Walter M’s 1970 El Camino

Built From The Ground Up

Walter M’s 1970 El Camino

Walter first saw this 1970 El Camino on CraigsList and viewed it numerous times thereafter. He did not call, however, the 1970 El Camino appeared at a local cruise night where he had a chance to view it in the flesh (sheet metal). The owner and his wife drove from an hour away and were eating dinner inside. They never came out and Walter waited as long as possible and left without getting any questions answered. 

That was Wednesday night. The next several evenings Walter kept going back to the ad. White was not Walter’s choice of color and he knew it was not a true “SS” as it had the sweeping dash, flat hood, and lower bodyside trim rarely ordered with the SS. But the 1970 El Camino had a grate 454 big block, and the price was right! Walter called Friday night, drove up Saturday, and bought the truck. This one almost “got away”

That was August 2013. Walter just cleaned the carb and repaired a bad electrical crimp on the right front directional.

He put the “correct” chrome valve covers on the 454, reshot the block in fresh Chevy Orange, and located a salvaged cowl induction flapper hood in the primer. The transmission is a TH350 which works fine.

Correct for a big block would be the TH400. Walter purchased and installed the wheel opening trim as well as the aluminum upper door frame trim.

He removed the skinny “Cheerio” P205/R15 tires and 6″ rally wheels and replaced them with P235- and P295/R15’s on 8″ Corvette rally wheels with a 4″ backset from another project. These ultimately got replaced with a used set of “SS” style 5-spoke Vintique Wheels and same size tires in 2014. A Crafted tonneau cover, frame mount receiver hitch and LED headlights, and taillights have still kept him under the 10K budget driver build. Rattle canned the white hood and SATIN (not correct-should be gloss) black stripes. Sadly, Walter was born Mopar, and he learned to drive on his father’s 4-speed 1969 Roadrunner and therefore give tribute to their better idea for stripes. 

From the trim tag, he determined this Elky was born Black Cherry with a black vinyl interior and a black vinyl top. The numbers below the paint code show it to be a special order by a customer. It had the standard door interior trim (base) but has the holes for the lower body trim extra cost customer option. The truck also had factory air and compressor MIA.  Evidence of being fitted with a “pap cap” during its lifetime and original quarters and doors illustrate an easy life led by this Elky. The front fenders and rear tailgate have been replaced (incorrect 1968 tailgate). The previous owners hit everything but the lottery as he could see many dings and wrinkles in the sheet metal and bumpers.

Built in Los Angeles/Van Nuys, CA, it appears from the door bottoms, bed, and frame that this Elky lived up in dry, salt-free areas of the country.

Walter’s true passion has been Rat Rods with big blocks but this 1970 El Camino was too nice to go in that direction. He DRIVE’S this, makes trips to the dump, Home Depot runs, and parts chase as well as tows a light utility trailer in good dry weather. He does not plan to do a frame-off nut and bolt restoration as that would well exceed the market value of the truck.  However, as a caretaker during his lifetime, Walter’s goal is to preserve, maintain and protect it for a future restorer.

"Ground Up SS396 has always delivered needed parts FAST and the product descriptions have been correct and accurate. I have never had to return a part or trim piece."

-Walter M

Ground Up Parts Featured In This Build

1964-1972 El Camino Square Disc Brake Master Cylinder With Bleeders With 11 Inch Delco Power Brake Booster Kit

Part #: BMK-11SBD


You Save: 10%

1970 El Camino Power Brake Tube

Part #: APN-0270


You Save: 9%

1964-1977 El Camino Intake Manifold Vacuum Fitting 1 Slip On 1 Threaded

Part #: APN-638


You Save: 6%

1970-1972 El Camino Front Door Panels, Pre-Assembled, Black

Part #: IPA-E70


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