Finalist
This El Camino may look familiar. It was a feature car in PHR March 2004, titled "Pro-Tour of Duty," and was on the cover of Chevy High Performance the following year. Owner Herb Lumpp is very proud of the publications it has been in, since this is his labor of love. Through the years, Herb has been through several engine and transmission combinations, his current being a well-built big-block Chevy. In addition to swapping motors, Herb has played musical wheels on his car, currently running Intro Pentias wrapped with Nitto rubber. The suspension and brakes have been upgraded slowly over the years, as he likes to keep the car running for as much time as possible, only allowing pauses for smaller projects. He has put over 20,000 miles on this Elko since 2003, the year of its completion, and plans many more. His insurance company frowns on the miles clocked, so as a daily driver, Herb just picked up a new Vette with a six-speed-backed LS3. Maybe we'll see that combination in the Elko next.

1966 EL CAMINO
Car owner: Herb Lumpp; Hurricane, WV
Photographer: Herb Lumpp
Camera: Nikon D80, 70-300mm lens
Photo location: Huntington, WV
Engine: 460-ci big-block Chevy
Cylinder heads: Brodix Race Rite
Camshaft: COMP Cams roller
  .566-inch lift, 244 degrees duration
  at .050-inch lift
Intake: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Carb/induction: 850cfm QFT
  with vacuum secondaries
Ignition: DUI distributor, MSD wires,
  and Denso plugs
Transmission: TKO-600 5-speed,
  Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch
Cooling: Ron Davis Racing aluminum radiator,
  Meziere billet water pump
Rearend model & gearing: Currie-built 9-inch
  Ford rearend, Richmond 3.70 gear,
  Detroit True Trac differential,
  31-spline axles, ARP wheel studs
Suspension/brakes: aftermarket upper and
  lower control arms, B-body spindles,
  custom 850lb coil springs, QA1 adjustable shocks,
  and aftermarket 1 1/8-inch sway bar (front),
  Baer GT+ disc brakes with C5 calipers (front),
  Baer touring disc brakes (rear) with PBR calipers
Wheels: Intro Pentia 18x8 and 18x10
Tires: Nitto NT555 245/40R18 and 295/45R18
Peak hp: 505 hp
Built by: owner
Years owned: 11 years
Cost to build: $90,000

This is a story of a high-school shop teacher who for years watched his students create and build things for themselves. He told himself, one day, he would build something just for him. Upon retiring, and with a lending hand from his auto shop teacher friend, he started building a 350-inch small-block. Most people purchase the project car before building an engine, but shop teacher Rocco knew for sure whatever he bought, it would take a small-block Chevy. This motor was bored .030 inch over, and houses a steel crank and forged aluminum pistons. Rocco's auto shop teacher buddy gave him a set of Dart heads and Crane "high-performance" rocker arms to install. Next, it was time to seek out a car. He had his heart set on a Corvette from day one, but found the years he most desired were out of his budget. He settled for this 1977 that had no useable parts besides the frame and body. He was quite sure if the body was steel, it wouldn't have been usable. Rocco didn't know a thing about body and paintwork before this project, so he enrolled in a community college course to learn. He then spent hours stripping the three-colors-deep paint to the fiberglass beneath. The class didn't just serve as body and paint guidance, but gave him several helping hands to finish the project.

1977 CORVETTE
Car owner: Rocco Lionetti; Mill Spring, NC
Photographer: Rocco Lionetti
Camera: n/a
Photo location: Back yard
Engine: 350ci small-block Chevy
Cylinder heads: Dart
Camshaft: COMP Cams, Crane rocker arms
Intake: Edelbrock
Carb/induction: 750-cfm Holley
Transmission: Cook's Turbo 350
Rearend model & gearing: original housing
  with 3.73 gears
Suspension/brakes: factory suspension,
  four-wheel disc brakes
Wheels: factory
Peak hp: 425 hp (estimate)
Built by: owner and friends
Years owned: 4 years
Cost to build: $16,000