Rewarding military families for their service is a recurring theme on Overhaulin’.  It’s always gratifying to us when we can give back to those individuals who put their lives on the line everyday to defend our freedoms.  Chris White is a Marine who saw time in Afghanistan working as a Harrier Jet mechanic.  Now employed as an aerospace engineer, Chris volunteers his time to help military charities.  He was nominated for an overhaul by his loving family.  His wife, father, mother and grandfather all served as insiders to ensure that his beloved Chevy was appropriately restored.

Displaying the characteristics of both a car and a truck, this 3rd generation Chevy El Camino (also known as a "coupe utility vehicle”) has a very distinctive look.  Perhaps that’s what appealed to Chris’s grandparents, Evert and Doe, when they purchased the vehicle.  Chris always loved the vehicle and worked on it when he was younger.  After Doe passed, Evert felt it was time that Chris take ownership of the El Camino and handed him the keys.  Still in running condition after a few years of ownership, Chris thought nothing of it when his grandpa asked to borrow the car for a few weeks.  Little did he know that it was on its way to the Overhaulin’ set for a complete restoration.

Chris had no idea when his wife took him to a car show in Lakewood, California that it was actually the stage for the reveal.  Chip brought his personal ’56 Ford Truck, the A-Team and the Overhaulin’ cameras to the same car show, under the guise that they were filming content for the show.  Chris was selected at "random” for an interview and the subject shortly turned to his own classic ride.  When he saw a completely restored ’70 El Camino and his family approaching, he finally put it all together.  Overcome with emotion, Chris was touched by the entire experience.   
That wasn’t the only surprise of the day, Chris actually turned the tables on the insiders when he revealed to his mother, father and grandpa that his wife was pregnant with their first child.  Their family got a little bigger that day and so did our Overhaulin’ family.  Chris, we look forward to your children cruising in the El Camino years from now.
OVERHAULED - What was done

When Chris’s black ’70 El Camino (affectionately known as "The Beast”) rolled onto the set, it arrived in pretty good shape.  Other than a little body damage on the quarter panel it was fairly straight.  After a design meeting with the insiders, the overall aesthetics of the car were determined.  Bigger wheels with low profile tires were chosen to go with a dark crimson paint color.  There was a bit of a debate on whether flames should be added with Chris’s wife against and Grandpa Evert for.  Ultimately, Chip sought to make both parties happy with the addition of ghost flames over silver stripes.

While the body was in fairly good shape, there were a couple areas with a little corrosion and surface rust that had to be repaired.  Some wheel well rust was taken care of by welding in a replacement panel.  The key holes and mirror holes were filled in and some repair done to a factory seam crack.  The original moldings on the vehicle were saved as Chip worked tirelessly to straighten out the dents before repolishing.  Adding a custom touch to the body, Chip removed the 6” tailgate reverse lights, then had the holes patched, welded, hammered and smoothed.  Original Parts Group chipped in with a number of reproduction parts needed including bumpers, interior and weather stripping.  They also provided a new SS replacement hood.

Once the body prep was complete and six coats of primer laid down, the Beast was ready for its new paint color.  A beautiful base color of Merlot Jewel Metallic from BASF’s 90 line Glasurit waterborne system was sprayed by Andy, accented by silver rally stripes.  A subtle flame pattern with spears was painted in a lighter silver color to create those ghost flames.  Dennis Ricklefs, master stripper, outlined the hood and tail stripes in black and red.  He also pinstriped the side, ending the graphic with a fighter jet.  The finishing touch was an inscription on the passenger side that read "In Memory of Doe” to honor Chris’s late grandmother.

A brand new Hotchkis suspension package was installed and supervised by company founder, John Hotchkis.  Their Total Vehicle System included new sway bars, new A-arms, new Fox Hotchkis springs and a complete rear suspension package.  A brand new Magnaflow exhaust system was modified to fit the custom suspension.  A Currie 9” rear end was installed and Baer brakes provided new 6 piston brakes.  Foose Fishtail wheels were wrapped in Pirelli PZero tires to complete the look.

Jessi traveled to Edelbrock Headquarters to pick up the new engine, an Edelbrock V8 shortblock with aluminum cylinder heads, intake manifold and aircleaner valve cover, which was installed by the team.  A cloth two-tone interior was chosen over leather due to the warm California sun.  Bill Dunn took care of the new carpet, headliner and seat covers.  Vintage Air provided a new A/C unit.

Another build in the book for a very deserving veteran, enjoy it Chris!