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Questions about 69 El Camono 454 and brakes

I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/11
Posted: 09/11/11 02:20 PM

Maybe someone here can shed some light on this.

I have test driven a couple of 69' El Camino's both with stock drum brakes.  For starters neither car seemed to have much stopping power.  The one car's seller stated the brakes were new and needed to break in Confused,and a different 69 seller said the car was setting for quite a while and this was the issue.  Both cars had a hard pedal but it took a great amount of force to stop each car.  I learned to drive back in the 60's and I don't recall the drum brake vehicles having brakes this crappy, and at 20 mph no less!

Second, the car I prefer to buy is the 69 with a 454 that was installed in place of a 350.  I was not able to push the car much due to the brake issue.  I really don't think I need a 454 would rather had a performance 350.  Is there any market for used 454 engines?  Engine appears fine no smoke or leaks.

What is the value of a 1969 350 69 El Camino with very little rust, a so-so paint job and an overall none bubba-ed condition?  Has 454, 400 trans on column, no body damage, a/c not working, good glass, missing chrome strips on sides and tail gate.
Tires are no good due to age cracks.
All electrical works.
TIA  Laugh

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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2337
Joined: 03/10
Posted: 09/11/11 02:34 PM                this might help.  

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Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy
Posts: 537
Joined: 06/08
Posted: 09/13/11 06:55 AM

go to for used car values. they have a section for classics.  

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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2253
Joined: 07/08
Posted: 09/13/11 09:34 AM

454s are still popular engines. Just go to the drags and see whats running there.
Lots of BBs, especially in the bracket dragster class. Good reliable power is the reason.
With the PROPER builder and parts one could expect 700hp from such a  race motor. A SB will be hard pressed to reach those numbers and would cost twice as much.
I have had cars with drum brakes non power assist and they usually stopped fine.
Now using them to stop a race car from 100+ in the shutdown area is another issue.  

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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2280
Joined: 11/09
Posted: 09/13/11 06:26 PM

i would say $2500 to 4500 with what you stated,,,, pics are worth soooo much with pricing a classic car.

 im sorry,,,,, but the NADA dont crawl all over the car and tell you what you are really getting thats up to you the buyer.

 I could go on for a while with stuff to look for but lets get with the basics

 My best advice,,,,,,you buy an old car for the,,,,

   #1 the body, simply cause it it the most expensive to fix and the first thing you and everyone else sees,,,if it sucks,,, the whole world knows and it wont get many looks

 #2 frame and suspension,,,, I done care if it has 1,000HP if the undercarrage and brakes are rusted out,,, the car is nothing more than a large engine run stand. oh and there aint many good old car frames laying around, and the aftermarket is priced to the more well off class of folks Smile and most of us aint one of them.

#3 and last is the engine cause its is the easiest thing on (most) any old car to repair, or replace, and most average car guys can swap an engine.  

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