Two Owner Pickup: 1976 Chevrolet El Camino Classic

This 1976 El Camino has only ever been in the possession of two owners. The second of these purchased the vehicle in the early 1980s, and he used it until he passed away in 2015 at the grand old age of 96-years. It had been sitting unused since then, but has now been returned to the road, and is set to head off to its third owner. I really have to thank Barn Finder local_sheriff for referring this great vehicle to us. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the El Camino is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached a mere $4,049, and the reserve hasn’t been met.

Having spent its entire life residing in Texas, it appears that the El Camino has been spared the ravages of rust. There is some surface corrosion visible in the bed, but it otherwise appears to be quite clean. The two-tone paint looks really nice, and while there are a few marks and dings on the car, it doesn’t look like the car has ever suffered any major accident damage. When I look at the vehicle, if I was to try to sum its condition up in a single word, it would be “honest.”

It’s pretty easy to believe that this Texas car has been garaged for its entire life. That’s simply because the interior trim has not suffered from the sort of UV damage that can be so common in cars from that region. There are a few areas of the interior that are beginning to demonstrate some wear and tear, but overall, it looks pretty good. The carpet, lower door trims, and armrests are all quite stained, and I’m not sure whether these could be cleaned successfully. There is an aftermarket radio/cassette player fitted into the dash, but the rest of it looks to be clean and original. Comfort features fitted to the car include air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power seat, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and remote exterior mirrors.

The original owner tipped their hat to a reasonable level of performance with the El Camino and chose the 165hp version of the 350ci V8 engine. The transmission is a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic, while the car is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. When the second owner passed away, the El Camino sat unused for more than 3-years, but it is back out and terrorizing the tarmac once again. Having received some hose replacements, two new tires, new ball joints, and a complete carburetor overhaul, the El Camino is said to now run and drive nicely.

I have a real love of these pickups because they are incredibly versatile. They can tow some pretty impressive loads, but they are still comfortable on long trips. With the 350 under the hood and a nice assortment of comfort features, this ’76 El Camino really is a great classic. Getting it looking nice again appears to be a pretty straightforward job and not one that is going to consume mountains of cash. The owner refers to the condition as being a Hagerty #3, which would place the value at around the $9,500 mark. That would seem to be close to right because it is now incredibly hard to find an original and unmolested example in reasonable condition for under $10,000. If the owner’s expectation for it really is around the $9,500 region, then it could represent a pretty good buy at that.


  1. Will Fox

    Very nice; and loaded too! This one won’t last long. Bet it’s gone by Friday. All it needs is a little TLC & steam clean the engine compartment.

    Like 4
  2. rpol35

    Two points of concern:

    This one as ’76 headlights but it’s a ’74 grille.

    Also, the 165 HP version of the 350 engine was only available in California in ’76; the other 49 states had the 145 HP (2 barrel) version of the 350 or the standard 305 CI (140 HP) engine. The motor pictured here appears to be a 4 Bbl. version of the small block as the air cleaner sits lower on the engine than it does on a 2 Bbl version.

    Like 7
    • poseur Member

      second vehicle i bought (and first one that ran) was a ’76 Elky SS that came with factory 350 4-barrel.
      abused it a daily driver, work truck, trailer hauler and wannabe muscle truck (added double hump heads, duals, headers, etc) for years and it was a reliable but fairly miserable accomplice.

      Like 3
  3. Daniel Schleich

    I’ll buy it, just let me know by emailing me

  4. OhU8one2

    I still don’t know why Chevrolet stopped building these. Was it because the bean counters said they weren’t selling enough? They still fill a small niche, where as you got the size of mid-size car with the pickup truck capabilities. I myself wouldn’t mind having one, but I would have to build the GTO version. Like probably a 1970 mode. Stuff a 455 and maybe 700R4 trans, factory goat color for the year, Judge graphics and original style snowflake wheels.

    Like 2
  5. ACZ

    Main reason for discontinuing was the S-10. It was cheaper to build than the Elky, thus more profit. Australia did it smarter. They continued to build the Ute. If you look at some of the more recent Holden special products, they were quite bad-ass. 6L with a 6 speed manual, etc. Wish they would have brought it here.

    Like 4
  6. TC Oz.

    Judging by the paint on the left side door panel at the hinge area and the missing “classic’ badge, it’s had some body work, possibly a hit. Mine had the floor shift and console and swivel bucket seats, original price I paid in the US in 2005 was $3250us plus shipping to Australia, all up about 8 grand (Aus). Swapped it last year for a 2006 300C Hemi and haven’t regretted it although the truck was useful at times, got a lot of ‘thumbs up’ on the road. All up a ‘cool ute’, the classic was just that much better looking !

    Like 1
  7. Timmyt

    I do a lot of El Camino’s and they sell good but I can only get 90 per ton out of the 73-77s nobody wants them

  8. ACZ

    That’s because the aftermarket shuns them for replacement parts. 59 thru 72 and 78 thru 87 are well supported but no one makes the needed sheet metal and other parts for 73 thru 77. If these suppliers got off their dead behinds an make an investment, they would find that they had plenty of people out there that would belly up to the bar.

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