When people talk about the Chevrolet El Camino, they talk about its fleetness of foot. Bending around pinched curves on twisting mountain roads is an easy task with this comfortable yet powerful vehicle. The Chevrolet El Camino is also commended for being a true-blue multi-purpose vehicle. It is built ruggedly enough to be able to withstand the demands of pickup truck work without showing signs of giving up.
The Chevrolet El Camino is a small pickup truck that utilizes a car chassis. It was introduced to the automobile market by General Motors under the Chevrolet name in the year 1959. The Chevrolet El Camino was primarily developed because General Motors wanted to rival the success of the Ford Ranchero. The Chevrolet El Camino did not do well and was discontinued, only to emerge years later fully and completely revamped.
The Chevrolet El Camino then went on to become one of the greatest cars in the world. This vintage pickup truck is now considered as the best pickup truck of all time. The character and feat the Chevrolet El Camino has come to be associated with has not really been impossible to achieve. With everything that General Motors has equipped it with, the vehicle has nothing else to do but fare well.
The Chevrolet El Camino is loaded with Chevrolet El Camino parts that serve it well. Included in this roster of amazing contraptions are engine parts, electrical parts and body parts that make the vehicle generate top speed and better handling. The Chevrolet El Camino can also boast of being a real pleasure to drive as a result of having extremely serviceable parts to use. Being capable of keeping up with the fast stuff is one of the things that this sole pickup truck can be proud of.
FAQs—Chevrolet EL Camino
I recently purchased a 1968 El Camino from a used car yard, I find it great! Seems like the El Camino has a story to tell, what is the history behind this gorgeous vintage pickup?
The Chevrolet El Camino has a rich history and has achieved cult status in the market. The El Camino is a hybrid car/pickup able to carry heavy loads while still imparting to its owners the pride of driving in style. In a 1968 review for Hot Road Magazine, it was said that: "As comfy and powerful as a comparable Chevelle, it'll take half-ton loads easily and has enough style and class to be parked in front of the Beverly Hilton without embarrassment." The El Camino was first introduced in 1959-1960 as a response to the popularity of the Ford Ranchero. The El Camino has evolved through the years as many redesigns and re-launchings have occurred. The El Camino continues to be a favorite among many car collectors and enthusiasts up to this day.
How do I clean and restore my El Camino's factory gauges?
First, have a thorough assessment of your gauge system. Depending on the condition, sometimes a gauge would need to be replaced. However, if you wish to simply restore the default one, then a cleaning and rust-eliminating job would do. Consult an expert car restorer to assist you. If you want to do it yourself, then gently pry off the old gauge set off the cluster; proceed with extreme care. Use Chrome Polish to clean the rust. Repainting the gauge set is also an option.
What are the long-term storage tips for my El Camino?
When storing a car indoors for a considerable period of time, it is necessary to take extra preparations. However, if possible, take time to warm up and drive the vehicle around at least once every two weeks. This is to keep your engine lubricated and in top-shape. When preparing for hibernation, make sure you have all systems checked. A fuel and filter change is advisable. Lithium grease protects the hood latch. Some Teflon lube or silicon spray cab can also keep the doors from bonding to the weather stripping when it is unused for long periods. Consider raising your El Camino on jack stands to avoid tire "flat-spots", which can be permanent even when you use your vehicle again. Make effort to lower the tire pressure as well. Finally, cover the pickup with a non-abrasive car cloth.
I recently gave my El Camino a restoration job. It got the works—sandblasting a new paint job and everything else. How do I make the most out of my money's worth and preserve the restoration results?
First, one of your biggest concerns is to keep the panels and bodywork rust free. Remember, rusting occurs during exposure to moisture, oxygen and road salts. It is always better to keep your El Camino stored in a garage or lock-up. Always verify if everything is completely dry after washing, and use the appropriate car drying cloth. You can also look for rust-resistant waxes for this specific concern. Waxing proves to be a great help since it serves as a protective barrier to stop and water or air in building up potential rust.
Chevrolet El Camino: The Car That Would Be a Truck
Chevrolet has long been known to make some truly iconic cars. The long-serving Camaro is, perhaps, the most famous of all these icons. The El Camino, for its part, is one of the strangest of the bunch. It was technically tagged as a coupe utility—a hybrid between a car and a pickup truck—though it is classified as a truck in North America. It was intended to combine the usefulness and carrying capacity of a pickup, and maneuverability and more sculpted look of a car. To modern sensibilities, it seems like an odd couple marriage, but back then it was pretty well-received.
1959-1967: A match made in heaven
The idea for a combi-truck and car was actually in the works in Chevrolet as far back as 1952. Like the Ranchero it was meant to beat, the El Camino was based on an existing and modified platform—in this case, the 1959 Brookwood sedan. The El Camino was available with any drivetrain option as with the car it was based off, but only came with a single trim level. In 1959-1960, that trim was upgraded to that found on the Impala.
The advantage of this set-up was first seen in terms of safety—the EL Camino features am x-frame design and full-coil suspension. The other advantage—in terms of carrying capacity—was seen in a payload rating between 650 to 1150 pounds. This was a respectable capacity, and saw many El Caminos in use in farms across America. Power came from a 283-cid Turbo-Jet V8 with two- or four-barreled carburetion or a 348-cid Turbo-Thrust V8 with four-barrel or triple two-barreled carburetion—the latter providing a hefty 335-bhp.
Between 1964 and 1967, the El Camino was reinvented on the Chevelle platform. This gave it a more boxy appearance that, in fact, was closer to a pickup than a car. One of the more impressive additions to the engine choices during this time was the 327-cid, small-block V8 rater at a respectable 300 horsepower. The numbers were slightly deceiving as it seemed to provide less power than before. But the truth was that the balance between power output and efficiency was excellent.
1968-1997: A good run indeed
The Chevelle base was maintained until 1973 when the El Camino was once more redesigned. What resulted was a much larger El Camino. An energy-absorbing hydraulic front bumper was added onto the Chevy to give it both added size and weight. Apart from that, front brake discs became a standard. By the time 1978 came about, the El Camino had finally reached its peak. It was trimmer, sleeker yet still very reliable and functional. Better still, it was its own vehicle already—no borrowing from the frames of others. The final engine model to power this last El Camino was a hefty 5.7-liter V8 diesel capable of putting out 105 horsepower.