Home-Built Hero: Ray Nosler’s ‘ LSX-Powered ’70 El Camino

Sometimes, finding a car – even a classic car – comes from necessity. Having transportation to and from anywhere, is something that many can’t do without. That necessity is how Ray Nosler found this ’70 El Camino. “I had a corporate job, and one day, I received a phone call letting me know that my corporate-use vehicle was being picked up the next day. That was leaving me with nothing to drive,” says Ray. If that doesn’t create the “necessity” to find a car, we don’t know what does.

Ray must be a lucky son-of-a-gun, because he soon found a Hugger Orange ’70 El Camino sitting behind a fence in Porterville, California. Luckily, it had a for sale sign in the window. “I called the telephone number on the sign, and within the hour, struck a deal with the owner,” he quipped. Ray didn’t give a lot of details about the car’s condition when he found it, but it was apparently in good shape. We say that, because he did tell us he used as business transportation for the next two years.

Eventually, a new daily driver came into the picture, and the El Camino was removed from the day-to-day grind. To begin what would be a huge transformation, Ray had Chandler Chassis strip the Hugger Orange paint from the shell, handle some minor bodywork, and replace the seasoned orange-hue with a more modern version – 2010 Camaro Atomic Orange.

El Camino

LS swaps are taking over the hobby, and the reliability of this 416-inch cruiser is proof as to why.

When Ray first purchased the El Camino, under the hood was 402ci big-block connected to a three-speed automatic transmission. That tried-and-true combination was removed, and a 416ci LSX engine was mated to a 4L65E transmission and slid into place. Behind that is a 12-bolt rear with a posi unit and 3.50 gears. The combination makes for a great cruiser, and the 604 horsepower late-model engine surely makes it enjoyable.

Classic cars have a habit of helping owners create a multitude of memories, and this El Camino is no different. “Our most pleasant memories were had during the initial phase and ownership,” stated Ray. “We started hosting local cruise nights year-round with the great folks from the Rollin Relics in Porterville. We were proud to come cruising in with our ’70 Elco and enjoy some good times.”

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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