The Chevrolet El Camino is one of those alternative classic cars, not quite as mainstream as your Ford Mustangs or Chevrolet Corvettes but loved just as much (if not more) by its dedicated fan base.
Interestingly it was Ford Australia that would produce the world’s first coupe utility. A farmer’s wife had emailed the company in 1932 asking for “a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday and which can carry our pigs to market on Mondays.” Ford designer Lew Bandt designed it, and it went into production in 1934. It was quickly nicknamed the “Ute.”
Fast Facts – The Chevrolet El Camino
- The Chevrolet El Camino was a car-based pickup produced by Chevrolet from 1959 to 1987 over five generations.
- The first generation of the El Camino was introduced in 1959 as a response to the Ford Ranchero and was based on the Chevrolet Brookwood wagon. It would set the tone for all the El Caminos that would follow.
- The El Camino was offered in a variety of trims and with a number of engine options over the years, including V8 engines with high-performance packages.
- The El Camino was popular among car enthusiasts and was widely used as a work vehicle in period, as well as a recreational/leisure vehicle.
The History Of The Chevrolet El Camino
The Chevrolet El Camino is a coupe utility vehicle that was produced by American automaker Chevrolet from 1959 to 1960 and then from 1964 to 1987 over the course of five generations.
The El Camino was introduced in response to the surprising success of the Ford Ranchero, it was based on the Chevrolet Impala platform to keep development costs low. The first generation (produced from 1959 to 1960) was only produced for two years and had a distinct, boxy design that was heavily influenced by contemporary Chevrolet station wagons.
The second generation (produced from 1964 to 1967) marked a major change for the El Camino, as it was completely restyled and based on the newer Chevelle platform.
The design was sleeker and more aerodynamic, and the El Camino became significantly more popular as a result. During this time, the vehicle was offered with a range of engines, including the fire-breathing Chevrolet 396 cubic inch (6.5 liter) V8 producing up to 375 bhp.
In 1968, the third generation of the El Camino was introduced, featuring a new body style and a range of updates to the engine and transmission. The vehicle was now based on the Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu and offered a wider range of options and trims, including the performance-oriented SS package.
This generation also saw the introduction of the famous 350 cubic inch small-block V8 engine, which quickly became the most popular choice among El Camino buyers.
The fourth generation (produced from 1973 to 1977) of the El Camino marked another major redesign, as the vehicle was restyled to be more in line with the contemporary Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
This generation also saw the introduction of the new colonnade-style frameless door glass, which offered a more elegant look compared to previous generations. Engine options included the standard 250 cubic inch inline-six, as well as several V8 engines, including the powerful 454 cubic inch V8.
The fifth generation (produced from 1978 to 1987) marked the end of the line for the Chevrolet El Camino. During this time, the vehicle was offered with a range of engine choices, including 6 and 8 cylinder engines, and was also available with a range of options and trims, including the SS package.
Despite this updates, sales of the El Camino began to decline as people gravitated to pickup trucks, and Chevrolet decided to discontinue the vehicle in 1987.
Today, the Chevrolet El Camino is remembered as an iconic classic that bridged the gap between a pickup truck and a passenger car. It has become a cult classic and is popular among American car enthusiasts and collectors – many consider it to be a true American classic.
The 1967 Chevrolet El Camino Shown Here
This bright purple 1967 Chevrolet El Camino is powered by a 327 cubic inch V8 with power sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed Muncie manual transmission.
This car was apparently refurbished before the current owner acquired it in 2022, it’s finished in purple over black vinyl upholstery and it’s fitted with aftermarket 15″ chrome wheels, a wood-lined bed, bucket seats, a center console, and an AM/FM stereo.
It’s now being offered for sale out of Oak Grove, Georgia with a Georgia title and 58,000 miles showing on the odometer.
If you’d like to read more about it or place a bid you can visit the listing here on Bring a Trailer.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.