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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here on the forums have a true L78 car? I am going to look(buy) this weekend. He says second owner, has Zl2 hood, 6500 tach, 12 bolt, no A/C, original paint(Very faded). Square port heads? Matching number car, I will check block stamp with vin.

Thx
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Al, what can you tell me about a L78 car? Im going to look on sat. I am driving 350 miles..lol Ive seen some L78 cars with 5500rpm redline tach. Still has original air cleaner and seals, also has 396/375 old sticker on it. These cars are suppose to have squareport heads, I know to look for a hump on the front, any other way to tell other then taking off the V/C? Any help would be great, thx.:beers:
 

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Stacy,

Does the car have the original motor, trans, and rear...? Is it a 1970? Look for the build date on the cowl tag. There's a bunch of info to look for that will verify. I can't even begin to list them. Is it in SoCal? If so and you don't mind, I can go with you. Not that you need any help. By the looks of your cars, you should be able to spot any type of fraud. I'm not sure about the 5500 redline for a L78. I'm pretty sure they came with the higher redline. Air cleaners or stickers don't mean much. A valid suffix code with VIN on the motor is a good sign. Paperwork is a bonus like POP, buildsheet, or window sticker. History of the car is good too. Like....how long has the person owned it or do they know how many have owned it....are they the original owners...

I really can only speak for 1970 L78 El Caminos because I own one and know it pretty well.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He says it has original motor/4spd/12 in it. He says he got it in a trade, he owns a body shop. Yes it is a 70'. The car is up North Cali.The 550redline is what ive read off this site, I think Atlanta cars used what ever tach they had in stock..lol I will check history, facts and drop the gas tank.
 

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El Camino or Chevelle or what...? Then check for and snap pictures of the motor ID area and if you can check that it has the correct partial VIN. Post the pictures on the board here. There are some folks here that can help to determine if it's a fake. Build date is important. I think 12C would be the latest for a Chevelle. Do you have any pix of it...? If it has a CKF rear then that's a good sign. 4 speed is M21 minimum. There will be a stamp with partial VIN on the passenger side. It's easily read and should be something like PxxxxxB for M21 or PxxxxxC for M22 and then the partial VIN.

Has the interior ever been removed? If not, there's a good chance you might find a buildsheet there. Some have found it on top of the tank. Most folks won't let you drop their tank, but maybe you can with them.

I'd question a 5500 redline tach, but that's me. I don't care where it's from. There were plently of these high redline tachs that were needed for the LS6. Can't imagine they ran out or just stuck ANY tach in place. Again, this is my opinion.

If you have pix and don't mind posting them, do so here and you'll get all kinds of help.

Regards,
Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On thurs he will be sending me close ups of the engine, block pad where partial vin will be, under carriage, floors. He says the interior looks to be all original, bench car. Torn seat, I will drop the tank aswell, as look inside of the door panels. Thanks for the help.:beers:




 

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Stacy,

I have to take off now. Good luck on your trip and the sale! Be safe. It's a ways up north.

I would get as much info about the El Camino, like numbers, dates, and stuff with pictures and all. Then go over it real well before deciding to buy. If you feel good with what you've seen while you're there and don't mind leaving a small hold deposit with the owner with the intention that if it's NOT a real L78 then you get my deposit back, then take your time and make sure it's what you're after. These cars are very expensive and a L78 is very expensive to restore. Don't let them rush you. If they do, then be cautious. Oh! Check the glove box for owners maunal, Consumer guide, and What you should know pamphlets. There are dates on those too! It all have to match with the cowl tag build date. There's just a bunch to check for including glass. Be methodical and take reference books and notes.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thx Al will do.
 

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Just saw you pix. Nice Elco for sure, but I'm not sure it's a L78. It should have an aluminum intake and chrome valve covers for sure. It looks like it has the emissions canister. There will be a number stamped into the top of it along with a two letter prefix and a date code. Get those. Alternator looks like a 1100837 with the correct pulley, but it's kinda hard to see. Power steering...nice. Cowl hood...nice. Even has the headlight trim! Well...on one side anyway. Check the dates on those wheels too! You have to take the wheel trim off and the number are on each side of the valve stem.

Nice truck and, if you have the time for a trip.....why not!

Good luck!

Al



Very nice lookin' Elco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
More pics





 

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That's an oval port engine with an oval port intake. That intake won't cover the tops of rectangular ports. People talk like GM ran out of stuff all the time and threw in wrong tachs or whatever. They were a little more organized than that. While mistakes did happen, they were far fewer that what people would have you believe. Too many inspectors on the line back then to let much through. I think people just use this story in most cases when they get caught with the wrong stuff on the car they are selling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thx for the info.
 

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I like the color combo...same as my Elcamino. Mine is a 350hp 4 speed with buckets and console. Code 58 right? That's what it looks like anyhow in all of it's faded glory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks to be L34 car :(, but I will tear into it looking for the build sheet.
 

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Only curious on a market value standpoint. How much did you pay or was he asking for it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Paid 6k and gave him my MillerMatic 180Tig
 
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