Copart Crush: 1970 Chevrolet El Camino

That will buff out–not! It’s pretty obvious what happened to this 1970 El Camino (is it really an SS–apparently you cannot tell from the 1970 VIN?) and the tree won! However, I’ve seen worse–the question is are you willing to do the work to make this a driver again? It’s available here from Copart where bidding is up to $1,550. It’s located in Gaston, South Carolina. Thanks to reader Woodie Man for this cool but dented find!

The damage is a little more evident from this side. What a terrible shame! Maybe it wasn’t a tree after all, but it doesn’t look like the vehicle rolled to me. I do think, considering that Copart tells us it still runs and drives (interesting assessment considering the flat tire on the right rear) that you could section the top off another El Camino and bring it back to life. I suppose the question is whether it’s worth it or not?

The bed actually looks pretty intact, along with the doors, so you might get lucky and be able to hide the seams under the vinyl top. What do you think?

The interior looks pretty nice for the most part, although being open to the elements surely hasn’t done it any good.

Under the hood looks totally intact, although not necessarily original. I see an air conditioning compressor and what appears to be a cowl induction hood. Can any of you tell whether it’s a real SS or not? And if so, is it worth trying to repair? I’m looking forward to your answers!


  1. doug6423

    Time for someone to make a convertible El Camino!

    • ImpalaGuy

      My thoughts exactly! Find the windshield header from a Chevelle ragtop and an El-Co whose body has rusted away, salvage the roof metal for “removable hardtop”. No need to fashion a soft top as there’s plenty of room in the bed to haul the hardtop with you.

      • Mark S

        Isn’t this a unibody car so to make it a rag top would require some reeforcement of under carriage to keep it from folding at the door openings. It would make more sense to brace it cut the roof and A pillars off and weld on a donor roof and A Pillars. It would be less work in the long run and worth doing. JMHO😎

      • Keruth

        All GM A-bodies had full frames, even after the ’78 downsizing.
        I like the ‘vert idea, a lot!

      • Mark S

        I stand corrected they are a body on frame car I still wouldn’t make a convertible out of it. Not a big of convertibles.

    • whippeteer

      My thought too as soon as I saw the picture.

  2. Kent

    Doesn’t look like a real SS if you ask me. The dash boards on SS models have pods for speedometer and instrumentation, not the long single window dash that’s shown here.

    Like 2
    • mark

      Correct! My 1971 chevelle has the same instrumention and it is not and SS. Also this car does not have the SS badge on the tailgate.For that price I think if paid good money a good body man could fix it with a donor car. I see it also has power brakes.

  3. Keith

    The long sweeping speedometer says it’s not a SS model , should have round gauges for an SS .

    Like 1
    • Erik

      As does the lower trim and tailgate badging. Definitely not an SS and definitely not worth saving. It’s interesting to note that far more elCaminos of this era have A/C than don’t.

  4. Blindmarc

    A friend of mine lost his wife’s ZO6, and his viper from an oak tree falling on his “barn” when Mathew hit our area in October. He got a check for over $200k. The tree hit the viper so hard that all four tires were barely touching the ground. Bent it in half…..he had owned it for a little less than 2 weeks.

  5. Dan

    Not a SS. Malibu sweep dash and a small block.

    • Kurt S

      Dan,When Chevy started making the SS’s in all body styles you could order them with strait 6’s..So, just because this Elky has a small block would make no difference..The Dash should look just like a 70 MonteCarlo’s tho.. And imho, any 1970 Chevelle,Malibu or ElCamino is salvageable..The best year of the breed!

      • Rod

        Kurt, you are totally incorrect, in 66 the SS was reserved only to big block powerplants for chevelles and El Caminos, the chevelle SS didn’t see a small block again until 72.

  6. alan

    El Cabriomino

    • Tom Member

      El Crunchmino! Maybe this was El “Karate” Chapo’s driver?

  7. gbvette62

    I agree with others here, it’s not an SS, just a 70 El Camino Custom with an SS hood and grill emblem.

    From the pictures on Copart’s website, it appears that it might have been rolled. The tops of the right front fender and rear quarter panel, are all scuffed up too. Not something I’d expect to see from a tree falling on the roof.

    I think it’s going to take more than a roof, to bring that poor El Camino back to life. The alignment of the left side of the tailgate, with the left rear of the body, looks to be off, leading me to believe that the whole body may be twisted!

    • grant

      Came here to post just that. Look at the fit of the driver’s door. The whole car is out of plumb. Shame.

      • Motrbob

        Or just not fully closed. 6-8 hours on a good frame machine and you would be amazed.

    • James

      Bent roof will often put tension on the whole vehicle, most if not all will come back when stress is relieved.


    can you say it with me…….parts car

  9. irocrob

    I had a 1976 Camino and loved it. Yes they are a full frame and rare to see now.

  10. Doug

    Great donor to upgrade your non AC, bench seat, drum brake, Malibu. Everything is there. Probably has 12 bolt (maybe POS), and the Vette rallies.

  11. CowboyChris


  12. Doug Towsley

    Looks worse than it is. (Usually do) Its fixable, or combine with another but a LOT of good stuff on here so totally rebuildable. Just a question of can you get it for the right price.

  13. Mark Mc

    All 70 Chevelle SS cars had big blocks. The dash is also wrong among a few other things. Great for a parts car though.

  14. 68 custom

    How many off you guys notice how many NON cowl induction hoods have the cowl induction emblem, I think every fake 70-72 SS Chevelle down here is sporting the emblem, but not the hood. instead a regular SS hood.

  15. scottymac

    After the Corvette Museum sinkhole and the NASCAR Impala pace cars catching fire, I tried to convince people. Here is more proof, God doesn’t like Chevies!

  16. seth karpen

    el camino and chevelle wagons shared front ends.. their fenders and hoods were longer than sedans. Nice sheet metal to fix another car

    • reds 72 ss

      hate to tell you this the . Only the fenders and headlight extensions are different. hood grills bumpers are the same

    • joseph enlowe


    • joseph enlowe

      70 SS = Big Block

    • al8apex

      They are narrower than the coupes and sedans

      • James

        I’ve been in the body business for over 40 years, They have the same frames. Many, many parts interchange. 68 to 72

  17. johnj

    I would think that fixing this would be easier than doing a resto on a northern rust belt car. On most of the project cars up here, the roof and upper quarters/fenders is the only good metal. I think it would be a real shame to scrap it. SS or not, still a ’70 Elco and needs to be saved.

  18. Ronnie Gentry

    My 1965 chevelle ss factory 327 4sp

    • Rocco in Florida Member

      The ’65 SS is my favorite Chevelle. Can you say Z-16. Your small block SS is VERY cool.
      How about some pics?

  19. Rustytech Member

    This is not really a hard fix if the lower body and frame was not damaged, however what would worry me is, if this was an insurance settlement, it’s going to be on a salvage title which will significantly decrease whatever value it had. It’s not a real SS so it’s not likely it will be worth the effort.

    • James

      It’s listed with a Salvage title from State Farm Insurance.

  20. Paul D (SMOKEY)

    I had five of these. It’s worth saving. It’s a SS clone. I had a SS 1970 most had big blocks and SS on side door panels and tailgate. I could fix it just depends on how high it’s bid to.

  21. James

    I’d fix it, but that’s just me. Love to have it, but very far away.

  22. grant

    This gives me the sads.

  23. Pete

    We had a hurricaine come through NC/SC in October this may have been one of the victims. Yeah it was a bad one for many areas in the region. Let me put it this way. Driving from Fayetteville NC to Laurel Hill takes about an hour one week after the storm I saw trees down every five minutes on my trip. We got slammed hard.

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