Classic Feature - Ken Wentzell & Mo Mulcahey’s 1967 El Camino
by Gary Porter
Ken can trace his interest in cars back to his Dad’s service station in Lantz. Never one to leave things stock, his first car was a 1964 Chevelle, which he gave the gasser look to by installing a straight axle. The original drive train was swapped out in favour of a 396 and a four speed. Over the years he has built numerous hi performance, show worthy vehicles. He was the local pioneer in the pro street trend, most notably building a 6-71 blown big block pro street ‘55 210 two door sedan and a ‘57 pro street big block Corvette. Do you see a trend here?

His current ride is a, you guessed it, pro street big block 1967 El Camino. Ken and Mo acquired this southern car locally about six years ago. At that time it was painted blue and was powered by a small block with a four speed. That drive train was only used to get the El Camino to Ken and Mo’s Beaver Bank home where it was removed and returned to the seller.

Under the fiberglass hood now resides a big block of undisclosed displacement built by Ken using go fast goodies from Holley, Edelbrock and Comp Cams. A Centerforce dual disc clutch connects the powerful Rat to a Richmond five speed. Out back, a Dana 60 using Strange axles and suspension components completes the drive train. All that horsepower meets the pavement via 15 x 14 Weld Rod Lite wheels shod with Hoosier radial tires. Up front matching 15 x 5 Weld Rod Lite wheels carry B.F. Goodrich TA’s mounted on G.M. disc brakes.

Last winter the El Camino received a face lift. After stripping the body, it was treated to a one off colour mixed up by Ken and applied in his garage using the latest Charisma line of paints from RM. A set of multi-colour flames completes the package. Being in the paint and body shop supply business gives Ken an advantage in creating a truly unique ride. A black reproduction interior from Year One freshens up the inside. 

Ken and Mo’s El Camino is not pampered trailer queen, despite the custom paint job. It sees lots of street action around the Maritimes during the summer, logging as many as 8,000 miles each year. The potent big block has not been put through its paces on the strip. It’s actual horsepower and performance is a closely guarded secret. However, it’s ability to smoke those giant Hoosiers is undeniable. Speaking of smoking the tires, one of the nice touches on this car is the personalized plate, S-MOKEN. While it obviously says something about the cars power and its ability to do a burnout, it also contains the owners’ names!

Even though recent improvements were just made, hot rods are never really finished. Near the top of the “wish list” is an 8-71 blower. Ken also indicated that, if the right one came around, he would love to pro street a ‘57 two door sedan. Whatever the future holds, one thing is for sure. When the warmer weather starts Ken and Mo can be found in their El Camino at the local cruises and show and shines or just out on the highway enjoying the sounds of the big block.

Update - July 2008

Ken and Mo’s 1967 El Camino was featured in the Spring 2006 issue of our newsletter. At the time, Ken was battling aplastic anemia, a blood disorder.
Sadly, Ken succumbed to the disease on July 20, 2006.
Ken was a well liked, well respected member of the Maritime car community. His series of “Rat Trick” cars were always on the leading edge of trends and
Ken’s wife, Mo continues to be active in the club, holding the position of Events Director. She also still drives the El Camino regularly.