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47k Original Miles: 1972 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454

Vehicles like this 1972 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 perfectly demonstrate the original concept of the “coupe utility.” Ford designed the original Australian-developed “coupe utility” following consultation with a farmer’s wife who sought a vehicle to take their pigs to market during the week but could take her and her husband to church on Sunday in style and comfort. The Aussie “ute” caught the buying public’s imagination, with companies like Chevrolet introducing their iconic El Camino in 1959. Roll the clock forward thirteen years, and the company had turned its attention to producing high-performance examples like this 1972 SS 454. It is a stunning and highly-optioned survivor needing a new home. The seller listed it here on Craigslist in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It could be yours for $31,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L. for spotting this stunning survivor.

Some vehicles manage to look bold and muscular but classy, and this El Camino is a perfect example. Its Midnight Bronze paint is a subtle shade contrasted by the Beige vinyl top and matching hood stripes. The overall impression is positive, with the paint shining beautifully and no evidence of issues with the vinyl or stripes. I would wager it spends its downtime in this garage, helping to protect it from the New Mexico sun that can wreak havoc on paint. I usually avoid describing any classic as perfect, but this SS is one of the nicest I have seen in a long time. The dry climate has protected the classic steel, with no history of rust or prior accident damage. Every square inch of metal is original, and the seller says there is no plastic or Bondo. One practical change is the seller’s decision to apply a spray-on bedliner. That offers protection from chips and scratches when carrying a load and should help to stop potential rust issues in their tracks. The trim and tinted glass continue the spotless theme, while the SS wheels further accentuate the vehicle’s muscle credentials.

This El Camino’s interior possesses the “wow” factor, and the only aftermarket addition is the wheel wrap. The Brown upholstered surfaces are free from wear, while the carpet and dash look perfect. The best news is the crack-free dash pad. These can wave the white flag following long-term UV exposure, with replacements costing nearly $900. It is perfect, as are the console and other plastic components. The original owner ticked a few desirable boxes on their Order Form because besides the luxury trim option, bucket seats, and console, the interior features air conditioning, a sports dash cluster with a factory tach, and an AM radio. It might not seem much by modern standards, but life on the road would be more pleasant with than without them.

Lifting the hood reveals the business end of proceedings with this El Camino. Its engine bay houses a 454ci V8 that sends 270hp to the 12-bolt Posi rear end via a three-speed automatic transmission. The list of options includes power steering and power front disc brakes, allowing for an effortless driving experience. If the new owner pointed this beauty at a ¼-mile, it would turn the journey into a memory in 14.8 seconds. That’s seriously fast, but it is also worth mentioning that the inherently low weight over the back wheels can make these lively on loose or wet surfaces. This beauty is a numbers-matching survivor that is in excellent health. The seller admits the big-block sports an Edelbrock carburetor and air cleaner, but not whether they retained the original items. It runs and drives perfectly, which is understandable, considering its odometer shows 47,700 genuine miles. They don’t mention supporting evidence, but it may be present within the enormous collection of original documentation included in the sale.

If the gentleman in this photo is this 1972 El Camino’s owner, he looks justifiably proud of this classic. It presents exceptionally well, while the equipment levels and drivetrain configuration should offer a perfect blend of comfort, versatility, and performance. Considering vehicles of this type can trace their roots back to a humble pig carrier, it is fair to say they came a long way in a relatively short time. The last El Camino rolled off the line in 1987, but rumors persist that a new model may be waiting in the wings. Owning this classic could be a perfect compromise if the stories prove to be nothing but speculation. Could you be tempted?


  1. ACZ

    A stunning example of a 72 Elky SS. A stunning price tag, too.

    Like 13
    • John Alm

      Back in the day I restored a 1972 El Camino except I used a front nose from a 1969 SS El Camino with new sheet metal, noses where inter-changable from 1968 – 1972 , fender and door matched perfectly, Sold it after 5yrs & bought a brand new 1985 GT Hatchback 5.0 , I enjoyed that El Camino

      Like 1
  2. Elcamino Cool

    Nice look Elcamino…

    Luv it.

    Compared to other prices these days i thinks its a great choice to buy…

    Like 17
  3. crahm

    No, it doesn’t have a/c. Super nice Super Sport. What a stud machine.
    Not a fan of bedliner spray, but it is painted to match the car’s exterior paint.

    Someone need to jump on this. Great price.

    Like 12
  4. TheOldRanger

    I always liked the El Camino, and this is a nice one.

    Like 8
  5. Glenn Schwass Member

    Very nice. A 4 spd would be my preference but this has the color, stripes and wheels I like.

    Like 6
  6. Shane

    Nice one for sure and I’m only guessing here but that tailgate appears to have been replaced back thru time. Those SS emblems are not only crooked but in the wrong location and missing it’s 454 emblem that’s supposed to be right under them. I owned a 72 factory SS Elky as my Daily for almost 10 years. Mine was built at the Van Nuys Cali Plant and was the L48 350 engine version. Only sold to pay my cancer bills. I will miss it for many years. Mine was paint code 26 Mulsanne Blue with Black stripes. I have also owned a 69 SS396 and a 70 SS396 Elkys both with factory 4 speeds…and many diff Chevelles. It’s an addiction!! LOL…….

    Like 19
    • John Schwager Member

      Is it possible that the tailgate never had the 454 emblem. The owner said that the tailgate is original and never been painted.

      Like 3
      • Shane

        As I stated, Those ss emblems are crooked…which is not how the factory installed them……they are also in the wrong location on the tail gate. They should be higher up….feel free to look up 71 and 72 SS 454 El Camino’s online…which is very easy to do….and see what I’m referring to about the tail gates. Then you will notice exactly what I’m saying. I have owned 3 diff ones. I know for a fact it’s wrong. That Elky has had some sort of rear damage for that to look like that…whether it still has original metal or that tailgate was changed out…but what I’m seeing is deff not Factory Original. Plus if you read up about it…the guy selling it is not the original owner…it’s just hear say that the vehicle is “Original”….I’ve been hearing they are original for over 40 years LOL….

        Like 6
  7. Wayne

    Those hood stripes have been added. They are way off from the factory specs for the optional D88 Stripes….which by the way were also an option on the flat hood Malibu Sport Coupes. Very Nice Elky tho. Most El Camino’s and Chevelles built with that paint color has mostly been replaced back thru the years with a diff color so it’s good to see that paint color lasting all of these years. Nice Example for sure tho.

    Like 4
    • John Schwager Member

      Are you 100% certain the stripes are added?

      Like 3
      • Wayne

        Well I guess what I meant to state is they were added without the proper factory specs….which is so easy to find before doing them wrong. Vehicles with the wrong stripe specs always jumps out at me LOL…….just like upside down SS Emblems always jumps out at me.

        Like 1
      • Johnny Cuda

        Picture # 18 on the craigslist ad shows the El Camino without any hood stripes.

        Like 4
  8. Le A

    Seller is not the owner shown in the pics

    Like 2
  9. Rick R

    Johnny cuda, did you grow up in Brighton Co?

    Like 1
  10. Rick R

    The top picture here on barn finds has no hood stripes although the 2nd picture has hood stripes, is this what is called (ghost stripes) I really think pictures should just show what the vehicle looks like in real time for the auction that way no surprise for the new buyer. PS IT IS A NICE CAR

    Like 4
    • MTBorst

      I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to mention that ?? No hood stipes on first pic , only on 2nd . Are those ghost stripes ?
      As far as the SS being wrong on the back in not sure. A friend of mine worked at a GMC dealership and stuff would come in wrong all the time Chevy on one side GMC on the other. Built by drunks on Friday or something like that.

      Like 3
  11. tractorman

    Might want to check the vin which the seller neglected to show. But this was not a factory 454. The Vin has a “J” meaning 350 Engine. It would have had to be a V or W to be factory 454. Nice car though. Not trying to spoil anybody’s day but this should have been noted since he’s calling it a numbers maytching car.

    Like 5
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This nice one reminds me of another nice one that I drive by while dropping my daughter off at school. Same rootbeer brown, probably a ’70, been for sale for the last 2 years. Seller is probably asking too much because it should be sold by now and being enjoyed.

    Like 0
  13. Showbiz

    I always thought El Camino never had the ss emblems on door panels and never in that location even on the Chevelle ss that was under the vent window handle

    Like 1
  14. Joe Dirte

    This car is as real as the W-31 sold at Mecum Indy this last week. The one of none build with A/c and P.B.

    No idea how it won Nationals at ACCA but buyer beware

    Like 1
  15. Rick R

    (WHERE IS THE MEAT) SHOW US THE VIN Image # 5 on Craigslist shows a different set of stripes!

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      If you look at the Craigslist ad, the picture of the glovebox materials shows the VIN on the warranty book. You may have to blow the picture up a little to read it.

      Like 1
  16. Rick R

    AWH blow the picture of the vin up! I am a baby boomer I will have to wait and have a grand child show me how to do that. Sad but true

    Like 1
  17. Robert

    I’m curious as to why the stripes are missing in the first photo. I don’t see anything mentioned about it in the article other than they appear to be in good condition.

    Like 0
    • Shane

      They were added by someone who didn’t know what they were doing…..they are way off from the factory specs for the optional D88 Sport Stripes. I hate it when someone paints the stripes wrong on a Chevelle or El Camino. The optional D88 Stripes was actually an option on the Malibu line up of vehicles from 1970 thru 1972…..including on the Malibu 2 Door Sport Coupes with the flat hoods. I owned a Cranberry Red 1970 Malibu with White Top, White Bucket Seats interior with Console/Floor Shift, and the D88 Sport Stripes…it was not an SS. So many peeps out there in the world thinks all Super Sports came with Stripes….they are all wrong. D88 Stripes was simply an Option on all flat hood 2 door Malibu’s and/or on a Malibu with the SS Option. For an El Camino to be an SS it has to be from the “Malibu” line up from 70 thru 72. And I wrote all of this for all the diff folks who might read this…it wasn’t meant for just You.

      Like 0

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