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1965 Chevrolet El Camino



John Delke

Home Town
Minneapolis 'burbs


Year, Make & Model
1965 Chevrolet El Camino

How long have you owned this vehicle?
3-1/2 years

Where/how did you find this vehicle
The car was "for sale" at the last night of the '08 cruising season, in Hastings MN. The more I looked at it, the more it screamed "I have potential!". Finally a car with decent paint & bodywork but shot mechanicals at a fair price! I purchased it the following week.

Any projects planned for this vehicle in the future?
For the moment there are no big upgrades planned. I will be bringing it to a professional tuner & dyno facility to do some tweaking to the ECM, and get the fuel injection dialed in to the "nth degree".

Has this vehicle won any awards?
2009 "Best Non-Corvette" - Corvette Specialties, Blaine MN

Have you raced it? If so, where and when?
2009 & 2010 Car Craft Summer Nationals - Autocross trials
Rock Falls Raceway, WI. - "Club Day(s)" and "Test & Tune" events

Best quarter mile time
None with current driveline

Power Train

Engine size and Horsepower
1996 Chevrolet LT-1, 350ci, 300hp (rated)

Tell us about any engine modifications
Basically OEM stock, emissions deleted, headers, and full 2-1/2" exhaust.

Transmission Type and Modifications
4L60e - shift points re-mapped

Rear axle ratio and modifications
Chevrolet 10-bolt, Richmond "PowerTrax Locker" installed.


SC&C adjustable upper A-arms, Howe "tall" ball joints, polygraphite bushings, 1-1/8" swaybar

SC&C springs, boxed control arms, polygraphite bushings, 7/8" swaybar

Power 4wh. disc - G body front, Caddy Seville rear. (all GM parts conversion)


Wheels and Tires
17" GM Corvette / Z28 alloy, Bridgestone tires.

Tell us about the vehicle's unique options or features, either factory or aftermarket
- Upgraded lighting - H1 & H4 headlamps
- Custom LED tail/stoplights
- Custom LED 3rd brakelight
- Fully functional "Smuggler's Box" - Remote controlled lock release, lighted, and latched with the "click & motor down" lock mechanism from a Cadillac Fleetwood.
- Hidden LED indicators for engine management/warning (fed from the ECM) incorporated into the OEM '65 Malibu SS instrument cluster.
- GM fast ratio (WS6) power steering box
- GM "Cruise Control"

Tell Us More
The build on this car maintained a "theme" - which was if GM was to take a '65 El Camino and factory install a late-model powertrain into it. I wanted late-model handling, performance, reliability, and economy in a classic package. This car will drive to the track, sit in 100 degree traffic jams, get thrashed, drive home, and cruise all day long while pulling 25+ MPG on the highway. If something does fail, I can go to ANY parts store, and just pick up OEM replacements.
Another note - every bit of the work done on this car/build (except for mounting & balancing the tires) was done by me - the owner - electrical/electronics, welding, fabricating, alignment - no kidding, everything.

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