3-Speed Project Car: 1960 Chevrolet El Camino

The batwing rear fenders were toned down a bit and the famous cat’s eye tail lights were gone for the 1960 Chevrolet El Camino, but the first-generation El Caminos were still were so different than anything that came before or after that they’re fun to see. This 1960 El Camino can be found here on eBay in Harbor City, California. The seller has a $3,960 buy it now price listed, let’s check it out.

The photos aren’t the best with it being crammed inside this packed building, so there are no full-length photos showing the whole car. That’s disappointing, but I guess I can see where it would be tough to drag every vehicle outside to take photos and then pull them back again. It’s a non-runner so it would literally have to be pushed and/or pulled out to get better photos. I would have taken the time to do that but I’m weird that way.

The car needs a lot of work as you can see, but what a unique design. The seller says that it’s mostly complete and in decent condition but it’ll need new floor pans and they say that it could use work on the bed floor. They have provided a few underside photos which is always nice. It does look solid underneath, structurally. Hagerty is at $27,000 for a #2 excellent condition car so the next owner will be doing the majority of the work on it in their own garage.

For the love of… This is a case of maybe a solid 60 seconds of cleaning out of random stuff and straightening things would have made the interior not look as daunting as it does. We all know that seats can be reupholstered and there aren’t any other interior photos at all so I’m not sure what the rest of it looks like in there. There’s a great feature barely poking out through the steering wheel, do you see it? Yes, a floor shift manual! I don’t believe that a 4-speed was available with the 283, which this is, so it must be a 3-speed.

Speaking of the engine, here is the 283 cubic-inch V8 which I believe had 170 hp with a 2-barrel carb. You can see that it’s not in working condition and like every square inch on this car it’ll need a full restoration. The 4-speed manual would have been available in the fuel-injected cars and in the 348 V8s, but not in the 283 from what I understand. I’ll take a 3-speed and a 283, I don’t find anything wrong with that combo at all. But, I would like a car that didn’t need a full restoration. Can this car be brought back to life again? Could you do it?


  1. Steve J

    I believe that a 4 speed stick was available with the 283 motor. I checked the factory brochures from 1959 through 1961, and they indicate no restrictions to having a 4 speed with any motor.

    Like 2
  2. Steve J

    I take it back! I found a brochure that shows that a 1960 El Camino was available with a 3 speed stick, Powerglide, Turboglide, 3 speed stick with overdrive.

    Like 7
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You had me worried for a minute there, Steve! In high school, I had a friend with a perfect ’56 Chevy with a 3-speed on the floor and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Or, at least until he drove his sister’s boyfriend’s 390 AMX to school one day, wow.

      Like 3
  3. Eric_13cars Eric_10cars Member

    If it wasn’t 3000 miles away, I’d love to take this one on. Engine rebuilds are fun and the body doesn’t look that bad. When done, this would be a really beautiful vehicle and unusual. I would want to upgrade the brakes and improve the suspension, beautiful paint job, but I would NOT want to do what most of the car shows (Texas-based shops) would do….bag it, tub the rear wheels, drop it to the ground, 28″ custom wheels, LS1 engine…etc.

    Like 10
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff


      Like 6
    • Tort Member

      There is one in central Michigan in MUCH better shape and for less money if that’s closer for you.

      Like 1
      • Eric_13cars Eric_10cars Member

        Fraid not, Tort. I’m in North Carolina and I’d be very leery of a Michigan salt shaker :-) But thanks anyway. BTW, I ought to change my handle…11 cars now ….1989 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce (without rust amazingly) is latest addition to the stable.

        Like 3
    • PatrickM

      Right. Too extreme is too extreme. But, everything comes big in Texas…

  4. JimmyinTEXAS

    Price drop to 3K. Ad still up.

  5. Kenneth Carney

    Scotty, I did have one of these with a 348
    V-8/4-speed in it. Bought it off a friend of
    Mom’s for $150 in 1970 (?) or so. The
    reason they were selling was due to a lot
    of rust in the floors and bed. Other than the rust, that thing ran like a bat out of
    Hell! After fixing the rusted floors and bed, I used it to haul band equipment
    around the state of Illinois for a while.
    Wound up sellimg it to another kid at
    school for $500. When I saw it again,
    he’d painted it butter yellow with a black
    interior and some Cragar slotted mags to
    cap it off. After seeing it at school, I
    regretted selling it! That car was sharp
    in every way. The kid did a really good
    job it and to this day, I still regret selling
    it on. Wished I had the space and cash
    for this one! Still miss it after 50 years.

    Like 2
  6. PatrickM

    Okay… #1: I love El Caminos. #2. This one takes me back a step, though. And, here is the same old story: money, shipping, place to do the work, etc. Sometimes desire isn’t enough. I sure hope it gets an owner with deep enough pockets to do this right. Wow! I am getting visions of possibilities. Hope to see it soon…finished.

    Like 2
  7. CaCarDude

    Sadly this was not a west coast car due to it having the 3 piece bumpers, also it has way too much rust to be from California. A parts car at best and was an original 3 on the tree with a 235 six banger. No PB or PS. Front end has been damaged or original fenders were so rusted they were replaced with Biscayne fenders. Bench seat is out of ?, not original to the car. Due to age and health issues I recently sold my ’59 El Camino I had since ’94 and it was 100 times better than this and needed full restoration. Sold for less than $8k. The ’60 is a nice car and with only a little over 14,000 made makes these more rare than the ’59. Wish the seller and the new buyer good luck here.

    Like 2
  8. Dave

    My buddy had a red one in high school around 1966. It had a 348 with 3 duces and 3 on the tree. That thing could sure burn rubber!

    Like 2

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