Posted: Apr 29, 2013
MIKE HOLLEMAN QUALIFIES FOR THE 2013 OPTIMA® ULTIMATE STREET CAR INVITATIONAL IN HIS 1965 EL CAMINO
Don't let the "it's just a truck" mentality fool you. Mike Holleman's 1965 Chevrolet El Camino is a serious street machine that more than holds it's own on a racetrack, an environment veryy familiar to the former motorcycle racer. Holleman has several classics in his garage, but the Elky was his weapon of choice for going over the top.
The 327/four-speed combination was quickly ditched in favor of a salvaged LS2/T56 combo from a 2005 GTO. To make that swap easier and make the car handle far better, Mike also ordered up one of Schwartz Performance's first El Camino chassis, which included A-arms, a four-link setup in the rear and RideTech triple-adjustable shocks.
Wilwood brakes can be found on all four corners and if the integrated roll cage doesn't let you know this is serious ride, the Safecraft halon fire supression system removes all doubt. We captured this image at last year's Sandhills Open Road Challenge and Mike is a regular competitor on the American Street Car Series circuit.
The performance bottom line on Holleman's El Camino is a 3,368-pound, nearly 50/50-balanced ride, that runs almost 450-horsepower through it's Forgeline wheels. That may be on the lower end horsepower-wise for an OUSCI competitor, but Holleman's extensive experience and bulletproof combination should give him an edge against many of his competitors.
The question is, now that Holleman knows he is in the OUSCI, will he change anything on his car before Nevada? He's already indicated this current combination has more than 30,000 miles on it, which given the amount of time he spends on a racetrack, speaks to his level of experience. Mike will likely change out the clutch before he heads west, but will that be the extent of his upgrades? Who knows how hard it will be to resist the temptation to push the envelope a little more. We'll check back in with Mike later this year.
In the meantime, if you'd like to see more of Mike's El Camino, check out this feature from Hot Rod magazine.