A precious gem found in Norway
Chevrolet El Camino SS is in moderate condition. The bodywork is in acceptable state with bad paint and corrosion in some sections of the car. The white interior needs some work. The engine is running and gearbox is fine since it was filled up with the oil. The car is very rare SS version of the El Camino (with factory bed cover) so the hopes for it are very high.
The Chevrolet El Camino is a pickup / coupé utility vehicle that was produced by Chevrolet between 1959–60 and 1964–1987. Unlike a standard pickup truck, the El Camino was adapted from the standard two-door Chevrolet station wagon platform and integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body.
Introduced in the 1959 model year in response to the success of the Ford Ranchero pickup, 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 in the United States as a pickup. GMC's badge engineered El Camino variant, the Sprint, was introduced for the 1971 model year. Renamed Caballero in 1978, it was also produced through the 1987 model year.
The concept of a two-door vehicle based on a passenger car chassis with a tray at the rear began in the United States in the 1920s with the roadster utility (also called "roadster pickup" or "light delivery") models.
Ford Australia was the first company to produce a coupé utility as a result of a 1932 letter from the wife of a farmer in Victoria, Australia, 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 developed a suitable solution, and the first coupé utility model was released in 1934. Bandt went on to manage Ford's Advanced Design Department, being responsible for the body engineering of the XP, XT, XW, and XA series Ford Falcon utilities. General Motors’ Australian subsidiary Holden also produced a Chevrolet coupé utility in 1935, Studebaker produced the Coupé Express from 1937 to 1939. The body style did not reappear on the American market until the release of the 1957 Ford Ranchero.
Both the coupé utility and the similar open-topped roadster utility continued in production, but the improving economy of the mid- to late-1930s and the desire for improved comfort saw coupé utility sales climb at the expense of the roadster utility until, by 1939, the latter was all but a fading memory.
The mid-1955 introduction of Chevrolet's Cameo Carrier pickup truck helped pave the way for the El Camino. Although it was a model variant of Chevrolet's Task Force light-duty pickup, the Cameo offered an array of car-like features that included passenger-car styling, fiberglass rear fenders, two-tone paint, a relatively luxurious interior, as well as an optional V8 engine, automatic transmission, and power assists. As always, there was a GMC version offered during the same time, called the GMC Suburban with the same features offered on the Chevrolet. In 1957 a special version was made for GMC to be shown at national car shows called the Palomino, which had a Pontiac 347 cu in (5.7 L) V8 installed, borrowed from the 1957 Star Chief.
Other pickup truck producers, including Dodge, Ford, Studebaker, and International, began to offer flush-side cargo boxes on some of their 1957 models, such as the Dodge C Series, and the Studebaker E-series Deluxe. However, Ford also introduced the 1957 Ranchero, and established a new market segment in the U.S. market of an automobile platform based coupé utility. In 1959, Chevrolet responded with the El Camino to compete with Ford's full-sized Ranchero. The original El Camino and Ranchero would compete directly only in the 1959 model year.
For 1973, the El Camino was redesigned. Matching the Chevelle line and using the wagon chassis, it was the largest El Camino generation. Energy-absorbing hydraulic front bumper systems on these vehicles added more weight. There were two different trim levels of El Caminos during this period. The base model and SS option shared interior and exterior appointments with the Chevelle Malibu, while the El Camino Classic (introduced for 1974) shared its trim with the more upscale Chevelle Malibu Classic.
The chassis design was as new as the bodies with 1 in (25 mm) a wider wheel track, front and rear. The left wheel was adjusted to have slightly more positive camber than the right, which resulted in a more uniform and stable steering feel on high-crown road surfaces while maintaining excellent freeway cruise stability. Clearances for spring travel were also improved for a smoother ride over all types of surfaces; the coil springs at each wheel were computer-selected to match the individual car's weight. Front disc brakes were now standard on all '73 El Caminos. Additional new features were an acoustical double-panel roof, tighter-fitting glass, flush-style outside door handles, molded full-foam seat construction, flow-through power ventilation system, inside hood release, refined Delcotron generator and sealed side-terminal battery, a larger 22-US-gallon (83 L; 18 imp gal) fuel tank, and "flush and dry" rocker panels introduced first on the redesigned 1971 full-size Chevrolets. New options included swivel bucket seats (with console) and Turbine I urethane (backed by steel) wheels, as was the instrument gauge cluster. A benefit of the new body designs was much better visibility to which the unusually thin windshield pillars contributed. A structural improvement was a stronger design for the side door guard beams. El Caminos shared the "Colonnade" frameless door glass with other Chevelles, and would continue this feature into the next generation as well.
The 307 2-barrel V8 with 115 hp (86 kW) was the base engine. Options included a 350 2-barrel V8 with 145 hp (108 kW), a 350 4-barrel V8 with 175 hp (130 kW), and a 454 4-barrel V8 with 245 hp (183 kW). Hardened engine valve seats and hydraulic camshafts made these engines reliable for many miles, and allowed them to accept the increasingly popular unleaded regular gasoline. The three-speed manual transmission was standard; 4-speed manual and Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmissions were optional. Crossflow radiators and coolant reservoirs prevented overheating.
The SS, then a trim option, included a black grill with SS emblem, bodyside striping, bright roof drip moldings, color-keyed dual sport mirrors, special front and rear stabilizer bars, rally wheels, 70-series raised white-lettered tires, special instrumentation and SS interior emblems. The SS option was available with a 350 or 454 V8 with the 4-speed or Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions. Also it was not widely known, but a Laguna S-3 front end could be fitted on these cars, and was available through the Central Office Production Option (COPO) system as code 6H1. It was not widely ordered by many however, more than likely due to limited information both on the part of customers and many dealers at the time.
The 1974 El Caminos sported an elongated, Mercedes-type grille. Inside, the new top-of-the-line El Camino Classic featured luxurious interiors with notchback bench seats (or optional Strato bucket seats) upholstered in cloth or vinyl, carpeted door panels and woodgrain instrument panel trim. The 350 V8 became the base engine and a 400 V8 engine was new this year. The 454, the top engine, was available with the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic or 4-speed manual transmission.
The 1975 models featured a new grill, providing a fresh appearance. Suspension upgrades offered a quieter ride, and radial-ply tires became standard. Dual remote mirrors, new twin sport mirrors, intermittent wipers, and cruise control were among new convenience features this year. The 1975 high energy ignition (HEI) provided spark to the spark plugs with minimal maintenance and increased power. The larger distributor cap also provided better high-RPM performance by decreasing the likelihood of the spark conducting to the wrong terminal. The 250-cubic-inch in-line six of 105 hp (78 kW) was offered as the base engine. The 454-cubic-inch V8, downrated yet again to 215 hp (160 kW), made it into 1975 as an El Camino option, but this would be its last go-around. It was not available in California, and the optional four-speed stick was no longer offered. Buyers could now choose an Econominder instrument package that included a vacuum gauge to point out when optimum fuel economy was being attained.
For 1976, El Camino Classic models now featured the new rectangular headlights that other high-end GM cars were sporting. These were quad units in stacked arrangement. The base model retained the previously used dual round headlights. Engines included the base 250 I6 engine, a new 140 hp (104 kW) 305-cubic-inch V8, two- and four-barrel 350s (with availability still depending on California delivery), and the 400-cubic-inch V8, still good for 175 hp (130 kW). All engines except the 250 I6 came with the Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmission as the only transmission available. The 250 I6 came with a 3-speed manual or an optional Turbo Hydra-matic.
The 1977 models were little changed, except the 400 V8 was gone. The El Camino Classic was again the top model and the SS option continued.
Text © Wikipedia
- Engine manufacturer: GM
- Engine type: spark-ignition 4-stroke
- Fuel type: gasoline (petrol)
- Fuel system: carburetor
- Charge system: naturally aspirated
- Cylinders alignment: V8
- Displacement: 5700 cm3 / 350 cui
- Horsepower net: 104 kW / 140 hp (DIN)