Factory 454! 1973 Chevrolet El Camino SS

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In its very early days, the Chevrolet El Camino was originally based on the Impala and was introduced as a 1959 model as Chevy’s answer to the Ford Ranchero, which had arrived on the market two years prior.  But the concept was short-lived at first, only lasting 2 years before the El Camino took a 4-year hiatus before returning in 1964 with Chevelle roots, which the vehicle retained until its demise after 1987.  Chevrolet began producing a sportier offering of its car/truck back in 1968 when the Super Sport option was introduced, but if you’ve been in the market for a fourth-generation model this 1973 Chevrolet El Camino SS may be worth checking out.  This one’s in Kansas City, Missouri, and can be found here on Craigslist, with the seller hoping for $22,500.

Gunter Kramer sent us the tip here, and for this, we’d like to say thanks!  Looking back at where things were heading in the auto industry by the mid-seventies, it’s pretty great that customers still had the option of equipping their El Camino SS with a 454 right from the factory in 1973, though the 350 was the standard powerplant.  And the good news here keeps coming, as the big block in this one is the original numbers-matching component, along with the Turbo 400, the latter of which has received a rebuild including a shift kit.

Light Copper Poly was the factory color when this one was new, and the seller mentions it has been repainted the same, although no word on whether or not there were any body repairs needed before the respray.  In any event, the metal looks to be in excellent condition now and the panels seem to line up nicely, and even the bed looks pretty decent here.  There’s also a vinyl top, which also appears to be in fine shape, plus 15-inch Chevy Rally wheels all the way around with BF Goodrich Radial T/A white letter tires.

Everything inside is presenting well too, with some cool equipment including swivel bucket seats which are said to be original, although the one on the driver’s side has some tearing but really not all that bad.  For a driver, I’m not finding much else to find fault with in there or anywhere else for that matter, and overall this seems like one pretty rockin’ El Camino.  What do you think?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Terrry

    Nice looking car with muscle to match, big-block El Caminos are real tire-shredders and the malaise in the car industry hadn’t really set in yet.

    Like 5
  2. Jease420

    Those bumpers haha. But seriously those back tires are toast with the engine’s torque and no weight above the rear wheels.

    Like 4
  3. Will Fox

    Mike, you’re wrong about Chevy not having a Chevelle “SS” in `73–they certainly did! And it was a coupe and rare today. Look it up.

    Like 11
    • Evan

      Even weirder, 1973 was the only year you could get a Chevelle SS *WAGON*.

      As for this truck, yeah it’s a 454, but so emissions choked that it gives a whopping 180hp. Woo :-|

      Like 8
      • Ken

        Actually the 1973-74 454 was rated at 275 net horsepower.

        Like 7
    • 19sixty5Member

      There is more weight on the back than most people think. The front to rear bias suffers a little bit on the 64-67’s, and with the 68-72 models, they are actually have a heavier rear weight bias than a similarly equipped 2 door. I can’t speak to the 73 and up elco’s, but the “no weight” in the rear is far from a reality. The elco frame is boxed, and there is the additional rear overhang that shifts the weight bias rearward. Wagons and elco’s actually make pretty decent race cars, but they made them in much lower numbers than compared to the 2 door cars, so you don’t seee them often. The low compression 454 still had 390 foot pounds of torque, it needed every one of those ft/lbs to haul those enormous bumpers around Still a pretty neat car, not my favorite body style but they are growing on me!

      Like 3
  4. Evan

    Turns out we’re all wrong. For ’73, the Chevelle 454 was rated at 245hp, and for ’74 it went down to 235hp.

    Source: oldcarbrochures.com

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      Odd in ’74 the pontiac 400 was rated at 225hp & the 455(not sd) was 250 hp – both 4 bbls & with lower 8:1 compression than the chevy.

      Like 2
  5. Maggy

    Mike.I had a 73 chevelle ss 454 4 speed 3:73 posi f41 power 6 way bench seat ,Pw tilt, ac ,tach and gauge cluster all factory original butternut yellow with black striping no vinyl.It was a cool car .Still had the original ITM shifter in it.Swapped that for a Hurst competition plus shifter and put a Hayes clutch in it.Thing was beat with 150 k on it but I just beat more.Oh those were the days.Sold it for 1300 to a truck driver about 35 years ago.

    Like 3
    • Mike StephensAuthor

      Guys, I must have had brain gas when I threw out that there was no Chevelle SS in ’73, thanks for catching that and it is corrected in the post, I appreciate it! There was even an SS wagon that year as Evan pointed out, so I’ll take one of those, plus a 2-Door Super Sport and also this El Camino, sounds like a great ’73 trio.

      We’ve even featured a couple of the wagons, including this one:

      Like 3
    • Stan

      Wow thats quite a ride. Talk about all the cool options 😎

      Like 3
      • maggy

        One of the many cars I wish I still had but my 73 ss 454 is #1 or 2. my buddy bought it from a kid in the neighborhood for 200 with a bad timing chain That guy needed $ to get his guitar out of hock at the pawn shop.my buddy traded it to me for a running green 74 monte crasho (thats what we called them in the day) with a 400 sbc that I just put heads and head gaskets on as the ones I took off were from a 350 and the car would overheat but I figured it out eventually. I got the 74 Monte by trading it to a friend I worked with previously for a 74 mercury Marquis yellow 2 door with a white vinyl I bought from a customer for 200.00 It had a 400 2bbl.The guy who I got the Monte from was the guy I worked with who put the 350 heads on by mistake! He ended up drunk one night and plowed into some parked cars and abandoned the yellow merc. He never titled it. Luckily he left id in the car that was his that backed up my story of trading the car to him. as the woman I bought it from got a call from the state police asking me wtf. those were the days.

        Like 3
  6. Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

    I like it! But for $15K.

    Like 0
  7. Mike Gordon

    I had this exact same car. Same color, interior, bb. Went through the motor, i.e. pistons, rods, crank, head work, balancing etc. Changed rear from 3:08 to 2:72. It was a beast. Outran the Border Patrol and the Motorola. Nothing could touch it. Had a lot of DEA heat on it and sold it. Wish I had it today.

    Like 1
  8. JB@1025

    Nice Camino better and nicer deal then the 70 Malibu for crazy 32K.

    Like 1

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