Chevrolet El Camino

The Chevrolet El Camino was a 1958 to 1960 and again from 1964 to 1987 built pickup truck with an open bed of the American automaker Chevrolet.

Since the early 1970s, an identical sister model of the General Motors GMC brand under the name Sprint, and later was sold as Caballero.

1959-1960: First Generation

The idea to derive a light commercial vehicle of a passenger car is almost as old as the automobile itself since the 1920s also had a corresponding Chevrolet Pickup car combined model on offer. From about the mid-1930s, the trend was to vehicles, which were derived from the truck. This led to Chevrolet's successful series 3100 A pioneering achievement -. , And an indirect predecessor of the El Camino -. Was the Chevrolet Cameo, a more luxurious truck model within the 3100 Series Its innovation lay in a glazing of the C-pillar, but especially in a Pickup bed, which no longer had simply placed on the chassis, but was first included in the total line of the body.

The new edition of a pickup similar vehicle on car base was discussed at Chevrolet in 1952. Incentive to take action Chevrolet looked but only when archrival 1957 Ford surprising with the Ford Ranchero imagined such a vehicle.

The fact that it took until GM with its own model could respond was due to internal problems; triggered by the appearance of revolutionary new models of Chrysler in 1957. Their novel design with straight, sleek lines, sweeping tail fins and broadly waiving chrome excesses allowed for 1958 planned, completely overloaded with chrome trim GM products already cumbersome and old-fashioned look before they came on the market. As a result, the longtime GM design chief Harley Earl had to leave this post. Under his successor, Bill Mitchell, GM had an unscheduled on its wheels a completely new competitive model generation. This very costly and time-consuming measure was the introduction of new niche models little room, and so appeared to General Motors ' first post-war " car pickup " first with the new models for 1959. Until 1971 exclusively as a Chevrolet available ( later an almost identical version of GMC thereto) received the new model called El Camino. This designation GM had previously only used once: for the concept car Cadillac El Camino of 1954.

Conceptually, it corresponded to the Ford Ranchero: Both were based on a two-door station wagon (in the case of the El Camino, this was the model Brookwood respectively its version with verblechten rear sides ) with the only slightly modified chassis and a body that from the front to the B- column was identical to the other Chevrolet models. A heavily truncated roof ended at the level of the B-pillars and thus covered only the passenger compartment with its three-seat bench. The conclusion of the passenger compartment formed a new rear window and a transverse wall, which served before Wi transported also to stiffen the body and to protect the driver. He was followed by the open pickup pan. She was inserted so that the edge corresponding optically other passenger car models. Because at that time anyway Station Wagon had a horizontally split tailgate, the lower part together with hinges could be taken with a few adjustments of the station wagon models. Both El Camino Ranchero reported as - to such a structure - albeit over the years on different platforms.

The El Camino took in the Chevrolet range so far a special position, as it included an evenly matched the top model Impala was unusually available in all trim levels.

Ironically, kept the Ford Ranchero only this year in the large class; already the successor for 1960 was launched on the new compact Falcon.

1959 sold 22 246 Chevrolet El Caminos; In 1960, the El Camino with the extensive body modifications of the Impala, however the sales figures went on 14,163 items back ( also a result of the now much cheaper Ranchero ), followed by Chevrolet decided to stop production.


1964-1967: Second Generation

Ford had taken the release of his new compact Falcon opportunity to offer the second generation of the Ranchero on this platform. The change was very successful. This prompted Chevrolet to also give El Camino a new opportunity. As the base but did not serve the own compact car Chevy II introduced in 1964 but mid-range model Chevelle. Until the B- pillar of the El Camino was identical to 4 - / 5-door Chevelle. Since the new Chevrolet El Camino looked more as a "workhorse ", the most ( and least efficient ) Chevelle engines were not available in the pick -up - for now.

In model year 1965, there were at El Camino but then a high -performance version of the 5.4 -liter V8 (327 cu ³) with more than 255 kW. In 1966 a version with 6.5 -liter V8 ( 396 cu ³ ), which made ​​325-375 hp. Over the standing quarter mile was the 327 times just over 15 seconds ( and a top speed of 145 km / h), the Series 396 models achieved readily times under 15 seconds.

For the 1967 model year and the El Camino Chevelle simultaneous facelift with changes to grille, front bumper and chrome trim received. New was a level of regulation that prevented a sagging of the rear end with a heavy load.

1967: 230 cui L6 ( 103 kW> 140 hp ), 250 cui L6 ( 114 kW/155 hp ), 283 cui V8 ( 143 kW/195 hp ), 327 cui V8 ( 202-239 kW/275-325 hp ) 396 cui V8 ( 239-257-276 kW/325-350-375 hp )

Note: Horsepower (hp ) Figures according to SAE Gross standard were measured differently than today's horsepower ( hp), namely without ancillaries. Therefore, the figures are 15 to 30 % higher than today's DIN specifications.

1968-1972: Third Generation

Model 1968

The third generation was based on the model year 1968 Chevelle renewed and increased slightly in size. A new high performance Super Sport SS396 version was as also offered in the Chevelle. The models in 1969 differed little from the previous versions, but 1970 was a major facelift, and the 396 in ³ was replaced by the new 402 in ³ ( 6.6 L) V8; the model name of SS396 was preserved. Chevrolet's most powerful engine wandered into a handful of El Caminos, namely the LS6 with 7.5 liters of displacement, 335 kW ( 456 hp ) and 678 Nm of torque. This required the El Camino under 14 seconds for the standing quarter mile, and achieves almost 170 km / h

In model year 1971, the performance scores decreased across the Chevrolet program because the engines were switched to unleaded gasoline and received lower densities; the stringent emissions standards became noticeable. The former dual headlights made ​​simple, round units place and the grill came to a head slightly V-shaped to. 1972, no major changes were noted only with the power it went downhill.

1973-1977: Fourth Generation

MJ 1976

Starting in 1973, ran again parallel to the Chevelle, the largest El Caminos from the tape. Thanks to the new, lighter design Chevrolet had reduced the weight compared to the previous model anyway. For the 1976 model year Chevrolet introduced through a facelift with vertically one above the other twin headlamps, otherwise there was on the show until 1978 hardly changes.

1978-1987: Fifth Generation

For the model year 1978, a smaller, more angular El Camino on the market. The Chevelle was no longer in production, with the result that the components of the Chevelle 's successor Malibu and Monte Carlo were used.

For the first time there was also a V6 engine in the El Camino ( originating from a Buick or Chevrolet 90 ° V6 ) and from 1982 to 1984 contributed by an Oldsmobile diesel engine.

Parallel to the Malibu also received the El Camino for 1982 a revised front with dual headlights.

With the end of the model year 1984 Chevrolet moved production of the El Camino and GMC Caballero Ramos Arizpe in Mexico. In the summer of 1987 the production of the El Camino was discontinued because demand had fallen sharply - in 1982 introduced greater Chevrolet S-10 sold much better than the pick -up on Malibu basis. Around 200 unsold the 1987 El Camino were sold as " Model 1988 ". The Pars Khodro in Iran from the mounted units were only known under the name Chevrolet pickup. The assembly of the model was but there was added only in 1984, after the political situation had relaxed after the Islamic Revolution. It was since then but also the last vehicle from the GM group, which was assembled in Iran.

New concepts

During the 1990s, GM had a new concept El Camino based on the Caprice wagon with the grille of a 1994-96 Impala SS; this concept was intended for mass production, but GM sales was due to more profitable SUV set.

The Pontiac G8 ST was shown at the New York International Auto Show in March 2008. Based on the Holden Ute, he was on the same G8 platform with an integrated 1900 mm long cargo area. The Sport Truck had the same 361 hp ( 269 kW) 6.0-liter V8 engine used in the G8 GT, as well as the 3.6-liter and 300 hp (220 kW) direct-injection V6. The G8 ST, slated for release as the 2010 model, should be the first coupe utility in North America for GM, since the production of the El Camino had been discontinued in 1987. However, in January 2009 GM Pontiac dealers said that the development of the G8 ST was canceled due to budget cuts and restructuring.

The Australian cousins

The Australian GM Holden Dependance offered since 1951 on the basis of their own car models, a pick-up derivation of the Holden Ute. In some respects this in their home very popular light trucks were the inspiration for the car -pick ups from Ford and GM. As these were originally designed them for a more rural clientele and were partly exported under the name Holden Kingswood in South Africa. Were with the El Camino and these vehicles, however, are not related.

Find out more

  • In the series My Name Is Earl the title character Earl drives a 1973 El Camino.
  • In the movie The Mexican El Caminos also played roles.
  • In the film Four Brothers also an El Camino plays a role, but is part of an accident.
  • In the movie Enemy of the State 1 moves " Brill " (Gene Hackman ), a El Camino, which is also blown up.
  • In the film The Return, a blue 5th gen El Camino plays a role as a leading man vehicle, and again end it is set by accident.
  • The band Slant 6 has the song El Camino One dedicated to the El Camino on their album Driving to the edge.
  • The band, The Black Keys named her 2011 album " El Camino ", but the cover shows a Plymouth Voyager
  • In the movie Bodyguard Kevin Costner drives an El Camino
  • Tries Michael Kelso ( Ashton Kutcher ) Leo ( Tommy Chong ) a El Camino abzukaufen In the U.S. sitcom The wild seventies.