Choo Choo! 1985 Chevy El Camino SS


Not that long ago, Choo Choo Customs was a bit of a household name, taking the General’s most popular vehicles and giving them some extra attitude. This 1985 Chevy El Camino SS here on eBay is said to be a recent barn find example of an increasingly rare cosmetic option package available through Chevy’s dealer network. 


While slapping on some aero bits and special graphics may seem like a waste of time, these Choo Choo-conversions were pretty saucy when you saw them rolling down the street. I can remember a local parade had at least one Chevy short-bed pickup truck sporting a Choo Choo kit, and like many of the kids in attendance, I was easily impressed by wild colors and graphics. This El Camino almost looks subdued in its robin’s egg blue paint job with a white cap on the bed, but the wide Centerline-style wheels help it stand out.


They didn’t do much work under the hood, so unless a previous owner made some adjustments, the 305 V8 likely remains in standard form. What we don’t know is if this was a factory SS vehicle, as I’ve read that sometimes Choo Choo made more plain-jane El Caminos into SS clones. That’s the trouble with these random aftermarket specials: you just never quite know what you’re getting into. This example does have a Choo Choo badge in the door jamb but there should also be a Choo Choo emblem in the engine bay and on the dash, neither of which I see here.


There must be a following out there for these special edition El Caminos, as 44 bids have already lobbed in hopes of owning this vestige of the 80s. The miles are high, at 158,000, so this Choo Choo has definitely been used. But if the seller’s description is accurate, which is that the car’s primary needs are cosmetic in nature, this could be an afforable way into owning a vehicle on the cheap that actually might appreciate while you drive it – and haul a few loads of mulch from the hardware store, too.


WANTED 1965-1967 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for a father/son project car. Engine/no engine. Running/not running. Contact

WANTED 1960-1965 Ford Ranchero Looking for period-correct cap or topper. Protect-O-Plate was the main brand, but open to any brand Contact

WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

WANTED 1987-1989 Buick Lesabre T-TYpe Looking for a clean example, no rust. Leather a +. Ready to buy. Contact

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  1. JW454

    25~30 MPG? With a 305 Cu. In. and no overdrive transmission, no fuel management system, this truck would never get close to 30 MPG in my opinion. Even with the stock 2.41 gear it would be hard to get higher than 22~23 MPG let alone having the optional 3.08 in it.

    • TBall

      JW454 – that my friend is the first thing I thought when I read this article. Unlike the general populace, I always gravitated to the car/truck (El Camino and Ranchero), however never knew them to be a vehicle one bragged about gas mileage – especially with a choked down EPA 305…

  2. Chuck

    First thing I would do is loose the shell.

    Like 1
  3. Van

    I remember Choo Choo customs.
    The dealer mark up was nuts,
    Triple the profit.
    Quality not so much.

  4. Nova Scotian


  5. Keith

    I know I’m weird, but I like these. Lose the cap though

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