Car: Chevrolet El Camino
What makes it special: Chevrolet’s El Camino was produced between 1959–60 and 1964–1987. Unlike a pickup truck, the El Camino was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. Introduced in the 1959 model year in response to the success of the Ford Ranchero, its first run lasted only two years. Production resumed for the 1964–1977 model years based on the Chevelle platform, and continued for the 1978–1987 model years based on the GM G-body platform. Although based on corresponding General Motors car lines, the vehicle is classified and titled in North America as a truck.
What made it famous: In 1966, GM added a 396 cu in V8 to the lineup rated from 325 to 375 hp. The 1965 327 would run low 15’s in the 1/4 mile at some 90 mph, while 1966 to 1969 models were easily into the mid- to upper-14’s. New sheetmetal highlighted the 1966 El Camino, identical to the Chevelle. A new instrument panel with horizontal sweep speedometer was featured. Inside, the standard version featured a bench seat interior and rubber floor mat from the low-line Chevelle 300 series, while the Custom used a more upscale interior from the Chevelle Malibu with plusher cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl bench seats and deep twist carpeting, or optional Strato swivel bucket seats with console. A tachometer was optional.
Why I would want one: I love the look of the ’66 Chevelle, so naturally having the look of that year Chevelle and the handy utility capabilities combined would be a natural plus!
Fun fact: El Camino production ended quietly in late 1987.