Danny Nicolosi’s 1969 El Camino
Danny got his 1969 SS El Camino in 1999. A family member had it sitting in his yard for a few years collecting leaves and dealing with the weather elements. I am sure you have heard the story a million times.. just never in your yard. Danny told us "the car didn't run, so I towed to my home garage for restoration. I had never restored a car before, but was looking forward to doing all I could myself. I remember the first thing I did to the El Camino was remove the trailer hitch from the bumper'. Danny smiles and said "This El Camino's towing days were over."
It's easy to see why. Danny's family business is automotive paint and supplies so you might guess that he has the best paint and body work possible, and you'd be right, but it didn't stop there.
With the help of his friends Danny took the old family SS apart in his garage. The original 396 was not there anymore so he rebuilt the existing 454. Danny told us "my friend John Franceschi built the motor from scratch along with transmission, electrical, and exhaust." One listen as Danny drives by will confirm that this is not your grandfather's El Camino.
As mechanical was being worked on, Danny and his friends stripped the car getting it ready for body and paint work. It was not a frame off restoration, but as close as they could get to it considering the limited space. Remember, most of this was done in Danny's garage. Danny went on to say "I spent many hours underneath grinding away old undercoating. I then re-undercoated and painted the undercarriage." Next step, the body shop.
6 months later Danny towed it to the body shop where it remained for about 8 months. As it was being stripped to bare metal and body work being done, Danny's task was picking a color scheme.
"Owning an Auto Body Paint store didn't help" Danny told us with a puzzled look on his face. "I see a lot of different colors everyday, so I had a lot of choices. I wanted to go for a modern day color rather than the original colors for the 1969 era. I ended up picking a 2000 BMW Titanium Silver Metallic." The Black Rally stripes definitely accented the silver. After being painted they towed it back to Danny's house again where they put it back together.
Over the next couple days the stout 454 was honed to a fine edge and when they started it up for the first time a new name was christened, The SS Torch. Now it was on to the new interior. This picture doesn't do it justice. The interior was completely re-done. Take a look the next time you see Danny at a club event or show.
Danny proudly boasted "This car always turns heads wherever I go. The compliments remind me of the many days and hours spent on this El Camino. My New Year's resolution is to drive it more to club events and meet other members."