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Old 02-20-2011, 10:52 PM
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TsunamiGregg TsunamiGregg is offline
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Default Before, During, and (coming soon) After

I have had my car since '91 when I was an 18 year old H.S. grad. My previous car (a '81 Nissan hatchback) had died; I was sleeping in 'till noon(ish). My stepdad gave me this car to get me out of the house before my mother killed me.


(FYI the leftside and tailgate trim was there ten minutes before I realized I needed to take before pictures of the car)

So with this car I started working three jobs (errand boy for my SD, auto shop lackey, and cheese steak cook). I started doing the work myself in back of my SD's heating co's shop. I took a drill and a stack of sandpaper pads and went to work taking the car down to bare metal (I also used that spray on paint remover which is excellent at armhair removal). I took an angle grinder and cut out all that cancer. I rattle cannned the car primer grey (sorry, can't find those pics). Then in October '92 I joined the Marines and had to leave the project unfinished.

When I was a little kid, I got some money from a court case where some bad eggs nearly killed me. While in boot camp my car was turned over to my SD's nephew, who ran an autoshop; he would pick up where I left off and finish redoing the car (by now he was very familiar with this car after already replacing two engines and two transmissions from October 1991 and June 1992 ending off with a 305 H.O. from an IROQ and a TH350). I graduated boot camp in January '93. This is what was awaiting me in my grandparent's garage.


(FYI, I asked for SS style stripes only, NOT to label the car SS)

So the car stayed in my grandparent's garage while I was still going thru training until the Marines would let me have a car. My first duty station was El Toro CA. In July '93 I drove from Philly to Cali in three days in this car. While out in Cali, the car was broken into so they could steal my cassette deck. The broke some of the dash around the radio when they ripped it out. The shop that did the work (yes, I had full coverage) fixed it prettty good, but I always knew there was still a hidden break in the dash. Driving back from Cali to Philly in '95, an 18-wheeler backed into me taking paint off the bumper breaking the LH corner light and cracking the fiberglass header panel. The guy weaseled out of paying while I was overseas.

When I came back from overseas, I hopped in the car and drove from Philly to Palm Beach FL, and back to Parris Island, SC. This was after nothing more than a normal tune-up after sitting for over two years (I came back in Oct '97). While I was overseas, the car had sat in a back lot in Philly. Thise of you from the northeast know the effects of being outside in the elements wether the car is driven or not. I guess I didn't take care of allthe cancer as well as I thought, 'cause it came back. For the next several years I started going back and forth battleing the cancer. In my battle with the cancer (one of the worst spots was the RH windshield pillar) I figured I was going to have to get the help of some pros.

By 2001, I had been moved to NJ. While there, I let the cancer ravage the body while I focused on the interior's redesign (I ripped out the dash and started mocking up what I wanted to 'build' for the dash). I also had the A/C system, that hadn't worked right since '93 replaced with a Vintage Air system and had the car rewired (remember the break-in?). I also bought the Lauren Engineering ground effects kit and front end.

By 2004 it was time to go overseas again. This is when I figured on getting the car redone. I left it with a shop in Jersey while I was gone. The guy took my deposit, asked for more money, did nothing and let me car serve as a rats nest for nearly 4 years. My folks had to fight him just to get my car back after this guy declared bankruptcy.

I got back from overseas in 2008 and was sent to this godforesaken place (if God cared about Texas, he'd give you a football team). I had the car shipped from where my parents had it stored in NJ to TX. The guy driving the hualer couldn't get the car to work (maybe because he showed up a week after he was scheduled, and I was already in TX instead of in NJ to start the car for him) so he used other vehicles to push my car on and off his hauler. They did one heck of a job ruining my fenders and cracking all the fiberglass pieces on the car.


















So I start shopping around a shop to start doing the work; turns out there are several around the DFW area. After doing some research online, and visiting a couple in person I decided to go with the TX House of Hotrods. These guys are a one stop shop that does powder coat, fab, upholstery, body, engine, audio, etc. Anyway, these guys impressed me so I turned the car over to them. It was originally supposed tobe getting it up and running; pretty enough to be a daily driver. Well, one thing leads to another and I'm buying an extra car as a "donor". They tell me that my car is so bad that they're going to use it as the donor and the TX car will be the project. Enough of my car will be used that it will be more mine than donor so I'm happy.

Here is what is left after they strip mine for parts






The remains have been donated to my unit for my Crash & Rescue squad to practice extracating like they were going into an aircraft.

The car was turned over to the HoH in late summer 2009. Here are the pics of the work done so far

Body work:

used my original right quarter to replace the right quarter
notice also the oval cutouts where the door handles used to be


The hood after having 67 Chevelle scoops grafted on



Fixing the broken fiberglass on the front end


Firewall being smoothed out



Showing how they reinforced the fiberglass to make it more rigid 'next time'


Rough sanding




Smoothed out tailgate


Finshed look at the firewall with passthru holes for the A/C hookups
notice the mount welded to the fender for the gas struts instead of those old 5th Gen springs


Doors and fenders getting painted on the inside


Getting rid of those weld marks on the hood



Welded up the trailer hitch directly to the frame


This was done to allow the hitch to be behind the license instead of under it


An indirect result is the back of the frame is now boxed


Making a Z06 light fit in a C5 hole



More to come
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85 El Camino (Custom) For Sale
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/PICT0168.jpg
79 El Camino (Coming soon to a car show near you)
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...s/PICT0418.jpg
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:02 PM
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A bunch of other stuff check out my Garage
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:14 AM
Elkiebob Elkiebob is offline
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That is a great post. Thank you.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:17 AM
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Cool story....will be watching for more updates.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:45 AM
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Keepem coming man!!!!!
Donny
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Keepem coming man!!!!!
Donny
Ditto! And you just KNOW that those guys that left you hangin are out there tellin everyone "I support our troops". a$$holes!

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Old 02-21-2011, 03:50 AM
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Great story with pictures! Thank you for your service, Marine! I'm very interested in the trailer hitch. Was it a store bought or fabricated hitch? What will the door handles come from? Last, but not least, how did you keep your sanity with all that happened to you and the Camino?

Doug
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:57 AM
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OTS, he's a Marine, sanity is just something they read about.

you're lucky Greg! It was a lot worse in "the old Corps"!! (insider joke)

Semper Fi man

(USMC Force Recon '71-'75)
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:08 AM
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TsunamiGregg TsunamiGregg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtinsmith View Post
Great story with pictures! Thank you for your service, Marine! I'm very interested in the trailer hitch. Was it a store bought or fabricated hitch? What will the door handles come from? Last, but not least, how did you keep your sanity with all that happened to you and the Camino?

Doug
The hitch was a class III store bought hitch built specifically for the Elkies that these guys modified to fit. I mounted it myself back in '95. It mounted up under the frame and bolted up to the bumper mounts.

The door handles came off a Buick Rivera; GM is using them on just about everything right now. They're on the Impalas, Malibus, Pontiacs, even the Vettes.

As far as staying sane thru it all would require I was sane when it all started, right?
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TsunamiGregg
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85 El Camino (Custom) For Sale
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/PICT0168.jpg
79 El Camino (Coming soon to a car show near you)
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...s/PICT0418.jpg
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:12 AM
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luv it!!!
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My Garage
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:20 PM
lewis77 lewis77 is offline
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Nice build up, looks real good! How's their pricing, if you dont mind me asking? Trying to get an idea for the wagons.

Chris
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:39 PM
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You'll have to talk to them for specifics of price, but as you can see from the pics they're work is quality stuff.
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Ft Worth, TX

85 El Camino (Custom) For Sale
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/PICT0168.jpg
79 El Camino (Coming soon to a car show near you)
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...s/PICT0418.jpg
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:47 PM
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What do you tow that requires a Class III hitch? just curious,I have a class II on the wagon and was thinking about upgrading to class III..
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:52 PM
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nice
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:11 AM
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TsunamiGregg TsunamiGregg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowukno View Post
What do you tow that requires a Class III hitch? just curious,I have a class II on the wagon and was thinking about upgrading to class III..
Nothing right now, but if I were to change out the 305 for a larger engine and add some assist bags on the rear axle, I could tow my '85 on a trailer.
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Ft Worth, TX

85 El Camino (Custom) For Sale
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/PICT0168.jpg
79 El Camino (Coming soon to a car show near you)
http://i807.photobucket.com/albums/y...s/PICT0418.jpg
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