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Running V8 Project: 1975 Chevrolet El Camino


The Chevy El Camino was part of the Chevelle family from 1964 to 1987 when rear-wheel-drive production was discontinued. It was inspired by the Ford Ranchero, which originally beat the El Camino to the market by two years (then as a full-size). This 1975 El Camino (from the Colonnade styling era) may have been a one-owner vehicle for 46 years and does run, though the desert sun in Arizona has done a number on its cosmetic appearance. Located now in Carson, Iowa, this “gentleman’s pickup” is available here on eBay where the current bid is $3,550.

Chevrolet introduced the El Camino in 1959 during the company’s brief “batwing era”. After just two years, production was halted, and Ford was left with no competition until 1964. When the new mid-size Chevelle came out, the El Camino would return based on the 2-door station wagon platform as before. The El Camino generally outsold the Ranchero every year they competed, but sales were down in 1975 by one-third, presumably due to the spike in fuel prices from the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 (they would bounce back the next year. 36,671 El Camino’s left dealer lots in 1975, with just 8% being either the El Camino SS or the GMC badge derivative, the Sprint.

We assume this truck was in Arizona from 1975 until three years ago and that’s when it may have changed hands. A dealer is involved in the sale now for a vehicle that does run and drive without making strange noises. It’s powered by a 400 cubic inch “small block” V8 which had been choked down by emissions controls (the car is still wearing its catalytic converter which was required beginning in ’75).

Though it looks rough, we’re told the body of this Chevy is pretty solid and the photos tend to support that. It has a front end from the sporty Chevelle Laguna which we’re told had to be ordered through COPO (Central Office Production Order, how the Yenko Chevies came to be). The two-tone paint is down to primer and or metal in some places, so a respray is advised. The interior has those cool swivel bucket seats, but most of the passenger compartment will need refreshing. The seller has mounted a new set of tires on Rally wheels. Unless the bidding goes crazy, this could be a cool project.


  1. St.Michael

    Laguna nose….I like it…LS swap for sure

    Like 5
  2. Wademo

    Wow, is that nose salvagable? I have never seen one of those sagged that bad, let alone all those cracks!

    Like 3
    • Troy

      Yes its salvageable you need a good strip and prep and good paint to stick to that material the hard part would be color matching to the rest of the car my experience it always comes out a slightly different shade.

      Like 2
    • John Jasper

      Someone’s hit or pushed something. You can see the wrinkle next to the fender where it bolts on. Id say it’s toast.

      Like 1
  3. Ai camino

    73 on gave the camino a bad name!

    Like 1
  4. Troy

    How come nobody ever calls this a nice patina? This would be a fun project to try your auto painting skills its difficult to color match that front plastic like material front to the metal hood and fenders.

    Like 1
  5. Rickirick

    That 400 small block has ample power for the time. Mom had one in her new 72 Impala. Appears to have new fuel tank & system on it. Brakes, tranny, etc. need inspection. Underside shots look great. This could be a very promising project 4 the right person.

    Like 1
  6. Nelson C

    COPO? Hmmm. Tacked on Laguna puss with all the Conquesta chrome still in place. Maybe a nice project with which to lend your own unique style marque. It this point you can’t screw it up.

    Like 0
  7. ACZ

    Re-run, sort of. The last time this one was for sale was in California about a year ago.

    Like 1
  8. Mickey

    California……. What the fright.

    Like 1
  9. Timmyt

    Save the rallies and swivel buckets,400 engine with ALL accessory brackets smash the rest

    Like 0

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