Attack Speed, Now
Keith Anderson's '70 El Camino SS was born with a 396 under the hood, and a ride in a '69 Chevelle SS convinced him that the car should be reborn with big-block propulsion. West Covina, California's Speed-O-Motive assembled a 496ci short-block based on a 0.060-over two-bolt main 454, starting with an Eagle forged crank working a 4.25-inch stroke. Reconditioned Chevy rods, 6.135 inches long, are topped by Speed Pro hypereutectic pistons fitted with Sealed Power moly rings. Keith took over from there, assembling the rest of this Rat himself. He started with an Ultradyne 288/ 296 F10 cam that provides 0.612/0.630 inch lift, along with 255/263 degrees duration at 0.050. It's synched to the crank with a Summit Racing True Roller timing set; Summit provided the cover as well. Keith rounded out the lower end by fitting a Melling high-volume oil pump drawing from a stock 454 oil pan; up top, he port-matched a set of GM Performance Parts aluminum oval-port heads and fitted Comp Cams Pro Magnum 1.7:1 roller rockers nudged by Comp pushrods. Joined to the block, the compression ratio comes in at an even 10:1. Keith's creation started with a carb, but his dalliance with drag-racing imports provided plenty of experience with EFI, not to mention leftover parts. The working version consists of a Holley 950 Commander Pro fuel-injection setup: 42-lb/hr injectors are fed by a Walbro 225-lph inline high-pressure fuel pump, drawing from a repro tank fitted with a homemade sump and spraying into a Holley EFI single-plane high-rise manifold. An Aeromotive EFI regulator moderates the fuel pressure, while the requisite Commander 950 Pro ECU runs the works. Fire comes courtesy of MSD: a 6A box, a Digital E-curve distributor, and a Blaster 3 coil. Waste disposal is handled by DynoMax, specifically a set of Pro Series ceramic-coated headers joined to Ultra Flo mufflers by an owner-built 3-inch exhaust with an X-pipe. Cooling? Keith employs a Weiand high-flow water pump and a Universal Products aluminum radiator with twin Spal electric fans. Inspired by the Vipers he's owned, it's only fitting that Keith backs up his potent powerplant with an '03 Viper-spec T56 six-speed built by D&D Performance using a 26-spline GM input shaft and bearing retainer, among other beefy goodies. D&D also provided a custom steel adapter place and cast housing, allowing use of the Elco's factory trans mount and mechanical speedo. The shifter is a billet aluminum Triax short-throw arm; the clutch an 11-inch Centerforce Dual-Friction set shielded by a Lakewood bellhousing and worked by the original El Camino linkage. Keith called on Denny's Driveshaft for a Nitrous Ready steel shaft-on the other hand, he took care of the diff himself, rebuilding this original '69 GM 12-bolt with 3.73:1 gears and an Eaton posi. Put it all together, and it comes out at 490 rwhp at 5,560 rpm, along with 513 lb-ft at 4,050 rpm on the LSE Performance (Plymouth, Minnesota) Dyno Dynamics Dynamometer.
The bulk of the interior is original, remarkably intact for a car that has seen its share of race duty. The carpet is a repro rug from Original Parts Group, but you're looking at the original dash, gauges, and factory AM radio with mono speaker, supplemented by Auto Meter mechanical oil-pressure and water-temp gauges in an underdash pod. The steering wheel is by Grant; Keith incorporated an SS wheel center cap into the horn button. Pilot comfort is handled by Arizen Racing Sports custom leather seats with SS logos, safety by Simpson five-point harnesses anchored to the reinforced sheetmetal behind the seat. Keith moved the factory four-speed shift "hump" back 5 inches to accommodate the T56 shifter, which he fitted with the car's original four-speed shifter bezel and boot. The wiring harness is stock; the Racepak G2X data-acquisition system hiding behind the passenger seat is not, but very cool.