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B. The Shop Truck Pedigree

posted Jul 20, 2015, 6:39 AM by Dane Belden   [ updated Jul 26, 2015, 6:17 PM ]
The original paperwork authenticating the 1970 El Camino SS is long gone - the bill of sale and the Protecto-plate did not come with the vehicle when purchased, but a Ziplock bag with pieces of the build sheet did arrive with the car.  The previous owner took the time to remove the gas tank to look for it and found what was left of it on top of the gas tank.  Because the car spent it's entire life prior in California about half of it survived, but in very small pieces.


Well after painstakingly piecing it back together here is what is left of it in all its glory.  The good news is there is enough left of it to confirm that the VIN number matches the vehicle and the options shown are on the El Camino.  This El Camino left the factory with a 396/350 HP big Block, TH400 automatic, 12 bolt (non-posi) rear with Air Conditioning, tilt wheel, gauge package, Astro Bucket seats, console shift and triple black (exterior upper and lower as well as interior).

Upon inspection of the vehicle from top to bottom, all numbers match - with one wrinkle and that is the engine.  When the engine was rebuilt sometime in the early 1980's the block was decked and that removed the stamping numbers!  SO what to do?  Well, again in a stroke of luck, in the late 1960's the Federal Governmnet mandated the application of "Partial VIN" or "Con VIN" numbers on the main components of the car due to chop shops stealing and stripping cars to sell parts.  The Van Nuys plant stamped a partial VIN number on the engine block in 2 places - one on the deck (now gone) as well as one on the block by the oil filter boss.  This block is stamped at the oil filter boss and the VIN matches the car.  Now one could have "restamped" this block to fake it, but it really makes no sense as if you were to restamp it you would just put it on the deck where everyone looks for it, so it is reasonable to believe  this is the original block.



Aside from the stamping numbers (transmission and rear end match) all the casting dates of the various components make sense when comparing it to the assembly build date of the third week of November 1969.