27 October 2014

Generation Gap: “Pickups”

In the latest episode of Generation Gap, the guys explore the “pickups” of the collector car world. But these “pickups” are a bit more car than you would want on the construction site. Davin’s choice is a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino that gets its power from a 454 CI V-8 with a Rock Crusher 4-speed. Matt’s choice, a 2004 Chevrolet SSR, has a supercharged 5.3-liter V-8 with an automatic transmission and a retractable hard top. Which one of these would you rather see parked in your garage?

Voting for this episode of “Generation Gap” has ended.

78 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Miikka Antrell Finland October 28, 2014 at 07:56
    I have 1970 El Camino in my Garage. But I would like to have SSR too for second car.
  • 2
    Sergio Bazain miami October 29, 2014 at 02:02
    the el camino is a much more beautiful car and like you said with the front end of the chenille theirs no comparison
  • 3
    lars FL October 29, 2014 at 16:45
    The El Camino gets my vote. I've had a 79 an 80 and an 87. Needless to say I am an El Camino fan.
  • 4
    ACZ North Georgia October 29, 2014 at 18:23
    I had a 2006 SSR as a company car and had a 1969 El Camino many years ago. Both the 2004 SSR (although underpowered compared to the 6.0L/6spd version that came later) and the 1970 are great rides. I'd love to have them both.
  • 5
    Vernon Doria Chino Valley, Arizona October 29, 2014 at 18:50
    I am not intending to insult or insight anybody but the in spite of the gimmick convertible top, etc. the SSR is one ugly vehicle. 1970 wins hands down. I wouldn't want to be seen in an SSR.
  • 6
    SSIKNSS Newport Beach, CA October 29, 2014 at 19:08
    Not even Lingenfelter could make the SSR worthy. It's probably 1 or 1 and sorry at that as it blemished his reputation
  • 7
    Terry L. Snedigar Lancaster, CA October 29, 2014 at 19:14
    I have a 2003 SSR in my garage with approximately 8,600 miles on it. I think it is awesome. I also have a 2006 Cadillac DTS. I love my SSR and use my DTS for local and long distance driving. My grandkids can fight over who gets the SSR when I die but the DTS will probably go to the junk yard. I vote for the SSR/
  • 8
    Carl Blume Wilmington, NC October 29, 2014 at 19:18
    I traded a 1963 Corvette for a 1970 El Camino back in the mid 70's and never looked back. It was the perfect height for loading my dirt bike in the back. Only down side was on grocery day if it was raining.
  • 9
    Chuck Huntsville AL October 29, 2014 at 19:21
    The Elky, by far.
  • 10
    Hal Smith United States October 29, 2014 at 19:24
    I've owned a 1975 El Camino and a 2000 S10 (V6), Both great vehicles, but I wouldn't even think of putting that "UGLY DUCKLING" SSR thing in my garage.
  • 11
    Thomas Prettyman Stanwood, Wa October 29, 2014 at 19:29
    I too have a 70 Elky inky my garage that I've owned since 1984. Currently running a custom built 327 in it but it is destin for a 454 big block.
  • 12
    Hal Hulsey CA. October 29, 2014 at 19:30
    When the SSR came out it 40,000 + it was in Corvette territory ! Who would buy it over a Corvette ? The Vette weighs 3100 lbs , the SSR 5100 lbs ,with the same engine ? No brainer !
  • 13
    Richard Reinstein Vermont October 29, 2014 at 19:31
    GM missed the boat on the SSR by not offering a manual transmission. It's new price was a bit steep too. I'll take an El Camino any day.
  • 14
    Hal Hulsey CA. October 29, 2014 at 19:31
    When the SSR came out it 40,000 + it was in Corvette territory ! Who would buy it over a Corvette ? The Vette weighs 3100 lbs , the SSR 5100 lbs ,with the same engine ? No brainer !
  • 15
    MAC NEW YORK October 29, 2014 at 19:37
    PAST OWNER OF A 1972 EL CAMINO WITH A SMALL BLOCK AND 4 SPEED MUNCIE ROCK CRUSHER. STILL KICKING MYSELF I LET IT GO.I NOW OWN A 1969 L88 427 VETTE.
  • 16
    dennismaynard flat rock mi. October 29, 2014 at 19:43
    We are lucky enough to own a 2003 SSR and a1970 Chevelle SS. Both black.
  • 17
    Doophus Southern Arizona October 29, 2014 at 19:52
    What's wrong with LOVING each one equally?
  • 18
    tony st albert October 29, 2014 at 19:52
    I would take the 1970 El Camino in a heart beat much more class and a very beautiful car. The SSR is so ugly and gross it makes me want to throw up
  • 19
    Jay Vancil Colorado October 29, 2014 at 20:09
    I love the El Camino and would rather walk than drive the SSR.
  • 20
    Kim Devlin Allen, Tx October 29, 2014 at 20:26
    Man, did this get my attention! I've had my 70 El Camino since 1973. It's a 350 with M21. It's white. Sitting next to it in the garage is my 2004 SSR....It's red. They both turn heads out on the street. My favorite......probably the El Camino. But, chicks dig the SSR.
  • 21
    dwight Pasadena.CA October 29, 2014 at 20:52
    Thrilled with my 2006 Pacific Blue SSR. My daily driver for the last 5 years and a weekend and special occassion vehicle for the 3 years prior to my retirement. It turns heads everywhere I go.
  • 22
    Ron Gowe Terrace BC Canada October 29, 2014 at 20:53
    There is no doubt that the ElCamino bests the SSR. I have a 1969 SS 396 and that turns heads esprcialy mine.
  • 23
    Bob Bennett Dunellen, NJ USA October 29, 2014 at 20:56
    The SSR is unique, but you would never be able to pry my hands off my El Camino.
  • 24
    N.T. Evans Muncie, Indiana October 29, 2014 at 21:09
    This was a great episode! I have a '71 Elco street machine with a ZZ4 350 crate engine and a Muncie M21 4-speed, and it is all kinds of wicked and fun to drive. It gets attention where ever I drive it, in part because a lot of people of never seen one, let alone one from the Muscle years ('68-'72). My buddy has an '03 SSR that is also black and in the wrapper, and it too is a very nice car, and fun to drive. This was almost as hard for me as last months episode of '69 COPO Chevelle 427 4-spd versus an '87 Buick GNX, as I love Chevelles, however I also have a slick '86 Bu' Grand National. Great series! Long live the ponies from the GENERAL'S stable!
  • 25
    Danny Frost United States October 29, 2014 at 21:17
    I don't want either of them.
  • 26
    John a Sd October 29, 2014 at 21:22
    Ru kidding the the ssr is butt ugly if Im going to pay that much for a car it better at lest look good don't get me wrong I love gm cars i have 3 2014 camaro 64 gto & 71 nova
  • 27
    Bill C Northern Mi. October 29, 2014 at 21:26
    I have a very nice 68 El Camino and would not trade it for an equally valued SSR. However I have always been intrigued by the SSR and would consider buying one, but only at a very reasonable price.
  • 28
    Skip Thomsen Forestville, CA October 29, 2014 at 21:30
    How about some conversation about the usefulness of these two vehicles as "trucks," which is what they pretend to be. The El Camino can, and often is, used as a real truck. I've certainly used several of mine as very useful trucks. Try that with that goofy-looking SSR!
  • 29
    earl robinson brampton on. canada October 29, 2014 at 21:57
    Had a new El Camino in 1980. Short story sold it with regret, started looking again 10 years ago but never found one ( till now ). the right color or had all the extras . I now have an 86 El Camino better than my original and almost a new car I consider myself very lucky , glad I waited ..
  • 30
    Rod San Jose, CA October 29, 2014 at 22:04
    I have a 71 in the garage so I might be a little bias. But I doubt I think could handle the noise of the supper charger. Power VS Noise? Both are beautiful and powerful. But I like the lines and the over all length of the El Camino. (I do miss the power windows, powered locks, strong suspension.
  • 31
    N.T. Evans Muncie, IN October 29, 2014 at 22:20
    This was a great episode! I have a '71 Elco street machine with a ZZ4 350 crate engine and a Muncie M21 4-speed, and it is all kinds of wicked and fun to drive. It gets attention where ever I drive it, in part because a lot of people of never seen one, let alone one from the Muscle years ('68-'72). My buddy has an '03 SSR that is also black and in the wrapper, and it too is a very nice car, and fun to drive. This was almost as hard for me as last months episode of '69 COPO Chevelle 427 4-spd versus an '87 Buick GNX, as I love Chevelles, however I also have a slick '86 Bu' Grand National. Great series! Long live the ponies from the GENERAL'S stable!
  • 32
    Carroll Williams Texas October 29, 2014 at 23:29
    It's hard to be the performance and classic good looks ot the 70 Chevelle El Camino. The SSR is a nice sure to be classic vehicle, but the price was too much for what it was. Someday though, it will be like the Edsel, worth much more than what it cost new, because of the rarity of each.
  • 33
    James Darnell United States October 30, 2014 at 13:24
    All I have to say is nothing outside the muscle car generation 1964-1972 will ever usurp this era.
  • 34
    Utes Milwaukee October 30, 2014 at 14:11
    Would've been even cooler to've had an L89, much less an LS6 under those hood pins.
  • 35
    JOSEPH PATRICK MESSLER United States October 30, 2014 at 14:13
    SSR gits to the FINISH LINE FIRST!
  • 36
    Stacey Spring Hill FL October 30, 2014 at 02:34
    I have a 72 SS with a 402, mine is red with white, love the black!!
  • 37
    MSWildcat Anderson, SC October 30, 2014 at 14:38
    My '69 El Camino is an everyday driver. It always gets looks, and is a true muscle car. This is my third El Camino since 1987, and my favorite over 1972 and 1968 models. Not going away in my life.
  • 38
    choowy usa October 30, 2014 at 15:27
    while the ssr has the power ,and a modern design, it was too bubbly looking to get used to . sorta like the plymouth prowler , you would have to remove those hideous front bumpers to make it right .Us old schoolers would have prefered a longer bed and even just a standard v8 .or v6 and all the super duper stuff could have been an option. we like to accessorize our cars ourselves . the later elcamino's were monte carlos without a trunk , but dont even think of front wheel drive .Maybe caddilac can come up with a version of a coupe de el camino
  • 39
    Mato Cleveland, Ohio October 30, 2014 at 15:57
    I never really "got" the SSR. The bed is totally useless.It's basically just a sports car.Dodge had a convertible pick-up that was way more practical. I believe the only reason GM came out with this mutant was due to the retro craze when the Plymouth Prowler was introduced. (I'm surprised these two guys never even mentioned that fact.)
  • 40
    John Newton Tonawanda NY October 30, 2014 at 16:25
    I don't care much for GM cars in generat- wrong ergonomics if you have very long legs, but the El Camino wins hands down. As far as the SSR goes, I would rather Have a P T Cruiser.
  • 41
    Frank Smith Ohio October 30, 2014 at 05:21
    Have an El Camino don't have an SSR would like to
  • 42
    Tom Vineyard Matthews, NC October 30, 2014 at 17:44
    I thought the voting would be a little closer. They are somewhat the same in what they do, except the SSR is also a convertible too. The El Camino is a first cousin to the powerful SS Chevelle, where the SSR had to go it alone by the body style of yesterday year. The cost of a SSR was a sticker shock to a individual that was looking for a cool truck. I picked the El Camino because it had the right stuff. Thanks for the comparison
  • 43
    Joe Central VA October 30, 2014 at 07:48
    I own a '70 El Camino. What a ride. Chevy blew it with the SSR's faux retro look; they should have been as daring with retro for the SSR as they were with performance, because it is a great runner. My wife loves old Chevy trucks and when she saw the SSR she said "not funky enough. Just build me a Cameo with a modern drivetrain."
  • 44
    K Esstes Arizona October 30, 2014 at 20:42
    I have a 1970 El Camino with a LSX Corvette engine beefed uo to 800+ HP, so naturally the Camino wins in my corner.
  • 45
    Xavier FL October 30, 2014 at 08:48
    I love El Caminos. I've owned several in my youth. Very cool car.
  • 46
    JOE C N CAROLINA October 30, 2014 at 09:10
    HAVE A 03 SSR , TRUCK ,CONVERT. , WHAT COULD BE BETTER
  • 47
    Errol Edson., Alberta October 30, 2014 at 09:11
    As the owner of a '67 El-camino now and having owned a '72 and '83 previously, I love the '70. But what I like about SSR is the fact that your rarley see them around here. That makes them unique and cool.
  • 48
    M.Currier Western NY October 30, 2014 at 09:16
    I have a black 1965 El Camino in my garage and think the 1970 El Camino would make good company for it.
  • 49
    Jerry Georgia October 30, 2014 at 09:51
    I was just forced to sell an LS5 Elky for financial reasons. Which one do you think I voted for?
  • 50
    Marty MD October 30, 2014 at 10:17
    Seriously? SSR over an El Camino? What's next would you want a PT Cruiser or a '57 Belair? Surely you don't consider this a fair comparison?
  • 51
    BillG Magnolia, Texas October 30, 2014 at 10:25
    I had a 1970 Super Sport El Camino. It was originally Forest Green with white Chevelle stripes. It had been modified to a 350 CI, 4 speed by the time I got it. I had it painted Black Imron with metal flake gold Chevelle stripes, a gold banner where the SS emblem is on the rear lid, and non-skidded the bed. Imron was wildly popular in my area due to the Hatteras Yachts plant in my home town of New Bern, N.C., it went on like a skin and was so easy to maintain an immaculate appearance, if done at the hand of a highly skilled artisan. This was all at the hands of a local legend at the time, named “Little Guy” Hamilton. I also changed to Keystone rims due to the black on them. It was a dream car for a young pay day to pay day guy. I sold it when I entered the Navy in 1981 expecting to get assigned on the west coast due to going to boot camp in San Diego. You may have beat me to this one… For needs of the Navy, I ended up being stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, 3 hours north of my home town. I could have kicked myself. My 1973 Stingray is protected by Hagerty and has been for a decade. I may be adding a new Stingray or ZR1 to the fleet in the next couple of years. I still miss and love that car, if it isn’t apparent. I haven’t heard many kids share what an important part of their youth, that SSR was. But who am I to say…
  • 52
    Tim Rush, Colorado October 30, 2014 at 10:52
    To call either of them, from the world in which I grew up, a truck is a joke. However I would say the El Camino wins my vote. Todays 'pickups', or 'trucks' are also a joke. I have an '02 Ford F-250 4x4 auto everything as well as a '64 F-250 4x4 standard transmission and transfer case. I 4 high the old one will go places the '02 will not go in 4 low. Give me the oldies they are the best!
  • 53
    Rob Merrill Spokane Wa. October 30, 2014 at 11:08
    I have a 06 SSR with modified 6.0.with 545 horse by the factory so the SSR can by better than the one they used. They say it hard to get body parts but I have found all the body parts in little problem. The chrome package that was a ad on changes the SSR greatly. So my be the should use a Newer SSR
  • 54
    D Klein Alvord Texas October 30, 2014 at 11:20
    Had a new 69 SS396 black beautiful El Camino , but the worst vehicle I ever owned, parked it behind the house and sold it 3 years later,now own a black 03 SSR, not as good looking but a lot better car
  • 55
    Johnnyrose Ft lauderdale October 30, 2014 at 11:30
    SSR LOWERED for sure, unable to recline on both vehicles is a negative, no long drives in either vehicle....
  • 56
    Alweeja Augusta, Ga October 30, 2014 at 11:43
    The El Camino without a Doubt. Can't imagine there being a choice between these two. Night and Day
  • 57
    Hutch Hutchins Fort Worth, TX October 30, 2014 at 12:26
    I have a 1976 El That I've owned for 38 years, I think it's a beautiful car, Still has original paint (Maroon) Lots of Factory Chrome with 124000 Miles, Only drive it about 50 Miles a year, sits in my Garage the rest of the time, I get a lot of Comments from folks when I drive it...
  • 58
    H Lynn Faulconer, Jr. Warrenton, VA October 31, 2014 at 11:08
    I always wanted to own a 1969-1972 El Camino, but being in college the funds just were not there. In 1979 I was employed with Chevrolet Motor Division and had the opportunity to order a 1979 El Camino for my next company car. No the "A-body" El Camino was not the same as the 1968-1970 or 1971-1972 vehicle, but I fell in love with it. Today I still own & drive this vehicle (especially since I found Hagerty Insurance). It is a comfortable car to drive & maintenance does not require special tools. Though servicing at my local dealer, etc. can present some challenges as most of the technicians do not know what a Rochester Quad is all about. Many people still ask me to sell them my El Camino with original 55,000 miles, but every time I think I might sell, the "pickup" side comes in handy. I have enjoyed the ownership experience & plan to keep my "Silver Flash" (yeah right with the 305 cu. in. 3.73 axle) for some time to come yet. The El Camino gets my vote over the SSR. The El Camino was & is a more practical vehicle than the SSR. On the road my 1979 El Camino will average over 22 mpg with the tonneau cover (original) in place & 89 octane fuel.
  • 59
    Merrill Charlotte, NC October 31, 2014 at 11:30
    I'm sorry, but the SSR looks like a Volkswagon Beatle that was in the process of morphing into a pickup truck when it got stuck halfway through the process.
  • 60
    Jeff Milwaukee November 1, 2014 at 13:11
    Cross country trip SSR. Rain storm snow twisty road SSR. Car show...El Camino.
  • 61
    KHipp Bentonville, AR November 1, 2014 at 13:45
    I had a 1971 El Camino SS with a 350 & 4 speed that I bought in 1975 with Gabriel Hijackers aired up all the way to clear the L 60 Goodyear skins on the back mounted on original Cragar SS wheels. I used it for a daily driver to save my new LT Camaro and also haul my dirt bike around with. I lived in Illinois at the time and I was surprised at how well it handled in the snow. With a little weight in back it went just about everywhere I wanted. Red with white SS stripes and a white vinyl roof I got a lot of comments from most people on how good it looked.
  • 62
    bryce Chicago Illinois November 1, 2014 at 13:51
    I personally like muscle cars better but I also like the SSR but if I had to choose it would be to the el camino because of the way the car is made and the price is good in my perspective
  • 63
    bryce Chicago Illinois November 1, 2014 at 13:55
    Not to be rude it does look like the Beatle the SSR is supercharged
  • 64
    John United States November 1, 2014 at 00:20
    The SSR was about the worst choice you could make as far as a "newer" vehicle going for a muscle truck, it's ugly as sin. He should have chosen either a Chevy 454SS or a Ford SVT Lightning.
  • 65
    Brandon Jonesboro Ar November 2, 2014 at 01:51
    man this one was hard. The ep before this I was susprised the Gbody lost. I'm a huge fan of the Gbodys owned one loved it. But this one I loved the SSR when it came out. my uncle was going to get one but back out and got a dodge. Ughh the Elco when they became Gbodys were awesome to. heavy chevy wins in the end.
  • 66
    Skeater Anderson, SC November 2, 2014 at 14:54
    Nothing like El Camino. My 1969 4-speed has a rep here in upstate SC.
  • 67
    Mister2 Tim South Florida November 3, 2014 at 14:20
    On the local Car Show circuit here in South Florida our friend has a SSR and there is not a single show that his car does not take a podium finish at. Promoters call him to come to their shows. I suspect that many responders here are Baby Boomers stuck in the muscle car genre and find it impossible to accept the aspects of the newer "classics". My 26 year old factory supercharged Toyota racecar is now considered a "collectable" by Haggerty. There's always gonna be change, it's inevitable.
  • 68
    Dan Kavanaugh Yelm Washington November 3, 2014 at 17:57
    Back in 1969 I owned a El Camino ,Not an SS but a custom series with a 307 3spd overdrive drove it a couple years. Then replace it. Later I got a 1986 liked it too. Had several of the Ford Ranchero's 1974 Gt and a Custom tricked out 79. I like the idea of smooth riding and a truck when you need one. Ford had a few Durango's in the 80's but by that time the F150 and Silverado were getting pretty plush. I currently own a 95 Lightning and a 95 Intimidator SS..... Still dig Trucks
  • 69
    Carson not telling... November 3, 2014 at 19:20
    I pick the 04 SSR, im more of a fan of mdern cars than the old classics. So that means the SSR gets my vote
  • 70
    Mark Wheaton, IL November 5, 2014 at 20:26
    El Camino all the way. SSR was beat with an ugly stick, but strip off that body work and put that 1970 El Camino body on that chassis (2005 version with the LS2 & 6 speed Tremec) and now you've got a truck. Oh ya, that's kind of what I'm doing with my 1972 SS (sport suspension, c5 brake package, LS3, Tremec 6speed). Downside to that 1970 El Camino would be the 7-10 mpg with the 454, rockcrusher & 410 gears
  • 71
    Joe Central VA November 5, 2014 at 22:06
    After watching the video a second time, I really like the SSR's looks a lot better than before. It is a sharp ride in black. Still, a '70 El Camino is what actually sits in my garage, though it ain't no 454 with a Rock Crusher. Yow. What a beast.
  • 72
    kurt phoenix November 8, 2014 at 00:38
    I have a 78 el camino 5.0 liter it's a great ride, and very reliable even in the hot phoenix summers , the SSR one word ugly.............
  • 73
    Olle Stromblad Sweden November 19, 2014 at 18:48
    I have a 2006 SSR. I think it's hard to compare them. Of course I would like the El Camino but my tuned up SSR (450 hp) with Magnaflow pipes and Raceline Wheels is a VERY nice Super Sport Roadster
  • 74
    RW Seattle January 22, 2015 at 00:24
    Nothing beats the rumble of a big block, or even my 72 300hp small block Elco. The sound of the SSR just doesn't do it for me!
  • 75
    Max Mustermann Germany March 22, 2015 at 17:30
    Come on, this SSR thing is just ugly!
  • 76
    Richard Edmonton May 1, 2015 at 00:36
    You should compare topline to topline... a 454 El Camino with a 2006 SSR full load, corvette engine with SuperCharger. Bottom line, most folks can't afford a 454 El Camino... and there is certainly not many to go around. Most can afford to drive an SSR.... if you can't drive one, then, it's just a beauty queen. Richard
  • 77
    Javontae Greensboro, AL July 6, 2015 at 01:54
    El camino all the way👏👊
  • 78
    Ken Va August 16, 2015 at 19:41
    The S S R in by far the most attractive. It's exceptionally different. El casino is regular looking. No second looks. I have a SSR. Yes

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