1978 Chevy El Camino

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1978 Chevy El Camino 350

All journeys begin with a simple step

Turn an original '79 into a epic "Raptored Elko" project by father / son Lopez team
Paint: Air Force Blue / Ghost Emblem
The Story:  

For as long as I can remember, this 1978 Chevy El Camino has been at my grandfather’s house sitting there waiting to be used. It was his pride & joy and he always tried to take care of it as best as he could, and when I would spend the weekend with him and my grandmother, he would ask for my help to keep this car going.

Growing up I always imagined riding in that Elco down the highway like I would see in the movies, just me and the road; although these were just the crazed fantasy of a child it was a dream none the less. Over the years one weekend after another we would charge the elco’s battery, add some gas, and start her up. Hours of waiting for one turn over of the engine; I never really understood why, why recharging the same battery instead of buying a new one. Of course it was just me being anxious, wanting to play, later wanting to learn, and eventually wanting to work. I eventually came to the realization that to him it was just like keeping a person alive; everyday charging it’s heart, giving it food and making it walk. Just like he didn’t want anyone to give up on him, he wouldn’t give up on it.

There was a time when I wanted to buy the El Camino from him but I honestly didn’t know enough about budgeting so we ended up holding off on the idea. I remember once every couple of months I would clean and wash the it just to do something to make my grandfather happy. There wasn’t much more I could do than that because for one: I didn’t know too much about inspecting el caminos at the time, and two: he was really protective didn’t want me to mess with the it or hurt myself.

It wasn’t until after grandfather passed away, and I left to the Air Force that I really needed a car. So I decided to buy the el camino and to bring her back to pristine condition, and thankfully I have a great father to help me. My dad was able to find someone to rebuild my el camino, he was a member of my dad's El Caminos Car Club and he’s making incredible time on the renovation. I’m glad that I’m able to keep his dream, my grandfather’s wish, going. In a way I feel responsible and confident in keeping his pride going; I may not be directly involved but as long as it’s finished and running like it used to I’ve completed my mission.

I can’t wait for the day where I can cruise down the highway like I dreamed of, with my father at my side and whoever else wanted to go ride through time. The El Caminos Car Club is back in business, while my grandfather watches from above. Thinking back I remember the first time I connected the battery charger to the elco, let me tell you it was quite the rush. I was so afraid of electrocuting myself I didn’t want to go anywhere near the two clamps. To make things worse my grandfather wanted me to scrape them together to make a spark, to make sure power was being passed through them, and when he did this I was terrified. I honestly thought that he was going to be electrocuted. But thankfully he was just fine; then it was my turn, and with sweat dripping down my side I connected the battery charger. I was still scared but I did it.

I can’t wait until I get to have more memories like that with my children and their children. More memories to come along with my father.

Brandon L.



Cockpit concept

Dakota Digital Dashboard



BluePrint Chevy 383CID short block Plus

Speedmaster 190cc 64cc Angle Plug Aluminum Heads

Chevy SBC 350 1.5 Ratio 7/16" SuperStreet Ultra Black Roller Rocker Arm Set

Milodon Oiling system

Professional Products Crosswinds Intake manifold

Edelbrock 750, Electric choke

MSD HEI Ignition system

Taylor "Full Metal Jacket" spark plug wires


Wheels and Tires  
American Racing VN515 Polished Torq-Thrust II One-Piece Wheels. 17x7 in front / 17x8 in rear
The beginning....  
Phase 1  
Towed to mechanic by Garcia's Towing, strip exterior and interior
"Baldy" Sanchez dropped the tank, clean, installed anew sending unit, and applied RinoLine coating
Phase 2
Strip bed, fix dents, and applied RinoLined coating
Demo Driver rear panel, repair damage, prep for paint
Strip the exterior paint, prep body, and color coat for imperfections
Carpet and dash installed


Phase 3

Carb rebuilt be Steve Prince

Tune up by Baldy Sanchez

Phase 4
Delivery of engine, wheels and tires, heads, carburator, etc