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1981 El Camino, 4-Speed w/ factory Hurst Shifter, 400ci small block
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, it's me again. When I get bored, I like to chat up El Caminos. Heck, sometimes I'll ramble on about any old car or truck. But I just got to thinking. Us older guys probably can remember the days when cars were roaming the streets with K-Mart rear air shocks, pumped all the way up, to make clearance for a set of 14 or 15 inch Cragar rims and gigantic tires, that stood absolutely NO CHANCE of fitting in the wheel wells. In days of past, every self proclaimed "street racer" was quick to insist....... his car just won't hook up, and the only solution was air shocks with huge meatballs, LOL. The result was the inevitable heavily raked, nose down (A$$ end up) muscle car stance, that was all fashion 40 years ago. And our El Caminos were by NO MEANS exempt from this trend. I myself was guilty, but I just wanted to ask some of my fellow Old Farts.....Remember seeing cars like this at intersections?

Speaking only for myself, I loved them, and looking back, I kinda' miss the old hot rods. Once we as a Car Culture figured out what back spacing and tire sizing actually meant, they started to disappear. Today, narrowed axles and wheels tubs have pretty much killed the whole deal, once and for all. But hey, for the younger guys who can't picture what I am talking about, I posted a few pics.

Maybe you guys were/are glad to see these cars fade away, but I remember these slanted cars with protruding tires, very fondly. But that probably comes from my inherit love of the long dead "Gassers" of the 60's. My all time favorite cars!!!

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Land vehicle
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Plant
 

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I was born in ‘69. As a youngster I thought rake and big meats were cool. My dad called them ‘******* cars’; I didn’t realize he was being negative so I kept saying I wanted a ******* car when I grew up!
Patrick
 

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My daily driver in the early 80s.
No air shocks. It was set up by previous owners for the strip and had a 427.
It was changed to a 69 Z28 SBC set up by Keith Black when I got it.

Things like bumpers, radios, just added weight and were removed.
Tire Car Wheel Automotive parking light Vehicle
 

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1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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I believe r e d n e * * may be one of the :censored: 4 letter words that is spelled funny... on second thought nah just excessive auto mod.
Back on subject the "traction bars" on the nova bring back many memories of the oversized tire trend also.
 

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Yes, it's me again. When I get bored, I like to chat up El Caminos. Heck, sometimes I'll ramble on about any old car or truck. But I just got to thinking. Us older guys probably can remember the days when cars were roaming the streets with K-Mart rear air shocks, pumped all the way up, to make clearance for a set of 14 or 15 inch Cragar rims and gigantic tires, that stood absolutely NO CHANCE of fitting in the wheel wells. In days of past, every self proclaimed "street racer" was quick to insist....... his car just won't hook up, and the only solution was air shocks with huge meatballs, LOL. The result was the inevitable heavily raked, nose down (A$$ end up) muscle car stance, that was all fashion 40 years ago. And our El Caminos were by NO MEANS exempt from this trend. I myself was guilty, but I just wanted to ask some of my fellow Old Farts.....Remember seeing cars like this at intersections?

Speaking only for myself, I loved them, and looking back, I kinda' miss the old hot rods. Once we as a Car Culture figured out what back spacing and tire sizing actually meant, they started to disappear. Today, narrowed axles and wheels tubs have pretty much killed the whole deal, once and for all. But hey, for the younger guys who can't picture what I am talking about, I posted a few pics.

Maybe you guys were/are glad to see these cars fade away, but I remember these slanted cars with protruding tires, very fondly. But that probably comes from my inherit love of the long dead "Gassers" of the 60's. My all time favorite cars!!!

View attachment 143602 View attachment 143608
Love that look.
 

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87 Caballero Amarillo, stock 305/200R4/QJ
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I remember my sister's boyfriend's little brother. He had a 76 Camero with a transplanted and built 400 from a T/A that still had the 800cfm QJ. And Airshocks pumped so tight it rode like rollerskates on blacktop. Was the only way to get the massive back tires under the wheel wells. Couldn't go through some parking lots because the nose dipped so low it'd scrape the speed bumps.

Sadly he decided not to get pulled over for a DUI, again, and tried to out-run the police radio. It was working until a palm tree brought him to an abrupt halt. Skidmark estimated at over 160mph.

I do miss those days, sometimes, but most days I'm glad they are behind me.
 

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On my 70 LeMans I couldn't afford air shocks and wide tires. Got the tires and used a jack and chunks of 2x4 in the coil springs.
 

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1966 Camino
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I pumped my '72 Nova up like that one, although I couldn't afford the wide tires so, it had stock steel wheels with hubcaps:D
 

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Ministry of Broke Things
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Had my '77 Elky like that back in '86. Wide Appliance honeycomb wheels, and air shocks pumped up to 85 PSI. I can still feel that pogo stick ride!
 
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Yep they had to stick outside of the rear fender well...50's baby as wide as you could get
I believe that is also when folks thought that was the width of the tire and not the aspect ratio. I know I did until I found out that 50's, 60's, or 70's and so on had nothing to do with width. Even people today will argue with you that is the width of the tire.
 

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My first wide tires were take off F70 Wide Ovals. The guy bought a new Torino and did not like them so I traded him the fairly new tires off my 66 Mustang HP 289 even up. They were actually the first set of Wide Ovals ever to grace the Tampa area. They sure got a lot of attention.
 

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1981 El Camino, 4-Speed w/ factory Hurst Shifter, 400ci small block
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397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, I am please as can be with all the great responses.
At this point, I just can't resist my HORRIFIC example of this very issue.
This is literally ME, at 16 years old, in my 1967 Olds Cutlass, 330ci 320 horsepower high school beast.
As you can clearly see.....it's got that old school, nose down lean....LOL
I installed JC Whitney rear lift cans, to help clear the wheels....and looked REALLY cool in the process!

Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Plant
 

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On my 70 LeMans I couldn't afford air shocks and wide tires. Got the tires and used a jack and chunks of 2x4 in the coil springs.
On my 70 LeMans I couldn't afford air shocks and wide tires. Got the tires and used a jack and chunks of 2x4 in the coil springs.
Back in the day, you could buy twist in aluminum spacers that you installed in the coils with a 1/2” drive ratchet, no socket.
I used them on the front of a 1968 Mustang, air shocks on the rear to raise the body enough to clear big tires front and rear.
I had a couple of broken parts as a result. 😜
I thought it looked great though.
 

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2,078 Posts
Hello,

And now, its exactly the opposite with the recent "California Squat" look. High and lifted in the front, dragging almost, in the back. Not for me but here it is . . . .


Rick
 
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