Big Block Bruiser: 1969 Chevrolet El Camino SS396

Up until 2014, this 1969 Chevrolet El Camino had spent its life in Palm Springs, California. It then found its way to Greene, New York, where the current owner has gone through the process of ensuring that the car is in mechanical good health. Now that this process has been completed, he has decided to part with the mighty Chevy. You will find it listed for sale here on eBay, where the opening bid has been set at $13,000. There is also a BIN option set at $18,500.

A life lived in California has done the El Camino the world of good. The owner provides a good number of clear photos, and the underside of the vehicle is absolutely solid. The only rust of note is an area in the lower quarter on the passenger side. Judging by the photo, it looks like this could be repaired with a patch, rather than resorting to replacing the whole panel. The original Lemans Blue paint does look tired, as does the black vinyl top. There are a few spots of surface corrosion, but cosmetically, this looks like it is going to be pretty easy to bring the El Camino back to life.

The owner is pretty honest about the state of the interior, and he does point out some issues which aren’t apparent in the photos. He says that the El Camino will need a new headliner and new seatbelts. It looks like there might be a crack in the pad on the driver’s side, while the carpet is also pretty tired. The rest of the interior doesn’t look too bad, and everything works as it should except for the amp gauge, and while the speedometer works, it occasionally makes a strange noise.

With a 396ci V8 pumping out 350hp to the rear wheels, the El Camino has the potential to be a wild vehicle. The power feeds via a TH400 transmission to a 12-bolt Posi rear end. This should help to tame things a bit, while power steering and power brakes make light work out of pointing and stopping the vehicle. The owner has completed a long list of jobs on the El Camino, and this should help to ensure that the vehicle is solid and reliable for years to come. The entire braking system has been replaced, as have the springs, shocks, and steering box. The transmission has had a master kit put through it, while new tires have also been fitted. There’s other work that has been completed, and the list is quite comprehensive. The owner says that the El Camino now runs and drives extremely well, so there is no reason why the new owner couldn’t just enjoy the vehicle as it is and undertake a restoration when the time best suits them.

When this El Camino is restored, it will have the strong good looks that will perfectly match the performance that the drive-train provides. The fact that it is solid and free of major rust issues means that it should represent a relatively straightforward restoration project. This is a car that I’d love to get a close look at once it’s restored because I think that it would be one tough customer.


  1. gbvette62

    NICE El Camino! Of course I’m a little biased as I love El Camino’s and have had a number of them.

    My cousin bought the LeMans Blue twin to this El Camino new in 1969, except his had a white bench seat interior, and a white vinyl top. Not long after buying it, he found out his wife was pregnant with their second child, so he traded it in on a 69 SS396 Chevelle.

    The 396/350 was probably the best all around 396. It wasn’t the fire breathing beast that the 375 was, but with the Q-Jet carb and hydraulic lifters, it was more reliable and a lot easier to live with. Though only 25 hp less than the 396/350, for some reason the base 396/325, was anemic it comparison.

    This should make a nice little truck for someone!

    Like 15
  2. Kenneth Carney

    This would be a great daily driver as is. I’d definitely use it the way it is and restore as needed. Gotta get ‘er painted first to protect all that lovely sheet metal from the dreaded tin worm. Just fine the way it is.

    Like 4
  3. TJohnson

    Love it! I think I would have to paint it though. But that’s all I would do to it.

    Like 2
  4. ACZ

    I had a white one like this a long time ago. Brings back a lot of memories. Wish this one had A/C and a 4 speed. I’d be tempted.

  5. Ted

    Liking this, has that perfect New York look, like it just left Hells Kitchen and it’s looking for a bar fight.

    Like 1
  6. tim c

    had a blue 69 ss396 in the 70’s had a factory 3 speed floor shift tranny which I replaced with a 4 speed. had it a long time sold it to a friend of my brother they went to watch some drag races and on the way back a drunk ran a stop sign ant tboned them totalling the elcamino. broke my heart. still kick myself in the ass for selling it.

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