Used El Camino For Sale

Published: 06th August 2010
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Due to the success of the Ranchero that Ford began selling in 1957, Chevrolet manufactured the El Camino for sale from 1959 through 1960. That initial attempt to compete with Ford was a failure, and Chevrolet abandoned the attempt due to the limited market. However, Ford continued to experience success and the market continued to broaden, so Chevrolet returned with an all-new El Camino for sale in 1964. It was here that Chevrolet established this automotive icon that spanned five vehicle generations.

First Generation (1959-1960)

While it's true that the El Camino's appearance in 1959 was in response to the success of the Ranchero, it's not the complete story. Harley Earl had the idea for one as early as 1952, and at some point after that moment, Chevrolet had been working on its design. However, perhaps the success of the Ranchero forced Chevrolet to introduce the El Camino for sale earlier than they would have liked. Regardless, what was a flop in 1959 became a legendary and coveted vehicle among modern collectors.

Second Generation (1964-1967)

When Chevrolet reintroduced the El Camino for sale in 1964, it was based on the Chevelle and thus substantially different from the two models at the beginning of the decade. Although the 1959-1960 models are the most coveted, these mid-1960s models provided the iconic El Camino imagery, imagery that has grown finer with time. The standard V8 that Chevy provided with these models was a 283 cubic-inch two-barrel carbureted motor that pounded out 195 horsepower. The optional engine had dual exhausts and a four-barrel carburetor that allowed it to crank out 220 horsepower.

Third Generation (1968-1972)

The third-gen El Caminos shared interior and exterior trims with the Chevelle Malibu, and it was at this time that Chevrolet really embraced the El Caminos popularity with the muscle crowd. This is was evident in the high performance Super Sport (SS) that Chevrolet released alongside the 1968 Chevelle Super Sport. The following model year marked the first time that GM used the legendary Chevrolet 350 V8 in the El Camino. This focus on the big blocks continued throughout the third generation, and established the El Camino as one of the cornerstones of American muscle.

Fourth Generation (1973-1977)

For the fourth generation, Chevrolet redesigned the El Camino to match the Chevelle, which they were also redesigning. The distinct element of these model years is that while the vehicle grew in size, it is quite a bit lighter than the models that came before it due to advances in construction technology. During this period, the El Camino was also the last Chevy vehicle to sport the SS designation. The Chevelle had dropped it in 1973, and the Nova dropped it in 1976. However, unlike on those models, SS was an option package on the third-gen El Camino, and it was quite common to have a higher-performing non-SS El Camino.

Fifth Generation (1978-1987)

In the 1980s, the muscle era was waning. American car buyers still loved their fast cars, but there was increased competition from imports providing better fuel performance. In addition, the growing popularity of compact pickup trucks was squeezing out the utility segment of the El Camino market. An interesting note is that Chevy sold 425 unsold 1987 models as 1988 models, making those 425 coveted as a curiosity.

Among enthusiasts, El Caminos are perhaps more popular today than they have ever been. Not too long ago, it was easy to find an El Camino for sale, but that isn't the case any longer. An enthusiast's best shot at an El Camino hotrod with only a modest investment is to find one of those mid-1980s models, and "supe" it up. The true muscle El Caminos cost the proverbial pretty penny even in a state of disrepair.

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