Texas Trailer Find: 1964 Chevrolet El Camino

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We seem to have had a few great Texas discoveries coming across our desks here at Barn Finds recently, and this 1964 Chevrolet El Camino is one of them. The owner found the car languishing in a storage trailer, a spot that it had occupied since 1984. He has coaxed the Chevy back to life and is now offering it for sale here on eBay. The El Camino is located in Dimmitt, Texas, and while the bidding has jumped to $7,001, the reserve hasn’t been met. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder local_sheriff for spotting this classic for us.

When the owner dragged the Ermine White El Camino out of hiding, he discovered that he now owned a classic with a layer of dust deep enough to plant crops. Once this was removed, he found that this is a vehicle that is typical of those which surface in this region. The paint is baked, and there is dry surface corrosion, but the El Camino is entirely rust-free. The photos that the owner supplies aren’t the greatest, but they show a car with an underside that is structurally sound and wears no more than some surface corrosion. The buyer can happily pack away the welder and grinder because they won’t be needed in this case. If the buyer intends to retain this pickup as a survivor or a driver-quality classic, the trim and chrome should look okay. If they intend to return it to a pristine state, some pieces will require a trip to the platers. The glass is in good order, with no apparent chips or flaws.

The owner believes that the El Camino is original, which should mean that the 283ci V8 and 3-speed manual transmission are numbers-matching. In its heyday, that little V8 would have been producing 195hp, and with the El Camino being far from a heavy vehicle, it would have romped through the ¼ mile in 16.8 seconds. That number might not seem that impressive today, but it looked mighty impressive in 1964. After sitting for so many years, the owner had his work cut out reviving this classic. He replaced the exhaust with a dual system, cleaned and rebuilt the fuel system, and replaced the water pump and radiator. After a few other tasks had been completed, the 283 roared back into life. The owner says that the vehicle runs and drives perfectly, and it seems that it is ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

The El Camino’s interior will need some work if it is to be returned to its best, but it doesn’t need to be touched if the next owner wants to treat the vehicle as an original survivor. A previous owner converted the shifter from the column to the floor, but there have been no other changes apart from a missing radio. The seats are upholstered in a combination of red cloth and vinyl, and the fabric has a few wear holes on the driver’s side. The dash pad is sun-damaged, and the carpet has seen better days. The new owner might address the pad with vinyl dye, but they will probably choose to replace the carpet and seat cover. There will almost certainly be other issues to address, but it will take an in-person inspection to determine what these are.

These light pickups are worth their weight in gold, and I’m sure that we have plenty of bow-tie enthusiasts that will be attracted to this El Camino. They won’t be alone because even though my leanings are towards the blue oval, I like what I see with this one. However, that raises the age-old question: Should it be restored, or should it be left as an original survivor? Which path would you choose?

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  1. Bud Lee

    Column shifters need to make a comeback . I’ve never had problem with them .

    Like 15
    • Terrry

      many of us learned to drive with a “three on the tree”. I did, in a ’65 Valiant.

      Like 14
    • Seth.

      When the plastic bushings wear out, it is a bit hard to shift

      Like 5
  2. local_sheriff

    Apart from the ’59-’60 Elkys – which of course are in a class on their own – the ’64 must be my favorite Elky. Honestly I think this year looks even better as pickup or longroof – one of those have definately been on my wish list for years.

    In my world this body is ideal for a restomod – disc brakes, lowering springs and larger diameter Rallies or steelies with poverty caps. Otherwise the clean body lines and beautiful interior – once refurbished – simply can’t be much improved

    Like 7
    • Terrry

      Don’t forget an LS swap. This car is a natural.

      Like 1
      • local_sheriff

        Nope! Engine-wise I’m extremely old-school. I’m fully aware the new engines are more efficient, however compared to the traditional V8s I think the LS looks, well, …ugly…!😏 I’d stick with stock valve covers and air cleaner box on an otherwise traditionally hopped up SBC. There are at least 1001 ways to build a strong SBC without having to break the bank nor cut up an unmolested vehicle

        Like 25
    • Big Art

      Please don’t use the P-word ( patina ) Hey let’s slap Crap all over the car and spray clear over it … No Way … Tag , Bag ,& Drag . That’s my Moto . Come on guys , Let’s do these old Right and Paint them , All of them . Patina , That shouldn’t even be a Word …

      Like 14
      • Craig396

        Patina, there I said it, is fine for an original unrestored vehicle, I like to leave it alone and preserve the originality of the car, new paint with orange peel just looks wrong on the old classics, I respect your opinion Big Art and this is mine 🙂

        Like 0
  3. Steve Clinton

    ‘Surface corrosion’, ‘patina’…terms that shouldn’t mean ‘rust free’, IMHO.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Sunburn is rust free, it can be removed with a Scotch Brite pad in a matter of minutes. You see a lot of cars like that on the west coast. I’m not so sure about this car, Texas cars can be prone to rust, but not nearly as bad as upper Midwest or Northeast cars. It’s simply untrue to lump thus car into one catch all category without knowing more about its general condition.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  4. Pleease

    Man, I just love that. The first car I got to drive as (sort of) my own was my Mom’s 1963 Olds F-85, and that El Camino’s same-era GM dash/steering wheel, etc., remind me of it. Would love to take a spin in it.

    I drove a lot of 3-on-the-tree vehicles as a kid – though Mom’s Olds had an automatic that was P D D(low) N R if I remember right, but reverse was definitely last, lol – and enjoyed the 3 speeds just fine.

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      I have a 62 Cutlass…yep that is the shift pattern…mine is a factory floor shift console auto. This ElCamino….I have a tender spot last few years for putting polished TPI on them…love the look…no internal mods needed…best year ever there

      Like 2
    • Chuck Dickinson

      PNDLR was the sequence on most GM automatics prior to the TH400 which switched to the PRNDL arrangement.

      Like 3
  5. Rex Payne

    This is a 1965 model, possibly sold new in late 1964. There was no El Camino for model year 1964; the model had been discontinued as of model year 1960 and was reintroduced for model year 1965.

    Like 0
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Sorry, but you are totally wrong on this. The El Camino re-appeared when the Chevelle line was introduced in the fall of 63 as a 64 model.

      Like 8
  6. Gerald Taylor

    I currently have a white 64 like this, albeit rougher, that’s been in my daily driver rotation for over 30 years, a 65, and a 4 Spd, bench seat 66 that I’ve had longer than the 64.

    Like 5
  7. JoeBob

    Rex, apparently Hagerty thinks there was an El Camino in 64. https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1964-chevrolet-el_camino

    Like 4
  8. Little_Cars Little_CarsMember

    This example has a 1964 grille and front fenders.

    Like 1
  9. Rex FoxMember

    It’s a ‘64, and a 283 with 3 speed is easy to live with; reasonable power, smoothness and fuel economy.

    Like 5
  10. freakinutz

    Definitely a 64 and you can tell by the taillights. I learned to drive on a 64 Chevelle wagon, 3 on a tree, 327 that my father bought new, trading in a 55 Mk VII Jaguar Saloon. He loved that Jag but the family required a wagon. Cool car that I would simply clean and drive as is. Nice example.

    Like 1
  11. Steve.L

    Simple: smooth sand job, clear it, lower it, cam it and of course rim change. Little money make money.

    Like 0

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