Have you ever found something unexpected that fell into your lap? Sometimes it’s a great deal on something you didn’t know you wanted. Sometimes, it fits the requirement perfectly. Such is the case with Gordon Toombs and his ’66 El Camino.
“I wanted a good all-around utility vehicle with towing capability to haul my off-road motorcycles and provide daily transportation,” states Gordon. “A friend of mine previously sold the car to his dad, who in turn sold it to me for $840.00. That was back in 1973.”
According to Gordon, the car was in very good condition. It was totally stock and painted the factory Seafoam Green. The car didn’t have luxuries like power brakes or steering and had a shifter poking through the floor. Connected to the stick was a factory-installed Saginaw three-speed manual transmission bolted to a 283ci engine. Rounding out the drivetrain was a 3.08-geared rearend.
“I repaired some rust in the front rocker panels and base of the rear window and drove it around for a while,” Gordon says. “In 1985, I began complete restoration. The car was stripped to bare metal and was smoothed of dents and dings, re-primed, then painted Flame Red. I mounted a set of 14-inch Corvette Rally wheels with ‘67 Camaro center caps and stainless trim rings on it. I also added front disc brakes and a power booster.”
Over the last several years, Gordon has replaced the interior door panels, window felts, door moldings, headliner, carpeting, wheel well moldings, bed chrome and stainless moldings — including rear window surround — rearview mirrors, grille, and headlight eyebrows thanks to help from Original Parts Group (OPGI).
Gordon knew the 283ci small-block was not going to satisfy his craving for power, so a 383ci mill was built. The project began with a four-bolt-main block fitted with a cast crank and MAHLE pistons and connecting rods to create a 9.0:1 compression ratio. An Isky camshaft actuates the valves in the Edelbrock heads. The Saginaw gearbox was also removed, and 200R4 overdrive takes its place.
Gordon also took the time to replace the front coil springs with heavy-duty factory coils to support future mods. A set of Gabriel Hi-Jacker air shocks keep the stance all muscle car.
We found Gordon enjoying his hot hauler while at the Original Parts Group headquarters, and he tells us he has made a few trips to get many of the parts he used to rebuild his El Camino.
We’re definitely fans of this Elko, and proud to showcase it in this edition of OPGI Spotlight.