February 27, 2012 3:00 AM

“This one’s special because it has a factory four-speed and most are automatic.”

The Ride
The Driver: Ray
Car in Question: 1968 Chevy El Camino
Spotted at: Terrace St., East Haven, CT
Odometer: 13,000


Q: Totally classic ride. Can you tell us a little about it? Is there a story behind yours?

A: Strangely enough, the car started in 1959. It went through ’60 or ’61. They stopped making it. Then they started up again a year and a half later. This is 1968. I found the car in Tampa online about eight years ago. I was looking specifically for a ’68 because I was born in ’68. If you’re gonna put yourself into a classic car, might as well get one the year you were born. This one’s special because it has a factory four-speed and most are automatic. It actually makes about 500 horsepower, which is a ridiculous amount of horsepower. Is it necessary? Absolutely not. Is it a lot of fun? Yes.

Q: How long have you had it?

A: Eight years. We drove it back from Tampa and it has racing buckets in it. It’s not the most comfortable ride. We spent a couple of days driving it back.

Q: What are you using this bad boy for?

A: This is the only muscle car I know that you can tote your motorcycle around in the back. If you can’t tote your motorcycle around, what are you doing? It’s not normal in two or four-door cars, so it’s the best of both worlds. It gives me an identity crisis because the car’s a truck. It’s a car with a pickup truck back on it.

Q: Have you used it as a daily driver for the past eight years?

A: It’s been sitting for a couple of years. I had it stored at my aunt’s place. It sat and it sat. For the work I do, I had a pickup truck and it was involved in an accident. My girlfriend and I shared her car for a while. Then I decided to fish this thing out of the yard and put it on the road because any time her car breaks down, it needs an expensive repair. I said, what if you can have a car where you never need to go to a mechanic. I can fix anything that goes wrong with this myself.

Q: You said the car only has 13,000 miles on it. How does a ’68 only have 13,000 miles?

A: The guy I got in from in Tampa ran a garage. They were using it as a parts car. He realized they had an old classic car, and being a hot rod nut, he got together with a buddy named John Hernandez, who’s a Florida guy who builds dragster motors. They said, hey let’s monkey around with this thing. We’ll restore it with a big Chevy motor in there. So they got it in their heads to turn this thing into a 10 second quarter mile car, so they built out the motor. They put it together. He had other things to do, like make children, so he put the car up for sale.

Photos and interview by Ken Liebeskind

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