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The Chevrolet El Camino was brought to market as General Motors’ take on the popular UTE / sport utility truck. This allowed customers to not only have the great looks, handling, and horsepower of their favorite Malibu muscle cars, but also gave them a truck bed for added utility. Here’s a complete history on the El Camino and a complete El Camino parts guide!
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The El Camino was first produced back in 1959. Designed to compete with the Ford Ranchero, this interesting vehicle segment came to be when General Motors and Ford both realized the American market loved the muscle car but didn't want to sacrifice the utility of a pickup truck. The 1959 El Camino was based on the Brookwood 2 door station wagon platform. This meant that it utilized all of the same space that came in the station wagon but had an open-top rear end.
The El Camino only had a single trim level and only came in a 2-door coupe body style. The El Camino had three different engine variants, a 235 cubic inch inline 6, but 283 cubic inch V8, and a 348 cubic inch V8. The top of the line 348 cubic inch V8 was rated at 315 horsepower and was matted to a four-speed manual transmission. This made hot rodding enthusiasts absolutely love the El Camino for its utility and huge powerful drive train. By the end of the first generation in 1960, Chevrolet had sold just over 36,000 El Camino's making it a hit; but the sales started to die off towards the end of the year in 1960.
The second generation started in 1964 and ran through 1967 this was primarily based on the Chevrolet Chevelle platform and carried a lot of the same front-end features. Like the first generation, the new El Camino still had the pickup truck rear end and the muscle car front fascia however this generation was one of the more subtle stylings and is not so common to be seen today.
The third generation of the El Camino came around in 1968 and ran until 1972. This is arguably the most popular generation of the Chevrolet El Camino thanks to its primary basis on the third generation of Chevelle. As most enthusiasts know, the third generation of the Chevelle is one of the most desirable in the world, especially the 1969 and 1970 model years. The design and massive engines available in the El Camino during this generation, including the 454 cubic inch V8, made this generation of the El Camino the one to have.
The fourth generation started in 1973 and ran until 1977. At this time this was the largest El Camino General Motors had ever produced and was based on the Chevrolet Malibu. The front end received singular headlights, a more pronounced front bumper, and more subtle styling throughout including a more sloped rear end. All the same engine options from the third generation carried over into the fourth generation here along with the same transmissions except for the two speed Powerglide which was now replaced with a 3-speed turbo hydramatic automatic.
The fifth generation of the El Camino is the final generation that ran for nearly a decade starting in 1978 and running until 1987. Still based on the Chevrolet Malibu, the final generation of the El Camino is one of the smaller models but features the sharpest lines and most modern design cues. The El Camino during this time also received even more engine options including an oddball 5.7 L diesel V8 engine. Owners could also opt for 3 speed or 4 speed manual transmissions or 3 speed or 4 speed turbo hydramatic automatics. Production numbers for this generation were the highest of any, with General Motors producing nearly 400,000 El Caminos between 1978 and 1987.
Collectors Auto Supply has most of the El Camino Parts any enthusiast needs to restore their vehicle back to show quality.
Depending on the year, El Camino parts usually aren't too expensive because this car was mass-produced in the United States. Many parts are still available today and we have a ton of them here at Collectors Auto Supply.
The most common parts that we sell include ball joints and other suspension components, interior pieces like speaker boxes, and sound-deadening material to quiet down the interior from the engine compartment.
If the window seals on your vehicle are starting to show some age, it’s the perfect time to replace them. We carry everything to keep the weather out and protect your vehicle from the elements. Check out our bumpers and grommets, splash shields, seals, gaskets, windlace, window seals, window sweep kits, coil spring insulation, and hundreds of other El Camino parts.
Shop for El Camino gas-tank strap kits, anti-squeak kits, fender covers, full car covers, and other exterior parts for all models.
Keep your vehicle quiet by picking up some new insulation materials that will keep unwanted noise out! We carry a full line of El Camino insulation and sound deadener kits, hood insulation pad heat shields, firewall insulation, kick panels, trunk insulation, cowl to dash covers, and more.
Bring back that iconic interior by replacing your old and worn-out interior parts with brand-new ones! Package trays, trunk mats, interior panels, sun visors, and other interior parts for most El Camino models.
Over time your El Camino suspension and steering will begin to wear out. Suspension and steering are critical components of your vehicle, so prevent an accident and put all that power to the ground by replacing your old suspension and steering parts. We carry bolts, coil spring parts, leaf springs, bushings, rack and pinion, control arm & ball joint parts, and virtually any other suspension or steering parts that fit multiple El Camino models.
We’ve sourced hard-to-find parts and accessories including windshield molding, screw kits, fasteners, tote bags, and other essentials to keep your El Camino looking neat and brand new.
When it comes to restoring a vehicle or simply replacing broken or missing trim pieces and installing new weatherstripping and custom-fit insulation, you should stick with a supplier you trust and one that specializes in vintage, classic, and collectible automobiles. Our vintage auto restoration parts are of the highest quality and our prices are competitive. Our classic El Camino parts are designed to meet the original manufacturer's specifications and guidelines for a perfect fit. This combined with today’s advances in modern technology and production ensures that you will enjoy the highest quality reproduction parts for your restoration project.