For the Week of March 30, 2015
My name is Jay Bernard. I am retired from the Commercial Fishing business with 3 boats: 58’,65’ and an 85’, both sport fishing charter boats/commercial catch in the Pacific based out of San Diego and Ventura CA. I have always been a car guy and have had multiple cars but I consider myself an El Camino lover. I have owned three new ones: ’66, ’67, ’69 and I have restored four other ‘69s. Currently I have a 1969 El Camino SS 396, a 1965 Thunderbird, and a 2015 Challenger SRT 8. If money was not an issue I would love to find my first car: a 1957 Chevy 150. I found out about Cool Rides Online several years ago through an email sent to me.
My 69 El Camino SS Teal colored Cruck has been with me for 26 years. I did a complete frame off by myself in 1989 and 1990 back to stock and that stayed for a year and a half. Then I started on the engine bay to resign the car to what I wanted but I left the body stock, inside all stock and the undercarriage stock. The engine bay has a BB with every item that can be taken off Chromed, Polished, Billet Copied, including all the plastic stock pieces and the wheel wells along with some custom stainless hood inserts with lazar lettering and led lighting polished radiator plus other. After doing all of this almost every part was put back in its stock location to present a stock engine all dressed up to play show car, some ten year ago a group of guys nicknamed the car EL Chromeo and it stuck. The license tag is CHROMEO now. I drive it everywhere it goes as trailers are for boats. I have done two Power Tours with El Chromeo and 25 Super Chevy Shows in CA, FL and GA. It has racked up 16 Best Overall El Camino awards, 18 Best Street Class El Camino awards, 2 Best of Show Street Class Car all models, and 3 Best of Show Engine awards all models. Other show awards of importance: Judges First Place at Down Town Disney’s Car Masters with Chip Foose being head judge, Autorama indoor world of wheel Best in Class Chevelle, Malibu, El Camino, NPD Parts annual Silver Springs Ocala FL all GM show Best “A” Body three times in 7 years. The miscellaneous awards count into the 300 plus area over the years I have shown the car.
Up next I am planning a 3rd Power Tour when I get my total health back again. I had major back surgery in 2014 and am able to wipe my cars off again after 11 months. I am healing now. The most difficult modification that I have done is a complete re-power of El Chromeo 2009 and complete drive train and under paint of the 56 Thunderbird back to 100% natural in 2012/2013. I still have the exterior paint and chrome to go. My favorite memory with my Cool Ride has been winning the 2013 Disney Judges award on Father’s day with some 20,000 spectators. I also enjoy the feeling when someone gives you a thumbs up while just out for a drive.
My best advice for taking care of a Cool Ride is: Drive them, garage them and be 20 year younger.
One last thing to know about me is that I will support the hobby. Remember that your trophy is the car you’re sitting in and respect all of the cars. The fun and the competition are both important and every guys’ ride is his dream in progress because they’re never DONE.
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