This 800-HP Rat Rod Used To Be a 1959 Chevy El Camino

Its patina belies the amount of work that went into it.

Steven RuppWriter, Photographer

We're fairly sure alcohol was heavily involved in the ideation and creation of this wacked-out 1959 Chevrolet El Camino, which goes by the name "Hulk-Camino." Yep, what lays before you bears little dimensional and physical resemblance to a big-fin Elky, but that's exactly what it was before welders, cutoff wheels, and a whole lot of imagination went to work. (We've included other examples in the gallery; to be clear, they're not this specific build.) It's almost like a Hot Wheels die-cast model that was never quite finished, yet this '59 has a surreal—and real—presence.

Underneath the half-finished welds and layers of patina—some real, some fake—lies an impressive stack of parts. The engine is a 400 Dart small-block topped with a 6-71 BDS supercharger and fitted internally with a lightweight Callies crankshaft and the requisite forged pistons. The result is an impressive stated output of  800 horsepower! The small-block is mated to a Monster 700R4 transmission, which is then coupled to a Strand Dana 60 rear end. The entire project sits on a custom chassis, because obviously. The rolling stock consists of American Racing Wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber, while stopping duties are handled by Wilwood brakes. We spotted it at the 2019 SEMA show, and in a sea of über-polished rides, this ratty '59 was a real eye-catcher.

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