454 Equipped: 1975 Chevrolet El Camino Super Sport

For lovers of the El Camino, 1975 was a significant year. This was the final year that you could walk into your local GM dealer and order your car fitted with a 454ci V8. That’s precisely what the original owner of this El Camino SS did, and that original 454 still holds pride of place under the hood. The El Camino is located in Port Chester, New York, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $5,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

By and large, the El Camino doesn’t look too bad. The bed has plenty of scrapes and some surface corrosion. However, it doesn’t have the sorts of dents and dings that would indicate that heavy objects have been carelessly thrown into the bed. I have been trying to work out what the deal is on the passenger side quarter panel, just forward of the rear wheel opening. I can’t work out whether that’s rust, or whether the paint has been blasted over the years by rocks and gravel. The owner makes no mention of any rust issues, but I think that there might also be some present under the edge of the chrome pillar strip on the vehicle’s passenger side. The paint has plenty of scratches and chips, but a simple repaint could have the car looking really good again if what we can see in the photos isn’t actually rust.

Here’s what makes this El Camino special. This was the final year of the 454-equipped El Caminos, and while it was no longer the fire-breathing monster that it had once been, it still gave the owner 215hp to play with. With a 454 under the hood, you could essentially have any transmission that you liked in an El Camino…provided that it was a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic. That is the combination that is fitted to this car, along with power steering and power brakes. The good news is that not only is this is a numbers-matching car, but the engine and transmission have been treated to a recent rebuild. The car is said to run and drive nicely, and a recent 400-mile road-trip saw no problems or issues with the El Camino.

The all black interior of the El Camino presents fairly well, with the seat sporting fresh upholstery. The remaining upholstered surfaces look good, and while the carpet might be slightly faded, it looks to be free of major wear issues. The grille is missing out of the driver’s side air vent, and I noticed that there is also a pair of additional gauges fitted to the dash either of the steering column. Given the fact that the SS is fitted with a tow hitch, it might be that one of these has been fitted to monitor transmission temperatures while towing heavy loads. The other one may be an oil pressure gauge because while the Rally gauges fitted to the El Camino features a tachometer, it doesn’t feature an oil pressure gauge. Otherwise, an AM radio is about the only luxury feature fitted to the SS.

The El Camino is one of those vehicles that is growing in stature as a classic car today, and really good ones can fetch some serious money. This one has the potential to become really nice. It is one of the last of its kind fitted with the 454ci engine, and while this will have some impact upon value, this is actually quite negligible. However, if it does turn out to be solid, then it could be a very practical classic.

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    I like the elcamino and think GM is missing the boat not bringing it back to suburbanites to buy. They don’t need a 12 mpg four door truck with a tiny rear bed thats never used to haul.

    My HS friend had one of these with a 350 snd it ran great and it took the punishment of burnouts and driving up to 80 in drive 2 etc etc..
    this-looks nice!

    10
  2. rpol35 Staff

    Rare bird, this generation (’73-’77) is rarely seen with a 454 Ci engine. This being the final year for this engine adds to its rarity.

    4
  3. Steve R

    It’s pretty nice, but doesn’t have a lot of value. The seller may be to aggressive with his price, otherwise it would have found a buyer at the Chevelle show he recently attended.

    Steve R

    6
    • RH

      Silly comment. Doesn’t have a lot of value? Regardless of the seller’s asking price this definitely has some value!

      5
      • Steve R

        Some value isn’t the same a a lot of value.

        Steve R

        12
      • Dex

        Good point. Current bid of $10k. It would appear to me that it does have a lot of value.

        6
    • Otis

      Maybe you need to clarify what amount is considered “a lot of value” so there is something we can use to determine what vehicles are worth.

      1
  4. Mark

    I generally likely earlier year El Camino’s but this 1 having the 454 certainly makes it more attractive than others of this generation.

    I do agree with the PP that I truly believe a reboot of this type of vehicle would do quite well in today’s marketplace. The only problem is that GM and Ford both are getting rid of most of their sedans in favor of multiple flavors of SUVs. Not quite sure what body GM has these days that would make a nice El Camino type vehicle. One advantage is that with a front-wheel-drive vehicle it would be very easy to make one.

    1
  5. Troy s

    It’s a nice looking car, not the best year for any auto manufacturer, but plenty of potential. A pre -’73 big block El Camino in similar shape would cost a bunch more, or at least I think they would, so here is an option.
    As far as a brand new one, well, I’m slightly disappointed Chevrolet didn’t use the Camaro for other models,,the way Chrysler used the 300…Dodge Magnum, Charger, etc..
    I don’t think GM is interested in pulling customers away from the expensive trucks so many people don’t actually need though.

    5
    • Guardstang

      The SSR was a modern day El Camino, not a great car and not a great truck. We all know how it sold.

      2
      • Troy s

        The SSR, yeah….I never could quite figure out what it was supposed to be. A throwback of sorts to fifties trucks or an El Camino. A weird combination of both maybe.

        1
  6. poseur Member

    tough to tell for sure with these crap photos but sure looks like the dual-stack headlights and grille of the ’76 SS rather than the single round headlight of the ’75 SS.

    i bought a ’76 SS in ’84 as my daily driver and work truck, eventually going with a Laguna urethane front end after getting the front end knocked off one snowy night by an out of control Datsun B210

    2
    • Mark

      If you go to the photos on the eBay listing you can see the front of the truck better. They are actually single round headlights instead of the stack set up.

      1
      • ACZ

        Either will bolt right on.

  7. Timmyt

    Bidding at 5100, it’s topped out the SS 454 are the only large body El Camino’s that sell but I don’t think factory air would even raise the bid,I do a lot of El Camino’s they sell good but not 73-77 don’t even get requests for them.if this seller is smart he will take the 5100 and move on, he’ll never get that bid again.

    1
    • David Ulrey

      I’ve had 2 El Caminos, a 70 and an 80. This generation of them never really appealed to me but something about the overall appearance sort of appeals to me on this one. Nothing against those of you that love this body style, just never been a favorite of mine.

    • poseur Member

      I don’t see the attraction to the later (last) generation of El Camino’s (78-87 i think?) as they never looked remotely sporty, had no big blocks, 350’s or other engine that might somehow be construed as performance-ish.
      there were several ChooChoo customs Elky SS’s around here in the mid-80’s but they looked pathetic.
      at least the mid-70’s versions had nice proportions & some semblance of performance pedigree.

      4
    • local_sheriff

      Don’t even get requests for them…?Are there really so little enthusiasm for the ’73-’77?

      That’s sad to read; personally I find these Elkys/Malibus to be of the very few really good-looking cars of the 70s. I realize they’re not excactly like ’64-’72 but they should offer a nice alternative to those without the big tag.

      As for them not being excactly firestarters I’d believe most people in the market for a vintage vehicle knows of a speed shop or two…

      3
  8. Terry Bowman

    The 454 may be rare at the time, but as a driver, I would rather have the 350. Had both engines in trucks back then and the 350 was a much better handling and performing ride. Now for towing, the 454 was better, a daily driver, No.

    2
  9. glennbikefixr@aol.com

    I had a ’74 Malibu. 454-4bbl. 4sp Muncie and a 10-bolt 3:37 Positraction, swivel buckets. Other than that , stripped. Rubber mats, no radio..nothing. Rust rust rust.

    2
  10. Charlie

    A 454 with 215 hp is as good as a thoroughbred with three legs cut off……….

    3
  11. Del

    210 horses out of that monster block is pretty sad.

    Nice truck.

    4
    • Charlie

      Yes,Del…..I was a young tech,starting in the late 60’s. It was SO SAD watching cars like the 1970 Chevelle 454 450hp (LS-6) become cars like the 1975 El Camino 454 215 hp……It all happened because of the strict federal emission standards.It was after the 1971 cars that it all began……VERY SAD.

      2
    • pugsy

      Sad for sure. I dropped a 5.3 into my 69 and it puts out about 350 HP.
      Gotta love the newer FI stuff.

      4
  12. Rosko

    Had a chance to buy one in just like it in 1981. It was in Pennsylvania, and in that short amount of time had already had a fair amount of rust repair done to it. I do love the subtle graphics package on these — quite a departure from other racy cars of the era.

  13. Glenn Schwass Member

    If I went to the trouble of getting the engine rebuilt, it sure would be putting out a lot more than 215HP. My 89 Chevy 4×4 had a 350 with 210HP. It was a 5 speed so it was fun ,but I’m spoiled with 300Hp in the 2015 work truck I use now.

    1
  14. Al

    This one’s in pretty nice restorable shape. That massive hood I’d find some way to merge a cowl induction one into it. Classmate had a ’70 454 4sp back in HS in ’77. Blue & white w/ Cragar SS’ & chrome hooker 4 into 1 sidepipes. We couldn’t wait to leave to get in the row of cars lined up behind him leaving when he lit them rears up. Not sure how many sets of tires a yr he went through but at 250′ plus of rubber laid down a week, I can only imagine. Each posi track laid down he tried to beat lol

    1
  15. Timmyt

    Just saw the bid I’ve got a 73 SS laying around I was going to scrap it’s heading for eBay now 454 a/c car

    1
    • pugsy

      Post a link please.

  16. ACZ

    These were nice trucks and capable of towing a car trailer. Try that with a 78-87. Not going to happen. The biggest problem with the 73-77 is the availability of restoration parts, especially sheet metal. Floors in particular. This floor pan is the same as a wagon or 4 door. Coupe parts are the only ones available and they don’t fit worth a damn.

    2
  17. Billieg

    WOW! it has a 215hp 454!…… My little Jaguar XK8R has 400 HP with a 305….

    • Charlie

      You are comparing apples with oranges……

      1
      • Billieg

        More like apples with lemons…. That’s a total sled.

  18. Lee

    D`ont be fooled,,there are lots of rust on this el camino..enlarge the photos,,take a magnifying glass,check all the rust places along side the body and front,,coming from new york,,there is rust.I bought a 79 cordoba 300 a few years ago from a Connecticut dealer,,looked nice on internet,,after delivery it was a rust bucket,,had to go through attorney general and dmv to get my refund and they picked up the car….Lee.

    2
  19. Troy s

    Lots of love for the low horse power 454, 1975 wasn’t exactly a spectacular year for anyone in the car business. The technology just wasn’t there yet when it came to emissions And performance. I doubt that 454 was even available in strict happy California.
    Let’s hope those days never return.

  20. Rosco

    Who’s the joker that said it doesn’t have a lot of value?? Do you have access to Ebay?

    2
  21. Boatman Member

    By golly, it did bring ten grand! Not a lot of value, huh?

    4

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