1987 Chevrolet El Camino SS Choo-Choo Custom

As a visual enhancement package rather than a performance package, the Choo Choo Customs company out of beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee offered this package for the 1987 Chevrolet El Camino, some were original SS models and some were not. The familiar seller has this example listed here on eBay in Lakeland, Florida, the current bid is $20,100, and the reserve isn’t met yet. Thanks to jonny for sending in this tip!

1987 was the last year for the famous Chevy El Camino, which may or may not have anything to do with pickups being more luxurious, having four doors, and SUVs becoming the “in” vehicle for folks who wanted to haul anything. I’ll spare you the boredom of having to look at a Photoshop-created four-door El Camino, it wouldn’t have worked for Chevy anyway, the dream was over. The fifth-generation El Camino was made from 1978 to 1987 and then the model went away.

The Choo Choo Customs version of the 1983 through 1987 El Camino is about the ultimate “custom” for this model, including a Monte Carlo nose piece. I could do without the running boards for a vehicle that’s only six inches above the pavement. For the record, I know that they’re actually covers over the side exhaust, before the hate mail starts flowing in, aaaagain. Still, give me leg-burning-exposed side exhaust every time. As far as hauling things in the back, your canned goods would be happy back there, under that strut-assisted cover.

This very nice example is also for sale on Hemmings for $31,900, just for the record. Also for the record, Hagerty’s #1 Concours value is $26,600, so someone will have to want this car very much to pay more than a #1 value for it. Maybe if it was at a TV auction and cocktails were flowing like wine… The #2 excellent condition value is $19,800. The interior looks outstanding, as expected. The floor-shifted automatic transmission hopefully works as well as everything else looks on this beautiful, loaded example.

The engine is Chevy’s 305-cu.in. OHV V8, which would have been factory-rated at 150 horsepower when new. Numbers go back and forth as far as how many Choo Choo Customs El Caminos were made. El Camino Central says around 2,500, but Chevy says closer to 5,000. Have any of you seen or owned one?


  1. Moparman Member

    I have to agree with you on the running boards, which look clunky; but seeing as how there are two exhaust pipes at the rear, was there a switching set up to make them functional? I’m also not as fond of the hard tonneau (which necessitated removal of the side rails); otherwise, this is a very nice example.
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 4
    • RMac

      Moparman everything on a choo was optional only a few csme with side exhaust and when you ordered them they came with an electric solenoid to cut from stock single exhaust to the chambered side
      You could also order with just the fiberglass cover to “ look” like side exhaust or nothing at all I am currently Rest modding a true ss choo choo But transplanted a 383 stroker that has sweet thunder chambered side exhausts what a rumble
      This one is way over priced but I hope they get it maybe mine will be worth something like what I have in it some day! LOL

      Like 3
  2. Troy

    Nice ride with the ugly price to match, you can call me crazy but for a time I have wanted to take one of these and a wagon of the Sam year to use as a Donor vehicle and make a sedan delivery because they haven’t made one since the late 50s and I think it would be a fun custom

    Like 7
    • Claudio

      Exactly what i told My nephew the station wagon lover
      It has to be a 2 door wafon !
      We have seen a few online pictures of real 2 doors but too many with only the rears filled

    • Ken

      That is a great idea Troy.
      If this is supposed to be a Barn Find then where the heck did they get such a high price for the car,,,,,,,
      I would consider $10,00 and that is it.

  3. Tbone

    Considering that it didn’t add much to the existing El Camino (definitely not much visual appeal), and that El Caminos are readily available for much less money, I think this is “optimistically priced.” Of course, it only takes one guy with the money to make it happen.

    Like 4
  4. Stan

    Choo choo 🚉

    🎶 🎵 I hear the train a comin’
    it’s rolling round the bend
    And I ain’t seen the sunshine
    Since.. I don’t know when ” 🎤 🎶

    Like 2
    • RMac

      Stan – actually. More like “say boys , is that the Chattanooga Cho choo”?
      As choo choo customs was located in Chattanooga Tennessee and is now owned by Honest Charlie’s speed shop in Chattanooga

      Like 1
  5. CCFisher

    The nose on this truck may look the same as the Monte Carlo SS nose, but it isn’t. The two do not interchange.

    Like 1
    • Steven S.

      You are correct. They do not interchange

  6. Brian O

    I had a 83 choo choo. Miss it every day except when it snows. My side-pipes were black and looked better than the white. They like most of the car was all show and no go..

  7. Ken "Lobo" McClurg Member

    I have an 87 semi custom. Hood scoop 350, hard cover, buckets, reworked grill. I put on a Chu Chu front end but didn’t like what it did for the overall aperance so i took it off. Made the front appear out of preportion. With an improved suspension all around it is a great handler.

  8. 19sixty5 Member

    I had an 87 Monte Carlo SS, so I thought these were “interesting” when they came out, but the design never really worked in my opinion. They look like a marriage (a bad one at that) of leftover parts from of the old conversion vans they made with a Monte SS style nose. The other add-ons made them look even tackier. The could have at the minimum removed the body side moldings that extended into the wheel wells. Look at where the molding meets the new nose… it just stops! The ridiculous oversize SS on the doors and funky hood scoop don’t help at all. It is crying for a decent wheel/tire change, lower the car, black out the grille opening like the Monte’s and it would make a much better look. But, cars are part of everyones individual taste, this works for some. I think I’ll keep my 70 Elco SS396, thank you!

  9. RMac

    19sixty5 wow you and I think alike I have removed all the molding and shiny trim on mine put a true cowl induction hood on it and have 18 inch gray torque thrust wheels on it and also put a roll pan on the rear instead of those huge bumpers I re did the stock seats with a grand national trim kit.and also got rid of that cheap floor shifter and replaced it with a b& m unit but kept the console 4 wheel disc brakes posi rear and tubular suspension parts all around with the 383 much better looking attitude and performance. I just need to finish the paint now

    Like 1
  10. Emel

    This would be the cool way if you have to haul something.
    Not these butt ugly suv’s and oversized overpriced enormous little person, pickups.

    Apologies to the little people.

  11. RMac

    I hear that I have had 5 previous el caminos from 69-71 the 71 was an ss 454 4 speed gold with black vinyl top and black bucket seat interior the rest were all 350 automatic they were brutal and fast but my 85 with 383 stroker is fast handles much better and has power windows locks seats cruise and ac and rides much better so for my 66 yo bones is much nicer cruiser

  12. RMac

    That’s why I upgraded suspension and dropped in 383 in my 86 put the go in it

  13. Claudio

    150 hp -150hp-150 hp
    Sure its more than the 85hp of a chevette but …
    Even , if we try real hard , we cant erase 40 years on our bodies!
    The belly size is not the same…
    The hair line isn’t the same …
    The teeth aren’t the same …
    The eye site isn’t the same …
    Your buddies aren’t the same…
    You buddies are dead…
    Reliving your youth is a sham…
    You can’t relive it but for only a few minutes…
    But if you get in this , you get the chance to relive how slow and boring they were !
    Cause we have all been driving way better cars and trucks for a few decades now …

  14. FOG

    Glad to see a piece about Choo Choo Customs. We plan to clean up a ’98 dually from them to sell off. Gotta love Bardfinds!

  15. Robert West

    $18,000, reserve not met, lowly 305 engine and automatic transmission, there just isn’t anything here that excites me. We have finally hit the era in which EVERY car made before 1990 is worth at least $10,000. No matter the condition or what make/model.

  16. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $21,300 and no sale.

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