24 October 2013

Secrets Of The Chevy El Camino

Lately, Chevy has been in the business of either resurrecting or actually doing justice to nameplates of the past (see the new Impala, SS and Camaro).  Still in the wilderness, however, is the much-loved El Camino. Part car, part pickup, hope springs eternal that it might make a comeback. But until then, here are some things most people don’t know about it:

  1. Bill Clinton Owned One: The 42nd President of the United States drove a 1970 El Camino with a bed lined in Astroturf. Enough said.
  2. GM Still Builds It: Well, sort of. GM’s Australian division, Holden (which gave us two of the last great cars to wear the Pontiac badge, the G8 and the final GTO), builds the very El Camino-like Holden Ute, which is badged as a Chevy in the Middle East. Rumors persist that if the El Camino name returns to the U.S. for 2015, it will be based on this car.
  3. It Had a Forgotten Twin: The GMC division offered the El Camino’s identical twin from 1971-87 under two names, the Sprint and Caballero.
  4. Ford beat Chevy to the Punch: Ford often seemed to have the better idea first (the Mustang beat the Camaro to market, the Bronco beat the Blazer, etc.), and so it was with the Ranchero, the first post-war coupe utility to hit the market in 1957. But it was the more flamboyant El Camino, which debuted two years later in 1959, that really captured the public’s imagination. It outlasted the Ranchero, too, staying on the market for eight more model years. 
  5. It Could Embarrass Some Real Performance Cars: For a few model years during the horsepower wars, Chevy offered the El Camino with some of the high-performance engine options from the muscle car Chevelle. This reached its zenith in 1970, when a select few people actually ordered an El Camino with the famous LS6 option, which consisted of a 450-hp, 454-ci engine.  Capable of quarter-mile times of around 13 seconds, LS6 El Caminos are highly sought after today by collectors of American muscle. 

118 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Larry DeLand, FL October 30, 2013 at 18:46
    I just purchased a black 1984 El Camino SS Choo-Choo. I love my Chevy 2006 Z71 and my 1978 Trans Am Y88 4speed; therefore, my El Camino SS Choo-Choo is now my favorite. Reason, it has the best of both of my vehicles. OH YEA !
  • 2
    Paul Coatesville . PA October 31, 2013 at 11:12
    I own a 1979 El camino . It still needs a ton of suspension and paint and interior work but thanks to Hagerty and PA classic tags I am able to keep it rolling regularly . I am an insurance agent and love to write Hagerty policies for my customers . Having a hot rod that is also a worker is the coolest .
  • 3
    tom new york November 2, 2013 at 11:31
    How about some pics of that Holden Ute???
  • 4
    Butch San Bernardino, CA November 6, 2013 at 13:04
    1972 El Camino with a big block is the machine to have
  • 5
    george lo forte cranford n.j. November 6, 2013 at 13:19
    the original el camino prototype, a 1955 model rests in a auto dealers show room in garwood nj
  • 6
    Colin Peabody Phoenix, AZ November 6, 2013 at 13:21
    In 1965, I had two 1965 Chevelles, one a Malibu 2DR hardtop and one El Camino. The Malibu was stolen and stripped shortly after I got it, and it was replaced with the El Camino. Both were equipped with the L79 engine option, 327ci, 350HP, 4 speed trans and 3.36 Posi rear ends. The El Camino consistently turned 14.00 and 100mph in the 1/4 at Tucson Dragway. I was running a set of cheater slicks, and open exhausts, drop the tailgate down, let the air out of the air shocks , no air cleaner. I ran off against a buddy with a 64 GTO with 3x 2s who had 4.11 gears and a different cam. He turned a 13.63 and edged me by 1/2 fender. They only issued a time card to the winner, but I knew I had to be close in ET to what he turned with the Goat. One fine car I wish I still had!
  • 7
    Mik Columbus OH November 6, 2013 at 13:35
    Get on the Ford Australia website and you can see those Utes.....Pretty cool cars
  • 8
    Steve Rosenberg So. California November 6, 2013 at 13:37
    I own a 1970 Elky 454 with Muncie 4-speed. It's an SS clone that's fun to drive. Old age crisis as I had a 1970 Elky that was 350 with 350 turbo
  • 9
    Larry Southern Colorado November 6, 2013 at 13:55
    I've owned numerous El Camino's . My latest is a 1966 frame up restore done over a period of a year , gets great attention and fun to drive .
  • 10
    Joe Loudon TN November 6, 2013 at 14:30
    I bought a partially restored 1978 El Camino this year, probably because I was in Melbourne in February and saw all the Holden Utes! There were some sharp hot fast Utes that had me drooling
  • 11
    brakeservo Oregon November 6, 2013 at 14:36
    El Caminos are still surprisingly affordable - earlier this year I sold one that a previous owner had sunk about $60,000 into doing a complete rotisserie restoration on - I have no doubt it was truly the finest 1981 El Camino in the world and it only brought $19,500. Extremely fast with four-speed, it was a blast to drive!
  • 12
    Keith Arizona November 6, 2013 at 14:37
    Bought a 1970 El Camino from mother in law approx. 12 years ago. Have made several modifications to where it is today. Engine LSX 376 with major modifications with 824 HP@Flywheel. Love it!
  • 13
    Chuck Pennsylvania November 6, 2013 at 14:37
    When I lived in Australia back in the '70s, not only did Holden and Ford build utes, but so did Chrysler. They were based on the Valient and had anything from a slant 6 up to a 318. I can't remember if they had any bigger motors than that or not. To see the Holden utes ( and all the others) go onto Google images and type it in.
  • 14
    Jerry moore Paradise ca. November 6, 2013 at 14:39
    I have some pic. of the gm Amer. ute but gm put it on hold.
  • 15
    Bill Carmichael Des Moines IA November 6, 2013 at 14:43
    In process of getting the interior in a 1978 Blk Knight El Camino that I bought from original owner with only 94,000 miles. Unfortunately motor was replaced by person doing some of work on car, like frame, because he knew I loved HP - he did not realize that I also try to keep everything as built. It will still be fun and is a sharp vehicle with those decals
  • 16
    Maria NM November 6, 2013 at 14:43
    About year ago I purchased an '83 Caballero for my son comming out of his 9th tour of war. Perfect car for an outgoing man to tinker and keep busy. It is totally a "gentleman's" car with power, looks, comfort and versatility.
  • 17
    Darlene Tustin, CA November 6, 2013 at 14:44
    My husband and his dad own a pair of El Caminos. A 1964 & 1965 that they enjoy take to car shows on a weekly basis. Who knew that an El Camino would be such an eye catcher today? Love the history info!!!
  • 18
    Keith Arizona November 6, 2013 at 14:44
    Bought a 1970 from MIL approx. 12 years ago. Many accessories including a LSX 376 engine modified to 824 HP @ Flywheel
  • 19
    John Michigan November 6, 2013 at 14:45
    I own a nice 1970 El Camino SS 396. Light blue met./ white stripes. It had 68,000 miles on it 4 years ago when I purchased it.It has now about 70,000 on it.Im in the process of restomod it the way I want it, tasteful but not over the top.It does have a numbers matching drivetrain.
  • 20
    eck DEKDEV3 November 6, 2013 at 14:45
    I too would like to see some pictures of the Holden Ute!!!!!
  • 21
    Keith Mesa, Arizona November 6, 2013 at 14:51
    Bought a 1970 El Camino From MIL about 12 years ago. Many alterations including a LSX 376 with major modifications, 824 HP @ Flywheel. Love It!
  • 22
    Kathleen Gosser Doylestown, PA November 6, 2013 at 14:57
    I had a 82 El Camino in the early 2000s and I can not tell you how much I loved that car... I miss it...
  • 23
    Stacey H Spring Hill, FL November 6, 2013 at 15:02
    I've had my 1972 El Camino SS for 9 years. Mine has a 402 in it and it does haul! This is my second one. The first, a 76 GMC Sprint had nothing original.
  • 24
    bob lovely st louis mo November 6, 2013 at 15:09
    I all ways wanted a65 eicamino,got one out of california with no rust,,rare for a elcamino,Im doing it as a 60,s custom like most were done when they were new,not with blowers sticking through the hood,its lowered and flaked and laced very cool.
  • 25
    jack Priddy E'town,KY 42701 November 6, 2013 at 15:42
    Can't help myself, have to comment! I currently own 3 El Caminos, from a high of 5! They are a 1968 S/S 396, a 1978 S/S 350 and a 1981 Conquista with a 454! [[All insured at Hagerty, by the way]] ! They are all nice good driving vehicles with the 1968 being my favorite! I have never understood why many more people don't or didn't have them! They will run with any of the cars out there, and could be ordered as any high performance vehicle! Very utility!! And extremely noticable when driven!! Thanks for letting me type! Jack
  • 26
    Rick Black Medford Oregon November 6, 2013 at 15:45
    I bought a 1959 El Camino 3 years ago, abandoned in a field in El Paso Texas where it had sat for 22 years. Got it running in about a year and I've been slowly restoring it. Very few of these are still left in original shape, as most people have been resto-modding them, but I'm sticking to the restoration route. Mechanical parts are still fairly easy to get, making the '59 a practical vehicle for both work and pleasure driving.
  • 27
    Dave Orem, Utah November 6, 2013 at 15:53
    I'm keeping my Avalanche as the future El Camino.
  • 28
    Carlo Avolio Ontario, Canada November 6, 2013 at 16:03
    I own a 1970 El Camino SS 454 4 speed. I purchased it over 30 years ago and still get a rush every time I start it up.
  • 29
    comatus East Toledo November 6, 2013 at 16:04
    I own a 1966 El Camino, and my first new car was a 74 Ranchero. Let me tell you, the only way either of them would get through a quarter mile in 13 seconds would be with a bed loaded with wet sand. The connection between the back wheels and the road surface is tenuous at best. They do teach you a lot about RWD handling. Push them hard, and you get a lot of panoramic views of the scenery revolving about you. Thanks for nothing on the Clinton reference. How about that Falconero hauling a complete crushed Lincoln in Goldfinger?
  • 30
    Keith Bergquist West Palm Beach Florida November 6, 2013 at 16:07
    I have a 1964 ElCamino with a 396 and 4 speed. I did a body off 25 years ago. I am doing a repaint now. It is a fine car and draws a lot of attention.
  • 31
    Carl oklahoma city November 6, 2013 at 16:18
    I've had my 66 el camino for 20+ years. I'm still in love with her. I also have a 69 el camino. I got her about 5 years ago. She just got a new paint job. Picked her up today. She is beautiful. Their is a lot of people out there that love these cars.
  • 32
    Tom Wenning Poulsbo, Wa. November 6, 2013 at 16:32
    I own a '69 black on black El Camino. It has a Shafiroff all aluminum 540 CI BBC (625 HP, 688 FPT), Strange Engineering (Dana) S60 rear, TH400, Hotchkis front and rear suspension, Hooker Headers w/3" exhaust and Flowmasters, etc. The mechanicals are all done but the body hasn't had paint or body work in over 20 years and shows it. The car looks good from 15 feet and has little or no rust, it is an Oregon car. I'm 65 and have never raced this car since I had it built 2 years ago. It now has about 5K miles on it. This car is bullet proof and can drive anywhere and back. I am considering selling it for $40K. Tommyblueskies@comcast.net.
  • 33
    Mike J. North Dakota November 6, 2013 at 16:39
    My brother still has the 1972 El Camino he bought new when he left the Navy. If I remember correctly, he paid $3250.00 for it with tax and title included. It had very few options, 350-4bbl engine, Automatic, Bucket seats, Carpet, Vinyl top, Rally wheels, A-M radio and two-tone paint. It was "Mojave Gold" with silver on the lower body.
  • 34
    Wayne Georgia November 6, 2013 at 16:39
    I had a 1969 that I customized in 1988. I extended the cab into the bed 16 inches. as you know it has a full floor board from the Chevelle, a 16 inch moonroof and side port windows from a Chrysler Cordoba and there you go, It was the only extended cab El Camino that I've ever seen to this day. it looked so sweet you would havel thought that it came from the factory that way,530 is people use to stop me and ask me when did GM make a king Cab model in the El Camino...I just smiled and told them 1988...they went away scratching their heads.
  • 35
    Rich Rasely New Jersey November 6, 2013 at 16:39
    I bought a 1959 El Camino years ago and I started to restore it but due to health problems it fell by the wayside and still sits in my garage. It has the original 283 and other extras and I have a 348 sitting next to it that I was going to install but noe I just drive it every now and then.
  • 36
    Todd Jelle cOLORADO November 6, 2013 at 16:41
    I own a 79 ElCamino with a 383 stroker. At 420 HP its a fun car. Even being the last generation body style, it draws serious attention.
  • 37
    Mike Svestka Leesburg VA November 6, 2013 at 16:44
    I'm a proud owner of a 1964 El Camino - having problems with the original 327 - love to see them come back !!!! ... Built in 1963 in Kansas, # 83 ....
  • 38
    Gary United States November 6, 2013 at 16:56
    Pontiac made the G8 ST which was in essence the El Camino in 2010. Only about 50 were made (guess) When Pontiac went down, so did the G8 ST I was ready to buy! Biggest engine they would stuff in it. I've driven El Caminos since 1981 and have three. They simply run and run.
  • 39
    Dave Lakebay,WA November 6, 2013 at 17:09
    My '72 Camino is a great truck and gets a lot of compliments!!
  • 40
    John Lincoln Vermont November 6, 2013 at 17:14
    I traded my '71 LS6, red w/black vinyl roof, for a Toyota Corolla in 1974. The ElCamino needed a lot of work, but I have been kicking myself in the ass ever since. It got 21MPG at 70 MPH on the interstate if you kept your foot out of it! That 454 was just loafing hauling that truck around. And, with air shocks, it could haul as much as any 1/2 ton pickup of it's day. What amazed me the most, was how good it was in the winter. I had a USMC footlocker filled with sand tight to the front of the bed and Sears Roadhandler studded winter radials on the rear. I had a 45 mile commute to my job at a ski area. Quite often the tourist traffic would be stopped at one point on the mountain rd. and we'd just pull out drive around them. Gads.. I loved that car, but at the time, filling the tank on the 1200cc. Corolla was a lot easier on the wallet.
  • 41
    Phil NC November 6, 2013 at 17:15
    Bought and still own a 1980 Conquista. It had the smallest V-8 sold (something like a 267 ci ?) and was terribly under-powered. Recently had it restored with a crate 350, dual exhaust, 3 row radiator, new A/C, and new interior. It's a screamer. Love it!!
  • 42
    Brian Sacramento Ca. November 6, 2013 at 17:31
    Studebaker beat them all! 1937-1938 Coupe Express!
  • 43
    B J Hoefle Lakeland,FL November 6, 2013 at 17:38
    I have a 85 Caballero, always garaged, never used as a everyday driver. I like it better than any of my other cars. Have people telling me that they want to buy it, if I ever decide to sell. Tell them that I'm not going to ever sell it.
  • 44
    Michael Waters Pinetown NC November 6, 2013 at 17:44
    "..This reached its zenith in 1970, when a select few people actually ordered an El Camino with the famous LS6 option, which consisted of a 450-hp, 454-ci engine. Capable of quarter-mile times of around 13 seconds, LS6 El Caminos are highly sought after today by collectors of American muscle." Oh boy, I'm trying to imagine an LS6 El Camino getting the rear tires to hook up quick enough at the Christmas tree to manage a 13 second ET! That HAD to be a bodacious amount of tire smoke!! (BTW, in 1969, I knew of a local new Chevy CST pickup factory-equipped with a 396 that seemed to waste a hunk of tread wear on every launch. That's my point of comparison to what the 450 HP 454 must have been like in the El Camino.)
  • 45
    Paul Acri Webster, NY November 6, 2013 at 17:48
    El Camino’s were great fun trucks to drive. In ’77, I bought a low mileage Mulsanne blue, white vinyl top ‘72, 350ci with a 3 speed on the floor, dual exhausts and a 3.42 (truck version) posi 12 bolt rear end. In a few short weeks it was a 4 speed and later on I added a few other goodies, Edelbrock Intake, 600 Holley, Crane Fireball Cam and Kit, hotter ignition, Hooker headers, etc. It was a lot of fun to drive. Unfortunately in ’80, it was vandalized and torched. Also had an 87 which went through some similar modifications. Sure miss those old trucks and yeah, I would buy a new one if they became available.
  • 46
    Karl Kansas November 6, 2013 at 17:58
    Have a '67 w/ 454, 2 spd powerglide all redone. Looks great and is one sweet ride!
  • 47
    Walter Meshenberg Mastic Beach New York November 6, 2013 at 18:10
    I bought my 69 SS El Camino just before I went to Iraqi 04. It was rebuilt. I love it. It is simple, no a/c or powering steering, just a V8 and all engine. It has survived three deployments until an accident recently. But thanks Hagerty it will be repaired and hope fully I can enjoy it before Winter and but it to bed .
  • 48
    Joe Regan Saratoga Springs N.Y. November 6, 2013 at 18:38
    I have a 1957 chevy 3100 step side pick up 6 cyl. 3 speed , can you tell me the cost of this truck when it was new ?
  • 49
    Phil Dallas,TX November 6, 2013 at 18:39
    Have a 66 ElCamino I have had since the late 70's. did street shows back in the 80 & 90s but ethanol has sideline her for awhile now. Turned to corn syrup and clogged the fuel system. Hopefully I can rebuild again in the future and get this one back on the streets again.
  • 50
    tomgreen kingman az November 6, 2013 at 18:40
    in 1947 or48 Hudson had a part car part truck . I don't remember what it was called.but it was before ford.
  • 51
    Paul san francisco bay area. November 6, 2013 at 18:48
    I am the second owner, 25 years now, of a '70 SS396 El Camino. all original factory A/C, functional air flapper hood, survivor; except for; the updated tires and the 10-40 oil. still quick and powerful and loves the gas.
  • 52
    Jane Ann Schrantz Northampton PA November 6, 2013 at 19:14
    I have a 67 El Camino that I ordered sight unseen. I always loved the 59 but my Dad told me I would not be able to restore it myself, if you want one order one and keep it. I also ordered a 73 but later sold it. In 74 when I married, part of the deal was "I keep the 67" my husband said ok, so we married. It was always garaged and my kids were never allowed to drive it. We are in the prossess of having it restored factory new by "BACK IN TIME" He is doing a great job and it is ready to be painted.
  • 53
    Bill Shepherd Tucson,AZ November 6, 2013 at 19:17
    I have a 1965 El Camino that i have a sort resto mod on ZZ4 crate eng., 700r4 trans., new upholstery, and paint. Just love driving it.
  • 54
    Wesley Pikeville, Ky November 6, 2013 at 19:38
    I just spent the last year doing a frame off restoration on a 1960 Sl Camino, 283 Turboglide transmission, power steering and power brakes. A black car that turned out great. My dad had several while I was growing up. I guess I always loved them!!!
  • 55
    Johnny Fotsch Laguna Beach, Ca November 6, 2013 at 19:46
    My 65 El Camino is a factory correct 327 that has been restored once in the early 2000's. A reliable truck that will remain in my quiver until the very end. It always starts and runs. I wish I could say that regarding my other collectables.
  • 56
    Jerry Parsons San Diego, Ca. November 6, 2013 at 20:18
    I bought a 1978 GMC Sprint in 1980. It came with a 350 CI 4bl. I had some tire stores and it was great for running between stores and then to Rotary for lunch. I built motor and trans and painted it a couple of times. I finally gave it to my grandson last year who gets his license in April, with the understanding he never sell it.
  • 57
    Ron Las Vegas November 6, 2013 at 20:30
    I love my 59 El, still in the family since grandfather bought new from a plant in Los Angeles in 1959..
  • 58
    Barry Clark Tulare, Calif. November 6, 2013 at 21:07
    That '59 Elky reminds me of the one I had in the '70's! I also had a '67 Elky after that ! I now own a '85 and a '66 survivor with only 77k miles on it!! El Camino's are GREAT!!!
  • 59
    Ron south cntral Penna. November 6, 2013 at 22:04
    I still own the 1980 El camino that I bought new. The 4 speed manual tranny makes it fun to drive, & the 8 track tape player still works just fine. (multiple car show winner @ the GM Nationals, & at the Super Chevy Show)
  • 60
    Ron south central Penna. November 6, 2013 at 22:19
    I still own the 1980 El camino that I bought new. The 4 speed tranny makes it fun to drive, & the 8 track tape player still works just fine, (multiple time car show winner @ the GM Nationals, & the Super Chevy show)
  • 61
    Henry J Kaiser Florida November 6, 2013 at 22:42
    I owned a 1967 Elky. From the headline I thought you might mention that Elkys were among few vehicles produced with a secret hidden storage compartment. Now I am wondering how many years had this feature. I'm sure at least the similar 64-67s did. I was a little surprised the first time I noticed from underneath the truck that it had the full floor pan of a Chevelle wagon. There were hidden rear seat foot wells under the front part of the bed. Designers made only a small access hole in the back wall of the cab near the floor. It was just barely big enough to pass a can of oil through. So I had a few rag wrapped cans of oil and some other odds end ends of rags, polishes, tools etc in there. They did not make it convenient because one could barely reach a hand through the hole and feel around to remove what-ever was in there. It would have been more useful with a larger opening or door so you could see in there. The only article I recall reading that mentioned that compartment said the Elkies were favored by drug runners who used that compartment. Does anyone know if that compartment was on the 59-60 and 68-88s? I wonder if any year had a better access hole or door than my 67.
  • 62
    Monte S. Martin Grass Valley Ca. November 6, 2013 at 22:43
    I had a 60 in 64, Cruised Van Nuys Blvd in the 60's Raced at San Fernando - Black chrome wheels and a T.J. Button -n-Tuck ! sold it to have kids, Broke my heart. Now I have a cool 59 worked on it in my barn for 6 years, 6 cyl. with 3 on the tree, now 327 built, m21 4spd, Black with purple ghost flames Black tuck n Roll mags, good sound system for my Oldies. With this car/truck I can face anything, it's my Prozac, Crank up my Oldies, cruise some place, get lots of thumbs up :) Nothing can keep me down as long as I have my El Camino !
  • 63
    Monte S. Martin Grass Valley Ca. November 6, 2013 at 22:45
    I had a 60 in 64, Cruised Van Nuys Blvd in the 60's Raced at San Fernando - Black chrome wheels and a T.J. Button -n-Tuck ! sold it to have kids, Broke my heart. Now I have a cool 59 worked on it in my barn for 6 years, 6 cyl. with 3 on the tree, now 327 built, m21 4spd, Black with purple ghost flames Black tuck n Roll mags, good sound system for my Oldies. With this car/truck I can face anything, it's my Prozac, Crank up my Oldies, cruise some place, get lots of thumbs up :) Nothing can keep me down as long as I have my El Camino !
  • 64
    Diz Dean McDonald, OH November 6, 2013 at 22:49
    I am a Pontiac guy, but have owned 3 El Caminos (currently an '83), and started saving up for the new Pontiac El Camino (Holden) which was to be released in Sept 2010, but when GM shut down the Pontiac line they nixed the El Camino too. Damn! RIP Chief Pontiac!!
  • 65
    MIKE LOMBARDI ERIE PA November 6, 2013 at 22:55
  • 66
    chuck South Dakota November 6, 2013 at 12:33
    The 1970 thru 1972 elCaminos were great trucks - I did service work when these were new so the area behind the driver's seat was perfect for a tool bag - in 1983 I found an original 1970 LS6 elCamino still has never been restored - the interior is aging but the bed and body panels are near perfect - it sure is fun to drive a truck with 450HP...if you can afford to buy rear tires quite regularly - no one seems to know how many of these LS6 "elCatrucko" were built...but it must be a small number
  • 67
    Gary Glenn Abilene TX November 6, 2013 at 12:48
    That 59 is Awesome. just starting to redo my 66 Ranchero for the second time in 25 years.
  • 68
    Larry Whidbey Island Wa November 6, 2013 at 12:50
    In my mind, the El Camino is the muscle car to own. It is about half the price of any Chevelle of the same vintage, at least for now. Grab 'em while you still can afford one!!
  • 69
    Matt Pennsylvania November 7, 2013 at 13:11
    I just Checked out the Chevy Ute online, Just type in Chevy ute or Holden Chevy ute in your favorite search engine and see the Pics. Pretty nice looking vehicle, I'd buy one.
  • 70
    Scott Southern California November 7, 2013 at 02:30
    Yes I ordered one of those 1970 LS6 El Caminos. And it is sitting in garage as I type. Actually my 1/4 mile times were consistently in the high 12s and speeds were 110+. Of course I had headers and some slicks on it. Sticker was just north of $4500 and there was NO discounts.
  • 71
    Ron Conley El Dorado Hills Ca. November 7, 2013 at 15:35
    Considering buying a restored stock '68 El Camino, as I type. After reading above, I'm going to re-confirm an offer of $16,000. for it The only problem I have with it is it has a 307ci 200hp engine in it, would rather have a 327 or 350. I think an El Camino would be pretty cool to have after just selling a restored stock '62 Impala 327.
  • 72
    jerry krause Hanover, MI November 7, 2013 at 17:02
    I have owned several El Camino's a 67 ,70,72 and currently own a true 68 SS 396 4 speed, Air, tilt, power steer and power disc brakes even has the rolling Tach fun to drive was a GM feature car 2004 Woodard Dream Cruise, Great cars!!!
  • 73
    Dave K Michigan November 7, 2013 at 18:44
    I have had several El Camino's in my years. A 65, 67, 70 and currently a 69. I really like driving it. Every time I stop for gas though people are asking questions about it. I kind of get tired of that, both the constant questions and buying gas.....lol. I'm thinking a 700R4 overdrive trans for it next year. I'd like to get it up to about 20mpg.
  • 74
    Roger Outer Banks NC November 7, 2013 at 06:55
    In 1972 I purchased a 70 el camino, fathom blue, black int ( bench ) SS dash 350 ,300hp 4 speed, 12 bolt 336 posi rear. I sold it in 1981 because family would not fit, forward the clock to 2003, I started looking for a 1970 el camino again, I found my orginal car but the owner will not sell it. after many disapointments or bank busters I finally found one only 40 miles from my home, 1970 el camino fathom blue, black interor, bench, SS dash, 4 speed 350, 300 hp, 12 bolt 373 rear, factory A/C P/S, Power disc brakes, tinted glass, tilt w/ sport steering wheel, the floors and bed are all orginal, the quarters and been repaired, ( rust ) death of all el camino's, Life is good and this one will NOT get away !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 75
    Rey Atlanta November 7, 2013 at 07:18
    I agree that the El camino can be bought for a fraction of the price of a Chevelle. They are also a lot more Chevelles on the road and at car shows. That makes it more exciting to see one. I get a lot of looks and thumbs up. I just found a business card on my window saying, "if you are ever interested in selling give me a call". I would be hard to part with my 1971 Elky.
  • 76
    Mary Ozark, AL November 7, 2013 at 07:27
    Love my 85 el camino. My husband put a 350 in it in 2008. It was one of my "dream" cars & in 2007, I was able to get one...without any rust too!
  • 77
    Jimmy Cocoa FL November 7, 2013 at 07:31
    My '69 el Camino is just now returning to the road after 3 years of frame-off resto. An original SS396, it now boasts some modern updsates: Vintage Air A/C, Dakota Digital guages, and 502 c.i.'s under the hood
  • 78
    Al Bremner Cape Coral Florida November 7, 2013 at 07:35
    I have a 1984 El Camino SS Choo . Best Car/Truck I've ever owned!!! Wife wants me to sell it-NO WAY.Always have people stop me and comment on how they love my Camino!
  • 79
    Harold Hyatt United States November 7, 2013 at 07:50
    i had a caballero and while i was in hondurs for the he sent it to the chrusher along with several others, to this day i have a hard time talking to him.
  • 80
    Bob Brumbaugh West Palm Beach FL November 7, 2013 at 20:17
    I have a 2013 El Camino according to the state of Florida actually a 1982 with a Buick 430 bored .30 over with a turbo 400 behind it I love to drive it a need to do a lot more work to it the reason the state consider it a 2013 it took two cars to make one. And I have always wanted a souped up vehicle as they said in my younger years.
  • 81
    Bruce Parker Mont Belvieu, Tx. November 7, 2013 at 08:43
    I rebuilt a '67 back in the early 80's and it was a great vehicle. All the kids had the IROC Camaro's and Mustang 5.0s and couldn't even get close to it. It would pass anything but a gas station. I wish I still had it but I'm glad I don't have to feed it at today's gas prices because it only ran on the high octane gas.
  • 82
    Joe Wilson Huntington November 7, 2013 at 09:06
    I had a 67 (327) white and I loved that truck
  • 83
    Chuck Harris Sunny/Rust Free Arizona November 7, 2013 at 21:27
    I've owned a boat load of Elkies, Mostly gen. 5's. I tried to buy a new 70 couldn't get financed. Dumb young kid. Here in AZ (no rust) most of the Ekies I've bought were the 267 CI. V 8's, a true toad. Hence low mileage straight bodies, what a perfect blank pallet to start with ! But, with a 350/350 conversion and a 4 row radiator, they sold like crazy, ran like Hell and keep you cool in the 115 degree weather. Last Dec. I bought a "85" 3rd owner barn find/ survivor with 47k box A miles. The 2nd owner wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. He put a dual exaust but, welded it front to rear (solid).When I went to replace the starter IT WAS A HORROR SHOW !!!! He also dumped the stock carb and installed a Carter AFB 4bbl. (stock was also a 4bbl). The tires and rims are from a Camaro the rest fat ass bone stock. But, the key things other than the low mileage is it has AC, tilt, cruise, PW, PDL, intermitant wipers, etc...I run this car/truck often. Because it sat so long in the Arizona HEAT. The dash along with other plastic interior parts are less than stellar! I'll be showing this Elkie @ the Pavillions outdoor car show in Dec, 2013. I've other project's in mind. A propane powered 69-71 Elkie Pro street. A NOS injected Pacific Coast Honda, just sold my Interstate. I'm 62 old but not dead. But come on how long can I keep building ridies?
  • 84
    Mike May Greenwood,Ind November 7, 2013 at 09:47
    In 1986 I had a matching 1966 Nova Pro St named" Lethal Injection" and a 1967 El Camino which was on display at the 1986 US Nationals at Indpls. Raceway Park. The El had a 396 and Turbo 350 in it. I drove that El everywhere until the body simply had so much underlying rust, it was impossible to keep up with. I wound up dissecting the entire thing and kept all the drivetrain and parts. At that time body parts were limited because everyone was having the same problem that lived in the Midwest. Now you can buy anything for them. I done a photo shoot with the First Lady of Drag Racing (Linda Vaughn) during the US Nationals with both the Nova and the El, which just adds to the memories of owning the El. I have a 1964 chopped top El that just sits in an old empty garage, bought all kinds of parts for it, took it apart and now just collects dust. But after 10 years, like many old guys (I'm 67), I always think I'm going to put it together. The reality of it all is> a great car for it's time and now most people don't know what it is, I've lost interest in it, no one in my family would know how to resurrect it and most likely will be scrapped for salvage. But after all is said and done, it comes down to just pictures and memories.
  • 85
    Thomas Deckard Columbus, Ohio November 7, 2013 at 10:09
    I owned three EL Camino's over the years. Out of all the cars to own, they fit my needs perfectly. With all the cross breeding of cars and sport utes in the last decade, I'm surprised the El Camino hasn't seen a return to the U S market. I would own another if Chevy gives it a place in the line up.
  • 86
    Brian LINY November 7, 2013 at 22:33
    Currently own a 1987 Chevrolet Conquista silver/grey 305 auto, this thing get's more compliments and thumbs up than you could imagine.
  • 87
    Todd Columbus November 7, 2013 at 10:56
    Studebaker actually beat both Ford and Chevy to the punch. From 1937 until 1939 they produced the Coupe Express, which was a pickup on a car chassis. The main difference was the bed was still a separate unit from the cab, but I believe it still had automotive suspension. Look them up. They are pretty cool looking trucks.
  • 88
    Clarence Hoffmann Pittsburgh Pa November 7, 2013 at 11:28
    In February 1974 I purchased a totaled '73 El Camino and when it was totaled again in '79 I rebuilt it as a TransAm pickup! It had a 400 Pontiac cammed up and a TransAm shaker sticking through the hood, a '75 Pontiac GrandAm dash, a 4 speed, most of the chrome painted, TransAm extracters on the front fenders and the wheel openings flaired like the middle 70's Pontiac TransAms. Now I am forced to drive a full size pickup with an extended cap so as to have a junk bin behind the seat!
  • 89
    Hank Lane Portland, Ore. November 7, 2013 at 11:34
    I purchased a 1967 El Camino 6 months ago. It is a base model with a three speed auto and a 1968 C10 327 in it. The engine is tired so I am having a 350 built for me. It will have 420 hp and is being built by an old guy that is known as Mr. chevy in the drag racing circles. The truck needs a repaint and that's about it. I'm retiring in 6 months and this truck will be a good project for me. The 67 is the fourth El Camino I've owned over the last 42 years, love them.
  • 90
    Kevin Ca November 7, 2013 at 00:02
    Had a 69 for about 22 years. Put over 240K on it. In high school could fit 7. Always was fun to drive. Little tricky in snow but it got me everywhere I ever wanted to go. It hauled everything. 30 cases of wine to 1800 lbs of asphalt. Front tires barely touched the road. It made 2 trips to San Felipe (when the road was still sand). Wish I still had it....
  • 91
    Lona Oregon November 7, 2013 at 12:22
    I owned a hot 65 Chevelle SS, 327, 350 hp, 411 rearend, 4-speed way back in my 20's, street raced and had a blast beating some Corvettes, Boss 302's and others I can't remember. I graduated high school in 1965 so I figured I owed myself a 65 something so found the chevelle in the paper and bought it. It was stolen two years after I bought it and I had to go to the police garage to ID it, it was striped. The police caught the car thieves gang but my insurance paid me $900 for my loss, bought a 66 volkswagon bug.....what a change. Now my husband and I are restoring a 65 El Camino. The color I chose is Poison Ivy, which it will actually be camilion.....looking green from one angle and blue from another angle. It is a stock, 327, automatic we took off of the column and put a B&M shifter on the floor so I can pretend it is my Chevelle. We have replaced all of the chrome with new, replaced the interior bezzel and gauges, also new black interior bench seat w/fold down armrest. I also have a fully restored 66 Mustang candy apple red 289 3 speed, my husband has a restored 70 Mach I 351 Cleveland and our fun car for cruising is a 80 Corvette. Hagerty insures all four of our classics. Thanks for letting me brag.....Lona
  • 92
    Phil Whidbey Island, WA November 7, 2013 at 12:59
    Have a 87 El Camino "Super Sport" bought a couple of years ago. Not so super sport due to 307 motor but the posi rear and light rear end make it way fun to drive especially in the rain. Paint is very rough (original) but all chrome trim and body panels are very good. I heard these last ones were made in Mexico. The SS graphics along the doors are original and look cool but I have not seen the correct replacements in catalogs. Use the thing weekly to haul yard debris, propane tanks and MG/Jaguar/Mustang parts. Plan to eventually install 350 motor when I finish other projects-if I live long enough (66 years old now).
  • 93
    Joe Hazle Township, PA November 8, 2013 at 17:16
    What were the years that the El-Camino was available in the US. Also, were there several years that the back end treatment were alike or at least very similar?
  • 94
    baddbrad michigan November 8, 2013 at 18:36
    I have a 69 el camino, love it , painted bahama blue last year, has a vinyl top,nice shape, rebuilt 350, pro action heads, edelbrock rpm intake and 750 carb, coated the bed with bedliner spray, tough. good cam, over 400 horse motor, 350 trans.,with shift kit. will trade for an opel gt in as good as shape as mine is, have maybe 2ooo miles on it now, Only driven the summer months, not in the rain, maybe once in a while, anybody interested, give me a call,, will trade, if you jut want to buy, $10,000, no lower, have that and more in to it.
  • 95
    Johnboy Burleson, Tx. November 8, 2013 at 08:35
    I bought a 1964 El Camino in 1983 for $450.00. I still have it 4 engines later I'm running a simple 305 with a 4 speed saginaw w/floor shift. It's been every shade of primer and had 2 paint jobs over the last 30 yrs. Still needs a total restore, floorboards rotting out and new quarter panel rust appearing. Love every minute I'm in it. Looking to get the matching 64 Malibu some day.
  • 96
    Evelina Albuquerque NM November 8, 2013 at 23:27
    Purchased a 67 El Camino about 7 months ago which had been garaged for over 10 years after being partially restored. Has original 283 with powerglide. Great gold interior. Fun to drive and nice comments when at car shows.
  • 97
    Jim Dearborn November 8, 2013 at 12:53
    I ordered an '87. It came in without the sport suspension and bucket seats, so I wouldn't accept it. The replacement arrived and I've put 25,000 miles on it since then. It rides and handles extremely well, and the black body with plum interior is awesome. I ordered most options as I intended to keep it for as long as I could drive. The storage compartment behind the driver's seat was continued up through the 1987 model. The Studebaker Coupe Express was made from 1937-1939 and had a streamlined box, but it was separate from the body. Ford of Australia introduced a Ute for 1934. Chevy followed with a bolt-in pickup box in place of the rumble seat lid on 1936-1942 models. That was built in the U.S. and, I think, Australia. Holden introduced their Ute in 1951. Dodge also came out with one in the 1950s for the Australian market. Vauxhall also had one in the 1950s.
  • 98
    bud florida November 9, 2013 at 19:51
    it figures that weirdo Clinton would put astroturf in the bed, he always was a loser
  • 99
    SkyKing56 NJ November 10, 2013 at 06:35
    I loved my 74 El Cee with 350/350. It wasnt a family car, so I had to trade it for a Malibu coupe when I started a family. Once my kids grew and I started owning pick-ups as my personal vehicle, I wanted to find an 80's El Cee. I know how much they were prone to rust issues. I went to one Chevy dealer, who told me the Maroon '82 beauty on his lot was mint. When I proceeded to open the drivers door and stick my hand up into the door from the bottom, his jaw dropped! The entire bottom sill was rotted through! I never did buy another one, but now my hobby is buying and selling classics, my search continues!
  • 100
    Steve Tampa November 10, 2013 at 11:04
    I had a 1973 and a 1977. Both were excellent and very nice to drive. '73 had tonneau cover and the '77 had a gun rack and dual CB antennas. I miss them both. I noticed very few posts about this era. I have been looking for a 1974 with 454 for a long time!
  • 101
    Matt Phx, AZ November 12, 2013 at 19:07
    I have a 85 El Camino that was bought new by my best friend who used it as his Grandfather clock delivery truck as well as a airport tow truck. We have towed numerous T-6 Texans all the way to towing a B-17. I have kept is basically stock, but I have put in a HD radio system and a I have gotten rid of the the 305 and put in a 350 with a TH-350 lock up transmission.
  • 102
    james johnson fairburn, ga November 12, 2013 at 09:02
    I had a 1970 SS 396 L78 with cowl induction, bench seat, automatic on the column, no air. It had 7000 miles on it when I bought it. When it had 15000 miles on it, I traded it for a 1969 Cadillac. Boy, was I crazy. But, I had 5 kids. & you can/t get them all in a Camino.
  • 103
    Bryan San Antonio November 12, 2013 at 21:20
    Currently have 2 -- A 59 and a 66----both are restored and driven to events. A 65 Ranchero is in the process of updating. I prefer driving the old cars over the new ones.
  • 104
    Dave Phoenix November 13, 2013 at 20:44
    My 13 year old son bought a project 1973 el camino 6 month ago. We hope to have it restored by the time he is able to get his drivers license. We split all costs 50-50. Great father and son project. Then he and I in my c3 corvette can go to car shows etc together.
  • 105
    gary il November 15, 2013 at 12:45
    Have a 84 ec camino and put in a LS 1. Love it got 25 mpg on trip.
  • 106
    Rich Pahrump,NV November 26, 2013 at 00:01
    Have 1 68 with 396,3 69 with 396 1 81 and 1 85 with 6 cyl get around 28 mpg nice to drive. If you would like to own one let me know.
  • 107
    Tony Nashville, TN March 9, 2014 at 09:14
    There is some good reading here.. thanks. Have a 1978 Black Knight El Camino - 350 - TH-350 Tranny... not many of them around today. A real head turner. Thanks for letting me post. Drive safe!
  • 108
    Bryan Wilder, ID June 9, 2014 at 18:56
    I have a 1973 El Camino, does anyone use the hidden box by the cab? Mine is the Custom Sport with the 350.
  • 109
    kevin french columbus ne November 2, 2014 at 00:54
    Have a 1979 with automatic on the floor with what looks like factory bucket seats but there is no badging on the car is it a SS .
  • 110
    kevin french columbus ne November 2, 2014 at 00:55
    Have a 1979 with automatic on the floor with what looks like factory bucket seats but there is no badging on the car is it a SS .
  • 111
    JOSE ALCALA TUCSON AZ November 3, 2014 at 10:31
  • 112
    Paul Ernst Rochester, NY January 22, 2015 at 15:47
    I just bought my first Elky last fall, a 1984 Caballero Amarillo Edition with a mildly built crate 355. The car is not a concours restoration, but in beautiful daily driver condition, and I would be proud to take it to any drive-in show. I paid $6500. ready to roll. A bargain compared to a Chevelle of the same condition! I was able to drive it for only a couple weeks before our northern winter hit and the salt trucks came out. Can't wait for spring (which is May around here).
  • 113
    Martin E Little Rock, AR March 3, 2015 at 09:50
    I bought a '68 back in Sept. (My mom had a '69 wagon when I was in high school), and it should be ready at the end of the month. Almost everything is new - engine (327 to a 350 now), brakes, wheels, interior, glass, wiring, and even part of the body! Can't wait to see the looks I get!
  • 114
    Ken Bourassa Phoenix, Az April 9, 2015 at 12:10
    I have a 1964 El Camino body for sale, is anyone interested?
  • 115
    Mike Chicago, IL October 3, 2015 at 21:38
    I'm really disappointed in the once-a-year rumors of GM bringing them back! The Holden based Pontiac version was SO nice, really ready to buy that one. I still own the '79 Royal Knight SS I bought new, and don't want a Tacoma or full sized truck. Nothing else drives like an El Camino or is as practical.
  • 116
    Rodger L. Black Perry, MI June 7, 2016 at 08:48
    I have a true SS 454 cowl inducted, 12 bolt posi track, with W in the vin number. I have owned this El Camino for 28 years and it has always been insured by Haggerty. My wife and I enjoy driving and taking the El Camino to car shows. Proud owners!
  • 117
    John Hermes Madison, Tn. September 5, 2016 at 21:13
    I have a 1955 elky, built from a sedan. Lots of fun and the best of both worlds a 55 and an El Camino!
  • 118
    ...Paul W Surprise AZ September 22, 2016 at 13:45
    Have an 84 Elky that is a driver and have changed a lot. Have a 454 fuel injected with 700r4 lockup, custom interior and paint, high end stereo, custom gages, Vintage a/c and a ford 9 inch with 3.80 gears. I am currently putting in a new wire harness. Having trouble finding the parts to fit the Vintage a/c into the dash. Could use some help on were to find the parts. The 454 is new and can not wait to drive it again as it had a 350 and I love that.

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