parts and the low cost. Ground up has always cared about the customers satisfaction and that is important to me. Knowing I can count on Ground Up to support me and my vehicle is a comforting feeling to have. "

-Steve O

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