John Dubois' 1960 Chevy El Camino
(from Volume 19, Issue 232)

When he was younger John Dubois worked at, built, and ran car dealerships up north. Along the way he also competed in NHRA drag racing, running late ‘60s and ‘70s Pontiacs and Chevys, and in the process became an NHRA record holder. The dealerships were sold in the early ‘90s and John moved to warm and sunny New Port Richey, Florida to pursue his first love, building classic cars.

John opened Mint Restorations in January of 1993, with his focus on restoring C1, C2, C3 and C4 Corvettes, some to NCRS and Bloomington Gold standards. He paired up with Van Steel Corvettes remanufacturing Corvette suspensions, rear ends and 4-speed transmissions. Eight years later, he took the next step and began making hot rod Corvettes by upgrading old Vettes with all the modern technology. John later began building ‘32 and ‘37 Fords. He enjoyed the “no rules” concept of hot rod building that allowed him creative freedom. As he put it, “If you build it well and right, everything is cool. An individual’s limits are only their imagination!”.

Another 8 years passed (after a very short stint at Boyd Coddington’s), and John went back to his roots of modernizing ‘50s and ‘60s muscle cars. He now has over 12 of these award winning cars under his belt. His latest creation, the 1960 Chevy El Camino pictured here.

After digging the ‘60 El Camino out of the Arizona dessert outside of Phoenix, the two year search for parts began, and the 18 month ground-up reconstruction began. As you can see the end results were great. It started with restoring and smoothing out the stock chassis, adding a custom polished aluminum fuel tank for the high pressure fuel system, and plumbing it with stainless fuel, brake and trans cooler lines. An electric hydraulic master cylinder now actuates the Wildwood big brakes on all four corners, and a 605 fast ratio power steering box was added.

Under the hood resides an LS6 engine packing 450 horsepower, fitted with a set of Street & Performance ceramic coated headers and cooled by a crossflow aluminum radiator with twin cooling fans. The engine is topped by a custom engine cover, which incorporates the car’s exterior cues. The power is routed rearward by a 4L60E overdrive automatic transmission, with gears selected via a Lokar shifter.

On the exterior things were kept somewhat stock looking, with enhancements adding to the classic lines of the body. That included lengthening the rear wheel openings, installing Impala body molds, installing custom rear backup lights, and redoing all the chrome and stainless trim. The fuel filler was moved into the pickup bed, which has now been treated to red stained wood and stainless steel rails, and incorporates a custom electric actuated storage lid. The center hump was removed on the front bumper, the bumper ends were tucked tighter to the body, all of the bumper bolts were removed, and the seams welded together for a smooth one-piece look.

On the inside there have been numerous changes, the most immediately apparent being the ‘64 Impala bucket seats and floor console, which transitions up between the seats with a custom divider to the package tray area, creating a custom storage area behind the seats. There are ‘61 Impala armrests and reflectors, the dash top and bottom have been smoothed, custom under dash filler panels were made for a very clean look, and all the switches have been hidden. The radio is housed behind a custom drop down panel, and features a Pioneer CD unit with Sirius radio, bluetooth, iPod hookups, and four speakers. A Vintage Air system keeps the cabin cool, with the control panel recessed under the dash. You’ll also find Dakota Digital gauges, an Ididt tilt steering column, a billet half-wrap steering wheel, plus power windows and door locks.

John’s 1960 El Camino just received the Classic Instruments Top 5 Pros Pick at the 2013 NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals Plus in Tampa this past October, which is where we spotted the car and took the pictures. The attention to detail and quality craftsmanship certainly make it stand out, features which were not lost on the admiring spectators all weekend long. CN