1965 Chevrolet El Camino
8-cyl. 283cid/195hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Ford’s compact Falcon-based Ranchero worked alone in the car-truck field from 1961 to 1963, then Chevrolet re-entered the segment with a downsized El Camino, this one based on the division’s new mid-sized A-body Chevelle. Although weight and wheelbase were down a bit compared to its 1959-60 forerunner, the 1964 El Camino still bragged of a longer, taller cargo box and a wider tailgate. Base price for six-cylinder models was $2,267; adding a 283-cid V-8 added $100 to that bottom line.
Two trim levels were offered, with the base version looking as plain as the Chevrolet’s bare-bones 300-series A-bodies. The Custom El Camino featured the Malibu’s brightwork and stylish full wheelcovers. All Chevelle V-8s were optional, including the Corvette-sourced 350-horsepower, 327-cid L79 small-block. Chevy’s new 396-cid big block, introduced in the 1965 Malibu, became a Chevy El Camino option in 1966. Super Sports, save for actual “SS 396” badging, were available in 1966, but a true El Camino SS didn’t appear until 1968.