Strolling by all the wondrous classics and custom car builds at the 22nd Goodguys Summer Get-Together in Pleasanton, California, we stumbled across one car that was unique in its own way. Owned by John Cano of Antelope, California, feast your eyes on this 1966 Chevrolet El Camino, which has been done up in all the right ways.
Competing against the Ford Ranchero, the second generation of Chevrolet’s El Camino was a stellar package that saw limited production numbers and subtle new features. Available with inline-six cylinder and V8 configurations, buyers had the choice between reliability or power.
Falling Into Place
John Cano’s ’66 El Camino has come a long way from what it was when he first bought the timeless ride. “I came to own the El Camino because of a friend,” he said. “The owner had it sitting in the back of his shop. It was run down, white and just kind of beat up.”
Cano said the El Camino’s body needed a lot of work, as well as new internals, due to its declining condition at the time. With money he saved up, Cano was eager to get his hands on the El Camino, with dreams of bringing it back to its former glory.
“The shop owner told me that it was just sitting there if I wanted to buy it,” he said. “I bought it off of him and put in my garage, and it sat for two years. I just piddled around with it and little by little, now its come to look like this after five and a half years of work.”
With a clear vision and insurmountable passion for the El Camino, Cano shelled out several hours of his time to resurrect the El Camino. He called his buddies over at Roseville Rod and Custom to lend a hand on the build.
“Roseville Rod and Custom did all the bodywork,” he said. “All of the stainless on the car is new, complete with custom mirrors, and even tinted windows. The body came out super straight and they did a really nice job overall.”
As the El Camino slowly came together, Cano’s A-body pickup grew into a unique specimen that we found keen interest in.
“The guys at Roseville Rod and Custom really helped me with this thing, getting me off my feet when I was down,” he said.
Custom All Around
Inside and out, Cano’s custom El Camino embraces old school and modern design aesthetics. A custom but also a daily driver, Cano loaded up the car with a bevy of features.
“It’s a one stage 1967 Corvette Yellow paint, Sunfire Yellow I believe,” he said. “It’s a mixed base paint with ingredients from back in the day with all of the old chemicals. It should last longer than conventional paint and has a nice luster that costed me close to $10,000.”
I love this car and there’s nothing more I want to do with it.
– John Cano
With the front fascia already separating itself from the rest of the El Caminos out there, the rear of the vehicle is just as intriguing. “The taillights have little chrome rings that came off a ’55 Chevy pickup, and the taillights themselves are from a ’56 Chevy,” Cano said.
The Mill Beneath
As captivating as the exterior is, Cano’s El Camino has the drivetrain combination to power the car’s good looks. Under the hood rests a small-block 350ci V8, mated with a Turbo 350 three-speed automatic transmission.
“The small-block 350 was a nice choice for the build,” he said. “It definitely gets going when the pedal hits the floor.”
Power meets the pavement with a 10-bolt rear end with stock springs, which were cut to lower the rearend. A set of American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels, complete with knock offs, are wrapped with sticky Kumho tires.
A concealed turbo dual exhaust keeps everything looking classy, which showcases the molded tailgate. A tonneau cover keeps the bed of the El Camino clean, which leads us to the interior.
Inside, the original El Camino bucket seats are still intact, which are nicely complemented with the all black interior. The console remains original, however the dash is custom with a tachometer installed in place of the clock to monitor the small-block V8’s revs.
Cano added in a custom Lecarra steering wheel, which helps to round out the silver and black color cues inside. The gauges in the console add a modern touch to Cano’s El Camino. A Pioneer CD deck below lets Cano jam out to his favorite tunes.
“All generations, young and old, enjoy this El Camino,” he said. “Its paint color keeps it vintage, and all the changes I made on the exterior help to keep your eyes wandering.”
Cano’s custom El Camino is beautiful, sporting a simple design vision that never gets old. We like what he has done with it, and its design choices made us double take at the Goodguys Summer Get-Together in Pleasanton, California, earlier this summer.
Summing It Up
Overall, Cano’s El Camino was a standout that went under the radar at the show. We were glad we could speak with such a passionate enthusiast as Cano. With no plans to do anything else to it, Cano has put it up for sale to test the water and get an idea of the car’s value.
Cano’s dedication to this El Camino definitely shows, and we couldn’t be any more pleased with the final result. This El Camino is a unique build as the exterior tries to look like if has been left in its virgin state. We commend Cano for taking a risk using different headlights, taillights, and front grille as it worked out nicely when all was said and done.