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Goodguys 2019 LMC Truck of the Year Late

Congratulations to Scott & Sherrie Cooper for winning the Goodguys 2019 LMC Truck of the Year Late title with their 1970 Chevy El Camino! We’ll see you in Scottsdale November 15-17, 2019!


If you think about it, the current crop of performance-flavored “muscle trucks” coming from Chevy, Ford, and Dodge can probably trace its roots back to the El Caminos of the ’60s and ’70s. As the muscle car era evolved, it was easy for Chevrolet to extend its Super Sport trim package option and performance engine offerings to these Chevelle-based trucks. Prior to this time, most anything with a bed on it was much more utilitarian and typically quite slow, with load-carrying torque taking precedent over horsepower. The El Camino – especially V8-powered SS variants – changed that dynamic.

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Scott and Sherrie Cooper teamed up with Cam Miller at HS Customs in Logan, Utah, to take that concept of a performance hauler and up the ante considerably with their ’70 El Camino, adding in custom elements, refined style, and blistering performance. The results are both stunning and sinister and reflect the truck’s name, “RelentleSS”.

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Cam and the HS team started with an Art Morrison chassis equipped with Strange coil-over shocks and rack-and-pinion steering for modern handling, plus a 9-inch rearend and big Wilwood disc brakes. Schott wheels – 17s in front, 18s in the rear – added both aesthetic and performance credentials to the Chevy.

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Those credentials spilled over to the engine – a beautifully detailed 572c.i. big-block Chevy with plenty of paint and polish, not to mention an impressive eight-stack fuel injection setup built using Hilborn and Holley components. A March Performance accessory-drive setup was used on front of the engine, while a Tremec six-speed was bolted to the rear.

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Plenty of work went into the body to achieve such smooth flanks and precision gaps. Besides the shaved emblems, the HS team also built custom metal ground effects pieces, flush-fit taillight housings, and modified bumpers. A custom aluminum grille was crafted for the front, and the team built an incredible burled wood floor for the bed, which had previously been all steel. The body ultimately bathed in a beautiful PPG Kodiak Brown finish.

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The El Camino’s cabin was treated to similar attention, with a custom dashboard filled with Dakota Digital instruments and flowing down into a custom console that incorporates a screen for the audio system, Vintage Air controls, and the shifter. Gabe’s Custom Interiors in San Bernardino, California stitched the two-tone brown upholstery over bucket seats – and nearly every other surface.

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When it rolled out of the HS Customs shop, RelentleSS satisfied just about every desire the Coopers could have wanted. It has the brute power of a muscle car, the bed of a pickup, the refinement of a street rod, and the one-off appearance of a custom. Seems like the perfect combination to win the Goodguys 2019 LMC Truck of the Year Late title.

Photos by John Jackson

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.

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