Live Auctions

BF AUCTION: 1973 Chevrolet El Camino

In 1973, Chevrolet debuted the redesigned Chevelle and subsequently the El Camino. The fourth-generation El Camino was now larger, heavier, and more comfortable to drive. While they lost a bit of their muscle car status, the changes made these into the ultimate cruiser, especially if you optioned your El Camino with one of the higher output V8s. And that appears to be what we have here! The seller of this Barn Finds Auction is physically unable to keep working on it, so it’s time to move it along. If you’d love to have this 350 powered El Camino, you can find it in Alta Loma, California and you can bid on it below.

The seller purchased this car from his daughter’s then boyfriend’s father, who had too many projects. The engine had already been rebuilt, along with the TH350 automatic transmission. While the 350 4-barrel V8 was being rebuilt, a 262-degree cam was installed, as well as an Edelbrock intake and carburetor. The VIN decodes to this being the L48 350 that was rated at 175 horsepower from the factory, remember power ratings switched to net in ’72, but with these upgrades, we would expect horsepower to be closer to 200. After purchasing it, the seller had a newer TH700R4 transmission installed, which likely helped with cruising on the highway. Unfortunately, the overdrive is no longer working, but the car drives and the seller is including a TH350 if you would like to return it to the original.

Inside this truck, we find what appears to be custom seat upholstery with the SS logo on the headrests. It looks good overall but could use some detailing and a little work. The dash, door panels, and other hard bits look to be in great condition, but new carpet and floor mats would really clean it up. The seller notes that the car is equipped with factory AC, but is missing one of the ducts. They also have the AC compressor and various other components from the same truck the transmission came from, so if you want to update the engine with more modern AC they have all the parts to do it.

The bed was sprayed with bed liner at some point in the truck’s past, but it’s not looking great. Thankfully, it appears to have protected the bed from damage and rust, so that’s at least a plus. You could have it professionally removed and recoated, but as long as it’s doing its job, we would probably just leave it alone. Then again, we would be using this as our shop truck and weekend drag racer, so how the bed looks would be low on our list.

The seller doesn’t claim that this is an SS, but it is wearing an SS grille, the headrests have the SS logo on them, and it has the color-keyed dual sport mirrors. That doesn’t mean it is an SS, as those parts are being reproduced, but it would definitely be worth checking the numbers to see if it was optioned as an SS.

While there is still some work to do here, it sounds like this El Camino is ready to drive. It already has new front suspension bushings and a newer windshield. The transmission overdrive not working is a bummer, but that shouldn’t keep you from driving it, at least around town. If we were to buy it, we would do any needed service to make sure it’s going to be a safe driver and start enjoying it. And over the winter, we would go through the TH350 and swap it back into the truck. We look forward to seeing what the next owner does with it! If that person is you, be sure to contact the seller and don’t forget to bid.

  • Location: Alta Loma, CA
  • Mileage: 90,000
  • VIN: 1D80K3Z455412
  • Title: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

High Bid: $3,500 (Reserve Not Met)
Make An Offer
Ended: Oct 21, 2020 11:00am MDT
Top Bidder: pigneguy
Buyer Premium: 5%
    pigneguy bid $3,500.00Oct 21, 2020 3:21pm
    sschwitters bid $3,300.00Oct 21, 2020 2:10pm
    pigneguy bid $3,200.00Oct 20, 2020 8:01pm
    sschwitters bid $3,100.00Oct 20, 2020 5:56pm
    pigneguy bid $3,000.00Oct 19, 2020 9:18pm
    bigg82455 bid $2,700.00Oct 19, 2020 5:13pm
    sschwitters bid $2,600.00Oct 19, 2020 4:24pm
    bigg82455 bid $2,500.00Oct 19, 2020 1:26pm
    sschwitters bid $2,000.00Oct 17, 2020 7:52pm
    Cnewolf bid $1,900.00Oct 16, 2020 11:29pm
    pat.azinger47 bid $1,800.00Oct 16, 2020 10:18pm
    Cnewolf bid $1,700.00Oct 16, 2020 8:51pm
  • bid $1,600.00Oct 16, 2020 5:14pm
    Cnewolf bid $1,300.00Oct 16, 2020 4:31pm
    Wildmanbill bid $1,200.00Oct 16, 2020 4:24pm
    Cnewolf bid $1,100.00Oct 16, 2020 3:44pm
    Luvducati bid $1,000.00Oct 16, 2020 3:40pm
    PFrachioni bid $900.00Oct 16, 2020 1:26pm
    dwanstrath bid $800.00Oct 16, 2020 1:01pm
    PFrachioni bid $700.00Oct 15, 2020 11:57pm
  • bid $600.00Oct 15, 2020 11:12pm
    PFrachioni bid $500.00Oct 15, 2020 7:11pm
    Dkmaria bid $400.00Oct 15, 2020 7:10pm
    PFrachioni bid $300.00Oct 15, 2020 6:47pm
    Dkmaria bid $200.00Oct 15, 2020 6:30pm


  1. PFrachioni

    Could this car drive itself back to Pittsburgh pa

    Like 1
    • Josh Staff

      I just heard back from the seller and he is confident it would make the trip easily. He did want me to reiterate that the overdrive doesn’t work, so you would want to take it easy.

      Like 1
  2. RetroRick

    Worst car I ever owned was a 73 El Camino SS 454. Big, heavy and ugly with its huge bumpers. Not quick and terrible handling. Build quality was atrocious and materials even worse. Rattled constantly and nothing fit. Parts not easy and zero collectibility. Sold it at an auction so I wouldn’t have to look the next owner In the eye. Hated this car. I’ll never know what possessed me to buy it.

    Like 6
    • Little_Cars

      It’s funny that in the year 1973-74 my high school shop class visited the Baltimore GM production plant where they built the Chevelles and Malibus. I remember assembly workers horsing around and those wide doors swinging freely as cars routinely bashed the poles and other stationary objects along the assembly line. Often wondered if they were pulled off the line to be repaired there or wait to ship to the dealers. I like this Elco, but one photo shows a bunch of hanging wires under the dash by the gas pedal and radio support.

      Like 2

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