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AJ's Car of the Day '65 Chevrolet El Camino 435hp, 427 V8
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Car: Chevrolet El Camino 435hp, 427 V8

Year: 1965

What makes it special: 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. 

What made it famous: 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 V8's were optional, including the Corvette-sourced 350hp, 327 cid L79 small-block, all the way up to an optional 435hp, 427 Big-Block V8.

Why I would want one: Both Chevrolet's El Camino ( as well as Ford's Ranchero) are just plain cool. They're intended purpose was for utility work, but there's no denying that as a street rod, they are in a class of their own.

Fun fact: Super Sports, save for actual “SS 396” badging, were available in 1966, but a true El Camino SS didn’t appear until 1968.

  • On Air Chaz & AJ 5:30-10am

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