Ed Biggs' 1959 Chevrolet

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Ed's El Camino at the Lackland Air Base before he sent in to Gemany in 1960. Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Ed with the El Camino. Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Ed's El Camino with the caps off. These pictures were taken before Ed took it on the strip for some racing. Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
After the El Camino was totaled in Germany, Ed replaced it with a 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible. In this photo Ed is the one on the left side of the car wearing a black sweater. Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.
In 1965, Reinhard Zellmann, who borrowed the car from Ed the night it was totaled, built a blue clone of Ed's El Camino. Photo courtesy of Ed Biggs.

1959 Chevrolet El Camino owned by Davenport Idlers member Ed Biggs of Davenport, Iowa. Originally painted black, Ed's El Camino rolled off the assembly line powered by a 350 hp 348 V-8 engine. In addition to this, the car was fit with a T10 Borg Warner 4-speed transmission, a 2.5 inch special exhaust system, tinted windows and a heavy duty suspension system also called "Police Curiser Special". The "Police Cruiser Special" contained heavy duty springs, shocks, steering, brakes and a posi rear end with heavy duty stabilizers. While attending different car shows around the Midwest area, Ed had noted several cars painted by Joe Andersen of Joe Andersen's Custom Shop, so when he decided to buy a 1959 Chevrolet El Camino as shoptruck and rolling advertisement for his business, he wanted Joe to paint the car. The car was ordered through a local dealer, but delivered to a Gardena, California dealer so Joe could pick it up and do his thing to it. Ed had Joe Andersen panel paint the El Camino around June 1959. The car received a candy apple effect, and Joe painted it with 1957 Chevrolet Inca Silver and Sierra Gold Duco paint colors. He first sprayed the silver base, before mixing 75% Sierra Gold with 25% Inca Silver for the color coat. He then finished the paint job with a 50 percent color and 50 percent clear paint. The paint was lacquer, and Joe did also pinstripe the El Camino for Ed. Ed was supposed to fly over and drive the car home when Joe was done with it, but he was too busy at the time, and had to pay someone else to pick it up for him.[1]


In September 1959, Ed joined the USAF. In July 1960 he was stationed at the Ramstein Air Base near the town of Ramstein in Germany. Shortly after arriving in Germany, Ed had the El Camino shipped over to as well. At the time, a person with over 4 years could ship a car at the services expense. As Ed had less than 4 years he had to pay $ 250.00 USD to have the car shipped. Ed's El Camino was shipped from New York to Bremen, Germany, and for the next 3 years he traveled a lot using the car as transportation when he could. The customized car drew crowds wherever it went in Europe, and people were always curious about the engine. Early in 1962 tragedy struck, as the El Camino was totaled when hit by a drunk Italian driver in a Fiat. Ed had loaned the car to his friend Reinhard Zellmann the night the accident happened. The car was parked on a oneway street in Weisbaden, Germany when the Fiat hit a car on the left side of the street. He then got turned and hit Ed's car head on in the left door post dash area. As Ed was not able to have the car fixed up in Europe he sold the remains to his friend Sgt. Bill Coffee who was returning to the US. Bill moved to Florida after returning home, and Ed never heard a thing from him again. After the El Camino was totaled, Ed bought a 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible that he used during the rest of his stay in Germany.[1]


In 1965 Reinhard Zellmann built a clone of Ed's El Camino. The clone was painted blue and silver.[1]


References



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