Owner: Matthew Forsythe
Paint: Dark Green Metallic Pearl
Interior: Black Vinyl
Engine: 350 HO Small Block
Transmission: 350 Turbo
To start with I used to have a classic vehicle in my high school days, but it wasn't a Chevy. It was a '70 Ford Mustang! But that car had an accident and was totaled. Not too long after that, my mother, sold it to a junk yard for $50.00. I was a little upset... but I still didn't give up on the dream of owning a classic vehicle again!
With that out of the way I now own a 1969 El Camino and I used to think… What the ?!@#!, is that a Car or a Truck? Well it's both! I bought this '69 Elky from my best friend's brother, it was this old blue color... After a few years being parked in the driveway, I told my wife, we'll just have to get it to someone that can fix it up! We called around and found a place to get the car semi-restored. After a new engine, metal almost all the way around, not taken off the frame restoration, and a few years later, I got to drive it home for the first time again. After that, I joined the El Camino Classics Club in 2009. Since then my family and I have enjoyed the outings we’ve done with the club and on our own.
Here is a story of one of the most interesting outings. One day, at a club meeting, an announcement was stated that our club was approached by a film production company (Oh Hello) that wanted to use an El Camino to be in a commercial for the Washington State Lottery. The Director, said “Send pictures and the Production team might choose a vehicle for their commercial”. I sent my photos on a wing and a prayer, and then in a few days got a call from the director of the club informing me they chose my '69 Elky! Wow! I was thinking, “OK, so now what?” The car had to be in the area the evening before so that it could be at the Shoot early in the morning. I was a little worried about the entire commercial part to begin with, but everything checked out and I decided it was OK to do. This was an exciting event to be a part of, let me tell you!
I decided to take Carl, the El Camino Classics Club Director, with me as my co-pilot. We took the ferry and drove a little bit in the rain until we saw the sign that said “Sequim”. Then the rain stopped! We found the hotel and then went to eat at a great 50's style diner in town.
After eating we went back to the hotel for the night.
Early the next morning, on the way to the car, we noticed that the ground was very slippery from the over night freeze. Since the window was frozen and I don't carry a snow scraper in my car, I used my debit card to clean off the windows! Got in, warmed it up and drove carefully to the shoot in time. It was around 6:30am when we arrived, parked the car & took care of the details (you know, they paid me for the use of the car). It was just about freezing temperatures and stayed between 37-45° all day. In the morning, I met the art crew, who brought
out a car cover that had been painted with blue circles that had black numbers on the circles. They put the cover over the car and took a good look at it from a distance. Then they went to their production truck and pulled out some stencils with numbers, a cardboard with a circle cut in it and a couple spray cans, then proceeded to paint more circles and numbers on the car cover while it was on my car (yikes!). I said “Hey, is that going to go through the cover to the car?”. They said, “No, it will be alright”. And I was thinking: OK, at least you have a $1 million dollar insurance policy on the car. That's when I knew I should just take a breath and let them do their work. The art crew also made some fake bird doo for the other two other cars...
Carl and I were told “Hey, there is coffee over there”. We went over to this big tent and not only did they have coffee, but anything else we could imagine to eat for breakfast! We got coffee and snacks to prepare for hanging around and watching the production.
After a while, they introduced me to the actor/driver and the wardrobe lady, who proceeded to ask us if the actor looked good, we said, “Yeah, he looks good for the part”. While the film crew did their work for setup, I took the actor/driver around in my El Camino to show him how to drive it so we would both feel more comfortable with him driving it in the shoot. Since the only part the car would be driven by the actor is to parallel park the car, and the actor seemed to be OK doing this. No one but I have driven my El Camino since I got it back from the shop, so I needed to know he could park the car correctly.
Since the shoot was not a racing, runaway chase type of commercial, I was feeling a little better about what was going on. When they started to shoot the commercial, they had different camera angles that they did throughout the day. The first shot was from across the street, where they did 15-20 takes. Then 15-20 takes from the middle of the street and 10-15 takes from in the front of the car. Then after lunch this huge crane drove in to hold the camera above the car. It felt like “Groundhog's Day” watching them repeat the scene over and over again to capture the scene from all the different angles. “Action” & “Cut”...
The roads were blocked off for each shot by two police officers and the cones in the road were removed and put back over and over. They also had another lot where they had this huge green screen and a pigeon trainer would put about 8-10 birds on this wire in front of the screen for the crew to shoot. Throughout the day, the food guy kept bringing food around on a platter…I remember the meatballs he served–YUM! What a great job he was doing keeping everyone fed on the crew. Some of the final shots were when the crew put a camera in the bed of the Elky in order to get an angle from underneath when the car cover got placed on the car.
The idea for the commercial is that this guy parks the car between two other cars with tons of bird doo on them, and then gets out, puts on this car cover with lotto ball numbers all over it, then begs the birds overhead to poo on the numbers for him to choose. This commercial should be out soon. Heck, I never thought my car would be used for anything like a prop in a production for a Lotto Commercial! One last thing: if I hadn't been an El Camino Classics member I wouldn't have been approached for this commercial opportunity either!
KEEP ON DRIVING! ~ Matthew
Check out the video here:
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