Utility Coupe: 1965 Chevrolet El Camino

The Chevrolet El Camino has always been an interesting, yet confusing vehicle for us. It’s like a mullet, business in the front and party in the back. Don’t get us wrong, we like El Caminos, especially when they have a big V8 in them. This 1965 El Camino was special ordered with the high output V8 and a 4 speed manual. After spending the first 47 years of its life in California, it has made its way to Kansas City, Kansas, where it is now being offered here on eBay.

This truck, err car, was obviously parked under some type of car port, as the original paint is faded and oxidized in some areas, but shiny in others. The second generation of El Caminos was based off of the Chevelle and from the B pillar forward is identical to it. When the Chevelle was updated in ’65, the El Camino received the same attractive new look.

This interior has seen better days, but the current owner has made it drivable. The original seat cover was shot, so they installed a new one on the folding bench seat, but have otherwise left it as is. The car was ordered from McCullough Chevrolet in Hayward, California with the fantastic Muncie 4 speed manual gearbox, which should make this coupe utility vehicle a blast to drive.

They also ordered the car with one of the high output 327 V8s. We have yet been able to determine which of the 327s it was fitted with, as one could order it with a 250, 300, or 350 horsepower 327. Sadly, the original engine was replaced after only a year of use, due to excessive oil consumption. The engine was replaced under warranty by Chevrolet, but whether the new engine was the correct high output unit can only be determined by looking at the block number.

If you’re in the market for a Muscle car, but need room to haul stuff, the El Camino is a great choice. This one looks solid, but could use some work. We would be sure to do our research to find out which V8 this car originally had in it, as that can impact the value. If you bought this truck, would you leave the original patina or respary in its original Tahitian Turquoise Metallic?

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Comments

  1. paul

    It appears that a lot of the paint is still very good, in my view I would repaint the poor areas, then go through the mechanicles, check out the floors & repair if needed put a new carpet in & have fun, you can say that a large part of this car is OEM.

  2. Dolphin Member

    A low miles, black plate, probably affordable, California car/truck: What’s not to like?

    I also get confused by these, but I’m no expert. All I know is that they look cool, and this one looks like it’s pretty solid, so drive it as-found, or do a nice paint job and then drive it.

    There were a bunch of these at the last big Show & Shine I went to, which says there are people out there who know what they like in a hybrid vehicle—and their hybrids don’t have big electric motors and bigger batteries.

  3. Bill Paulson

    New carpet, clean up the interior, touch up the hood, rub it, buff it, drive it forever and ever.

  4. Chris

    I had a farmer friend back in the ’60s who wanted a new pickup. His wife wanted a car with a/c. Here is the solution. These were considered as nice as a car, comfortable but practical.I think you could order them wit bucket seats too. But a HO 327 with 4 speed is really sweet.

  5. Al Neri

    “The Chevrolet El Camino has always been an interesting, yet confusing vehicle for us. It’s like a mullet, business in the front and party in the back.” It’s funny and clever lines like this that bring me back to this site almost every day. I really enjoy the writing.

  6. scot c

    ~ the 12 bolt rear is worth a substantial amount of money if you need to source one. if i were intending to drive any number of miles interior upgrades would be an absolute must.

  7. mark

    I like it and would drive it just the way it is! 4 speed NICE!!!

  8. doug rayl

    was wondering about price. thanks

    Like 1
  9. Forrest

    New paint, a good 350 that is more compatible with today’s “gasoline.” and finish it off with a good interior rework, Hurst shifter, Hurst wheels, disc brakes, air, PS, PB, and drive it until the wheels fell off.

  10. Greg Mason

    Nice Elco. Looking at the motor picture i see the chrome valve covers that were only available on the 327 350 hp but looking at the fuel line and glass fuel filter says 327 300 hp. The 327 350 hp came with a metal fuel filter mounted with a special bracket bolted to the intake. It also had a dual snorkle chrome air cleaner. Either way its a nice find.

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