1969 Chevrolet El Camino

By Garrett Woods
Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a 26 year old North Carolina native, and an Appalachian State University Alumni.  I love classic cars and would love to continue to grow my collection as I get older.

How did you first learn about Cool Rides Online?
I learned about Cool Rides Online from an Instagram challenge that they had a few years ago where people could go and vote for their favorite ride.  I won that poll and  was some great products from 303. It was a lot of fun and I became a Cool Rides Online fan from then on.

What Cool Rides do you currently own?
I currently own a few Chevrolets.  I have my 1969 El Camino, a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.  They all serve a purpose and all get some good road time throughout the year.

Now tell us a little about your favorite “Cool Ride”; what makes it special?
My favorite Cool Ride is for sure my 1969 Chevrolet El Camino.  This car is special for a few reasons, the main one being the fact that it was my first car and I got it when I was 13 years old.  The car was built by myself with help from my brother, father and grandfather along the way.  This car is a true garage built car with a lot of memories attached to it.  The best memory is taking it out for a ride after rebuilding the engine when it had no front clip on it and I was sitting on a jack stand as a seat to drive.  The car was daily driven for a year in Boone, NC when I went to Appalachian State, and currently is driven to work a few times a week.  It’s not a show car by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a pretty good looking driver!

What’s next for your Cool Ride?  Planning additional work for it or maybe a special trip/cruise?
The car is actually going to get blown back apart in a few years to be painted a different color and change up my chassis set-up.  A different style of suspension will be added and the exterior will receive some modern touches.  The interior will be upgraded to include some more modern features as well.  The car is currently red and will change to a Pearl White with two small accent stripes down the side that will be dark grey and candy red.  I’m very excited to being the rebuild, but will take some time to continue enjoy driving it before I take that leap.

What’s your favorite memory involving your Cool Ride?
I would have to say that my favorite memory in my car would be the first time I was able to take my Grandfather out for a ride in the car after I got it on the road.  He loves old school Chevrolet’s and owned a 57 Bel Air when I was very young.  He sold it long before I was old enough to drive it and since then wishes he still had it.  So whenever we can go for a ride it takes him back to what makes him happy and it’s something that allows us to bond!

What was the most difficult modification you’ve completed on any of your Cool Rides?
I would have to say the most difficult modification I have done on my car would be the quarter panels.  I welded on new quarter panels when I was 14 years old and it was the first car I had ever done skins on.  I did some research and spoke with professionals on how to properly remove the old ones and install new panels, but of course with it being my first time mistakes were made.  It was a great learning experience and after spending time in body shops and doing more skins and repairs I’m much more confident that when I blow the car back apart she will be much closer to perfection.

What is your dream car to own if money was not an issue?
This is a tough question, because every car enthusiast has a long list of cars that we’d gladly put in our stable if we had access to unlimited amounts of money! I would say a car that I’ve always liked from a style and performance aspect would have to be the Astin Martin DB-9 Stealth.  I would absolutely love to have one of those in my garage!

Taking care of collector vehicles is not easy.  Do you have any special tips on how to take care of your Cool Rides in and out of storage?
Since I drive this car quite frequently I have gotten my share of rock chips and normal wear and tear.  What I do to keep my car looking clean is to make sure I wash it weekly and keep a good coat of wax on the car every 3 months when I’m driving it heavily.  I also make sure that after a wash each week I look it over and locate any rock chips and touch them up quickly with some primer and paint.  It’ll keep all the new metal on the car from rusting and will make sure that your car continues to look good until you’re able to respray the panels.

Is there anything else you’d like the Cool Rides Online members to know about you?
I think the answers above pretty much sum me up! I love the classic car community and can’t wait to meet more people next year during show season!

The photography was performed by Jordan Pierce with @jpphotography1996

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