Australians know a good pickup/car hybrid when they see one, but America has had a rocky relationship with utes. Dodge dabbled with the Rampage, Subaru gave us the Brat and the Baja, and Ford gave us 23 years of the Ranchero, but the longest-lasting of them in the U.S. market was Chevrolet’s El Camino (Spanish for The Camino).
The Ranchero’s early success after launching in 1957 prompted Chevrolet to get in on the car/truck action and produce the 1959 and 1960 El Camino before the model went on hiatus. While Ford continued Ranchero production on the compact Falcon platform, Chevrolet waited until the Chevelle debuted on the new A-body platform to relaunch the El Camino in 1964.
Using the same wheelbase as the four-door wagon, the mid-sized El Camino offered many of the same powerful V-8 engine options as the muscular Chevelle SS, including the 396 big-block starting in 1966 one year after it debuted in the Z16 Chevelle. While it seems like the El Camino has always played second fiddle to the Malibu and Chevelle SS, they haven’t been completely ignored on the collector car market
From 2017 to 2018, the number of El Camino insurance quotes increased 6.2 percent and the average quote value increased 6.8 percent to $20,967. It’s still most popular among Baby-Boomers, with a slight increase in interest among younger buyers.
Our data also allows us to pick up on geographic trends, and the ElCo is hottest in the west. California, Texas, Arizona, Washington and Oregon make up the top five states for ’64-’67 El Camino insurance quotes. Relative to population, California is still the #1 state followed by Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Arizona.
Since 2013, we’ve recorded an average of 65 El Caminos head to auction each year, and the sell-through rate has been a strong 70 percent. 2018 saw fewer offered, with only 43 available, and there was a slight dip in the sell-through rate to 63 percent, but the average price crept up to $28,075, which is up 37.3 percent from 2013. The record for this range of El Camino is from Mecum’s 2018 Kissimmee event, where a 360-horsepower 1965 396 example sold for $102,300.
A similar trend is happening on the private market. According to our data, between 2013 and 2018, the average sale price has increased 24.1 percent to $15,380.
Since January 2014, the #1 and #2 values on early A-body El Caminos has increased on average by 21 percent, to $35,074 and $25,458, respectively. The most valuable El Camino, is the 1965 model with the 350-horsepower, 327ci 4bbl L79, with a #1 value of $50,200.
Despite being at the intersection of muscle car and pickup, two hot segments of the collector car market, the El Camino has remained a relatively affordable entry point. With so much parts sharing between the popular Chevelle and Malibu, an El Camino isn’t difficult to maintain or restore, and their prices remain lower than their coupe counterparts, making for an enticing proposition It seems like buyers are finally starting to realize it.