1980 Chevrolet El Camino Restomod
Another garden-variety El Camino you say? Guess again! This 1980 Chevrolet El Camino is a textbook example of how to build a sleeper the right way. Not flashy, not expensive, but packing a modern fuel-injected LS powerplant and upgraded transmission, a high-performance suspension, and a freshened interior, it delivers all the hardware you need to embarrass some pretty serious machinery. This Elky was repainted in 2017 but they resisted the urge to go crazy with some flashy modern color and instead simply returned it to the same basic metallic blue it had been wearing since 1980. It's quite nicely done, probably better than it was when GM did it, but it gives away nothing when you're prowling the streets looking for prey. There are a few signs of use, which is good news because it means that the truck is not only being used properly, but that it also has a low-key look that won't attract attention. Most of the emblems have been shaved, but tit retains its factory grille, bumpers, and bright wheel arch moldings, so it looks very stock. Even the original hood ornament is still up front doing its thing. There's no evidence that this was ever a rusty car and they went the extra mile to make sure it is still useable as a truck by adding a color-matched spray-in bedliner. If you didn't know better, you'd think this was just a clean, used El Camino. And that's entirely the point. The interior got a freshening, but again, they didn't do anything that would draw attention to the hardware. A factory bench seat with a new seat cover, reasonably plush carpets on the floor, and an OEM steering wheel with a fat wrap are great camouflage. Once you're behind the wheel, however, you'll quickly spot the original gauges are gone, replaced by a set of cool Dakota Digital dials that glow in the dark when you hit the lights, as well as a set of white-faced auxiliary gauges neatly installed on the A-pillar. The factory A/C blows cold with modern hardware working behind the scenes and since it's so much fun to drive, they figured that the original AM/FM radio would be more good camouflage, even though it isn't hooked up. We have to admit that the more we look, the more we like the purity of the mission on this El Camino. The engine is a 5.3 liter LS V8 with a whole bunch of upgrades. The top end was rebuilt, including a Comp Cams camshaft, larger fuel injectors, and a FAST intake manifold to help it breathe. All the accessories are brand new and a new wiring harness was installed to make the modern fuel injected V8 work in the 40-year-old Chevy body. There's also a giant aluminum radiator up front to keep it cool, as well as power steering and brakes to make it easy to drive. There's also a fresh 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission and a throaty Flowmaster dual exhaust system that has that unique LS sound, so it's not quite invisible to guys who are paying attention. You'll also note that the floors are super clean and the rear suspension was augmented with tubular control arms and new shocks. And we have to admit that keeping the color-matched factory wheels and a set of whitewall radials is pure genius because nobody will see it coming. With more than $40,000 in receipts for this build, you know it wasn't a half-hearted effort. Looks great, runs great, and totally stays under the radar, this El Camino is sleeper done right. Call today!