Big Block Pickup: 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS396

Meek and mild would hardly be the words to describe this 1970 El Camino SS 396 because relatively low weight and 350hp under the hood means that what you have here should truly qualify as a muscle car. This particular El Camino is a really nice survivor that is located in North Ridgeville, Ohio, and is listed for sale here on eBay. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $29,600, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

If the information in the listing is accurate, then this is quite a car. It wears its original Green Mist paint and black vinyl top. Both look to be in really nice condition, and the comprehensive photos that the owner supplies indicate that the car is extremely solid and rust-free. Looking over the El Camino, it is hard to find anything much to criticize. This is just one fantastically clean survivor.

The news is just as good under the hood because this is a numbers-matching car. The original 402ci, 350hp V8 still holds pride of place. This is backed by an M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed manual transmission, while the El Camino is also fitted with power steering, power brakes, and Cowl Induction. The owner claims that the car only has 48,000 miles on the clock, and while he doesn’t offer any verification, if it is as original as claimed, then I find the claim to be plausible. What makes the El Camino such a performer is the weight. An El Camino weighs in at nearly 100lbs less than the Chevelle on which it’s based, which makes for pretty decent performance. The only down-side to this is that there is less weight over the rear wheels in an El Camino, which can make things pretty lively in the wet.

The interior of the El Camino is very clean and original. The dash and pad look really good, and the original factory radio still sits in place. The upholstery on the bench seat looks good, and apart from the carpet showing some evidence of fading, this is yet another area that presents nicely.

This 1970 El Camino is a vehicle with the “wow” factor. If it is half as good in the metal as it appears to be in the listing, then it is potentially a great and entertaining pickup. I wouldn’t mind parking it in my driveway, and I have to admit that I will envy the person who eventually does buy it.


  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    That color looks outstanding on this car, in my opinion.

    Like 19
    • Mark

      I love that color. I had a 69 Pontiac that color when I was in high school. (1976)

      Like 5
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Nothing short of perfection. What an awesome car…truck…car…

    Like 11
  3. TimM

    This ride is set up to perform!! Love the bench seat with the long bend in the shifter!! I only can amagine what the reserve is!!

    Like 7
  4. cold340t

    Luv these trucks. Just saw a Blue 454SS driving around Lake Merritt sunday. Probably LS5 but…..454SS! 396SS would do just fine too.

    Like 2
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks pretty good to me. Remember when they came out and saw a couple that could fry the tires at the drop of a hat. If you wanted a car parts hauler that made a statement, this would be the one. Wonder what the reserve is on it, bet it’s going to be a lot higher than the current bid.

    Like 3
  6. gbvette62

    That thing is beautiful, but where did the writer get the idea it has an M-22? The seller doesn’t mention which 4 speed is in it, and I’m pretty sure the only 4 speeds the 402 was available with were the M-20 wide ratio, and M-21 close ratio.

    I love El Camino’s and have had a few of them, including a 71 I’ve owned since new, but unfortunately, never a big block SS. The only thing that worries me about this one is that the person selling it doesn’t appear to be the owner, and the pictures used are over two years old.

    Like 6
  7. angliagt angliagt Member

    I remember test driving a ’69 SS396 El Camino
    in this same color,fir about $1700.Man was that thing fast!
    For some reason,my Dad wouldn’t let me buy it.I
    guess he might have saved my life by doing so.

    Like 6
  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    Nice, nice, nice,,,, color reminds me of my parents bathroom. This is just the coolest El Camino, even though, these pickup/cars don’t do either job well, this thing will haul the mail. Tire spin off the line is a big problem here, but baggin’ it at speed, will be a treasured moment, for sure. America sure made some nice cars at one time, hey?

    Like 6
  9. Ken Carney

    You’re right gentlemen, this is one classy
    truck. And I’m sure the reserve is far beyond our means too. And yes, you could get the rock crusher on one of these if you really wanted it. Dad bought
    a ’67 brand new with a 396/M-22 combo
    off the showroom floor. He then went
    out and raced his friend who had a ’68
    Road Runner running a 440 police
    interceptor with a 4-speed as well. It
    wasn’t pretty folks, Dad wound it up to
    8 grand, let the clutch out, and bent 8
    pushrods! Mom gave him the cold
    shoulder for a month afterwards. I
    really thought she was gonna leave him
    over it. He traded the ’67 for a ’68 model
    with a 307 to make peace with Mom.
    Great car though.

    Like 4
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      At “8 grand” he was lucky that the rods didn’t ventilate the block.

      The BBC “Rat” motor was not happy or likely to survive long when wound above 6K, unless tuned with the best parts available, as were the versions run in the Can-AM race cars.

      Like 1

    Beautiful CAR. They are cars folks, based on the wagon, for 70 and later. The front fenders are longer on wagons, and el Caminos, than on the regular Chevelle. Regardless, they are a car, with an open bed.
    I had a 69 for 20 years, and it held plenty of tools, equipment, and Home center purchases, but no, I didn’t expect it to carry what a pick up would carry. Because, it’s not a truck.
    el Camino’s are finally bringing the money they deserve. Not too long ago, they were less than half what a regular Chevelle would cost. This one is just under $30k, and the reserve not met. Wow, nice ride, but wow, times are changing

    Like 1
  11. Keith

    I had a 1971 Chevy Malibu with the big block 402 in the same color as this El Camino and same black vinyl top. Loved this color/vinyl top combo. My Malibu also came with the U shifter center console (turbo 400) and a 12 bolt differential. My dumb @$$ sold it back in 1984 for only 3k, didn’t know what I had back then!!!

    Like 1
  12. ctmphrs

    The writer is wrong about the weight. An El Camino weighs almost exactly the same as a 2dr coupe or sedan with the same engine.

  13. Del

    Nice car.

    But these BS adverts “selling for a friend ” are always a heads up that something is not right ?

    What is the problem that the owner needs a third party ?

    Is it Stevie Wonders car ?

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      Hits me close, same color combination as my ’69 SS396 Chevelle.
      So I like this car, but really…. a true survivor? That has me scratching my head with skepticism. I think they made a mistake by including the old photo from “back in the day”. Any vehicle which has towed a boat has launched a boat. And had the back bumper at least in the lake. That means rusty rear quarters.
      I would love to get a closer look, and try to determine how much of the SS has been refurbished. I’d guess that it is a lot, if not indeed the whole thing. At $31,500 and not off of the reserve yet, someone thinks it is original…. I’d want proof, not just some 2nd-party say so.

  14. Jimmy

    Could have bought a Red 70 El Camino with black stripes and a 454 for 12K in excellent condition in 1993. Was buying my 2nd house and I couldn’t do both. I made 60K off that house when it sold in 2000.

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