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1967 Chevrolet El Camino 396 Project

I have a knack for stumbling upon cars in pieces. I don’t know why as I would probably be reluctant to take on such a project. Yet still, I find poring over the pieces and thinking, “Hmmm, what if…” and I guess that’s addictive. So continuing with my mild obsession, let’s examine what I would call “muscle truck potential” in the form of a 1967 Chevrolet El Camino. Besides being in pieces, it’s in Yakima, Washington and available, here on eBay for a starting bid of  $5,000 and a BIN price of $12,500. Thanks to Barn Finder extraordinaire Larry D for this tip!

We’ve covered the El Camino many times here on Barn Finds before so there’s no reason to traverse that ground again in this post. What is notable, however, is this Camino’s powertrain. Starting in 1966, Chevrolet offered their fairly new 396 CI engine as an option in the El Camino. And as the seller states, so equipped, it was not designated as a Super Sport (SS) model until the 1968 model year. This is a departure from the Chevelle passenger car where the 396 engine meant a “138” VIN prefix and SS designation – the 396 engine was not available in non-SS Chevelles.

So the seller has taken this Chevy completely apart, has a ton of parts, and has started on the restoration but he became disabled two years ago and cannot complete this formidable task. The biggest body issue is the floors, they are rotted through but the seller has acquired the appropriate new panels. The rust, unfortunately, has spread even further and is up into the passenger A-pillar so the seller adds, ” I have purchased a new 1 piece floorboard, driver and passenger side toe board, passenger side A-pillar panel, passenger side cowl side hinge panel, driver and passenger side cowl side door jamb hinge lower reinforcement panels, and driver side door skin. This Chevy is going to need an enormous amount of metalwork!

The engine is, or was, listed as a 350 HP, 396 CI V8 but it doesn’t sound as if this is the original motor – the previous owner removed both the engine and the Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission before the sale. But as to where this engine, with its 454 variety cylinder heads originated, is not clear. The fact that this motor has four-bolt main bearing caps actually eliminates it from original engine contention as a 350 HP engine was a two-bolt block. That said, the four-bolt version is preferable and this example has been enriched with some noteworthy features. Will it run when fully assembled and installed? Unknown. The seller does mention that he has an extra T-400 automatic transmission that is included in the sale.

There’s no interior so there is nothing to cover on that front. So, what do we have exactly? Sounds like an El Camino body that needs lots of metalwork, an entire interior, wiring, the engine/transmission to be completed and installed on the frame, and then, the body rejoined to the frame. Obviously, there is a myriad of other smaller details that will need to be accomplished so I don’t mean to oversimplify the challenge that completing this El Camino will entail.

The seller finally suggests, “If the El Camino sells, I can install the engine and transmission and place the body back on the frame for shipping. Placing remaining parts in the bed of the El Camino“. This is a story similar to the 1964 Ford Galaxie covered here last week – and I know how many of you felt about that prospect. This one is even more complicated so I am assuming similar responses, right?


  1. Freddy

    Hmm….so he’s too disabled to put it together but he will put it together if he sells it…?

    Like 3
  2. GT750

    Nice scar on that trans!

    Like 1
  3. jerry z

    Talk about a basket case! Lucky for me its on the wrong coast!

    Like 1
  4. James Martin

    66 elcamino on Colorado Springs Facebook market place. For 7000 obo. 350 4 speed car. Looks to be in decent shape. Better than a plie of bolts. For 5000 plus less.

    Like 3
  5. benjy58

    Lets throw a pile of parts up here and see if anyone will buy it.

    Like 1

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