Andy Vitale didn’t want to have to buy a pickup, so he got a new El Camino instead.
One of the really great things about the car enthusiast world is that pretty much anything goes. Your ride doesn’t have to be something from the classic muscle car era to be truly enjoyable and special. MCR has been privileged to work on and restore all sorts of unique vehicles. This is especially true now that some of the classic muscle cars are approaching 50 years old or more and are getting harder to come by. It’s also true that the younger generations are more attached to cars from the later 70s and into the 80s now.
Andy Vitale bought his 1981 El Camino in 1983 with just 12,000 miles on it. At the time it was a near daily driver though it was rarely driven in the mid-west winters. Andy used it like a truck but appreciated the fact that it drove like a regular car.
Jump ahead to 2018 and Andy’s El Camino has gotten tired and in need of a refresh. He met the MCR team at the World of Wheels show in Minneapolis that year and started to discuss with them what options might work best for him.
The way Andy figured it he either needed to fix his El Camino or buy a pickup. He doesn’t really like pickups and he really just wanted another new ’81 El Camino so he delivered the car to MCR and asked them to make it new again. Well new again with a little more power and some upgrades.
It originally came with a terribly anemic 229 cid V6 that was rated at a measly 95 HP so a 350 crate motor/trans package was ordered from GM which came complete with computer and harness. The 333 HP small block and 4L65 trans combo was a complete turnkey plug and play setup. Since the power level was literally tripled, the rear was also upgraded to a 3.55 GM 12-bolt.
Since this was going to be a driver and exact originality is not a concern, MCR used materials such as powder coating on the suspension parts and frame and undercoating on the bottom of the car to help it to stay looking good while standing up to general road conditions much better than original factory finishes.
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