“I got this car the day my son was born.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Marc
- Car in Question: Gold 1968 Gold Chevrolet El Camino
- Spotted at: Coors Field, 2001 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205
- Odometer: Over 200,000
Q: Welcome to Defend Your Ride Denver. What can you tell us about your ride?
A: I have a 1968 El Camino Chevrolet. I bought the car in 1992 and it was pretty much on its way to the crusher. My son won’t let me sell it. He’s 19. He wants it. He says we’re going to restore that car. I say, you go out and get filthy rich and we’ll restore that car.
Q: You restored it once already?
A: I did it once. I would like nothing more than to redo all the electrical, redo the body, the interior needs panels, seats need to be reupholstered, the bolts that hold the seats to the floor are rusted into place. And funky things happen. The heater stops working. I just wait. Sometime in the next week, it will start again.
Q: With so many things wrong with it, what’s the allure?
A: I like it because it’s part muscle car, part light-duty truck. There’s a history. There’s a Western history behind it. There’s a surfer history behind it. I just think they’ve got a cool all their own. There’s nothing else like them.
Q: Where did you buy the El Camino?
A: I got this car the day my son was born and it’s one of the reasons that I think he’s more attached to it than I am–in some ways. My wife was in the recovery room when I told her, oh by the way, I gave away your car for the El Camino that I wanted. Then I gave her my other car to drive.
Q: What is your El Camino’s main use?
A: I use it as a light-duty truck, as a secondary vehicle. I’ve used it to haul motorcycles. I’ve used it to move furniture. It’s got a collector’s designation, so I don’t put an awful lot of miles. On the Fourth of July we used to load all the kids up in the back and drive out to see fireworks. That’s kind of an echo of days gone by.
Q: Did your kids learn to drive on the El Camino?
A: My son learned to drive in a variety of vehicles. I took him out to drive this for the first time after he’d been driving about a year. On older vehicles, the steering is a little looser. You’re correcting continually. It’s developed its own set of idiosyncrasies over 44 years. He had a ball driving it. He posted it up on Facebook and talked to all his friends, I got to drive the old El Camino!
Q: Would you ever think of replacing it?
A: At some point, I’ll give him the car. He knew that before I did actually. There are days I think about selling it and then I take a nap and it passes.
Q: Are you willing to step into that restoration project again, if your son helped?
A: At some point in the future yeah, I am. It’s waited patiently to be brought back. It’s held up very well. It’s absolutely my favorite car that I’ve ever owned.
Photos and interview by Heather Ruch
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSDenver.com/Autos.