• Oct 17, 2008
1959 Chevy El Camino

Yesterday was a milestone that won't be celebrated with a special edition, or a new fender badge, or some stripe package. Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the Chevy El Camino. As Hemmings points out in its post acknowledging the milestone, the El Camino was preceded by the Ford Ranchero by two years. But when people think of car-based pickups, it's "El Camino" that pops right to mind as a generic descriptor -- like Band-Aid and Vaseline. It's kind of a pity that GM's waiting for the '10 model year to reintroduce the concept, and as a Pontiac, no less. What a missed opportunity. 2010 Pontiac G8 ST? Sounds so generic. 2009 Chevy El Camino? Yeah. That would've been cool. Maybe even worth a 50th Anniversary Edition badge, you know?

Happy Birthday, El Camino.

[Source: Hemmings]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The '59 looks really good in red. The blue one in the picture with the HMN article has '65 Chevy wheelcovers on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love a vehicle like an El Camino or Ranchero over a small truck. Would be perfect for the homeowner. However, needs to be priced competitively with a small pickup. That would be the challenge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't hold your breath, but I am sure Maximum Bob has changed his tune now, and wishes (is planning) to add a Chevy El Camino to the line-up.

      Marketers agree that Chevrolet El Caminos would outsell Pontiac G8 STs 2 to 1. Come on Bob, do the right thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One would think El Camino's time has come again since big pick ups are being abandoned in favor of higher milage vehicles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a kid, my friends and I always thought that we would love to have an El Camino when we were able to drive - just something about it was cool.

      I was able to finally indulge this in the early eighties when, as one of a series of 'winter beaters' that kept my pride and joy locked safely in the garage for the winter, I was able to find a 1975 El Camino for the princely sum of $850!

      It was a one owner, bare bones model - in line six (250ci I believe) with a three on the tree, 93K miles and it had the cool rally wheels. Loved that caruck! No doubt my favorite out of six winter beaters I owned throughout the late seventies/early eighties. Very roomy bench seat, three across no problem and handy for moving stuff - a little dicey in the snow, but with weight in the back, not much different than most similar sized vehicles back then. Alas, my ex-wife HATED it - didn't want to be seen and it and hounded my until I sold it. I wish I had sold her sooner and kept the Camino!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can never decide whether these type vehicles are half car half truck with all the advantages of both, or half car half truck with all the disadvantages of both. But I tend to think the latter.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It could probably be argued either way. I think a lot of Aussies will tell you it's the former. I drove a '66 Ranchero in high school (its been in storage for the last decade and a half though) and thought it was great combination of car friendliness and truck utility. Of course, I don't recall ever carrying any significant cargo with it either...

        As a Ranchero owner, though, I have to say that "El Camino" is not my first thought when someone brings up car-based pickups...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Ranchero wasn't the first one either, Ford Australia was in the thirties with the ute which was created to get around taxes :o
      • 6 Years Ago
      That picture looks so sweet and innocent. Certainly a time that is gone forever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As much as I love new tech, I wish I was back in the fifties. Such a great time for cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That '59 shown here is quite the beautiful car. It's unfortunate the auto companies can't, or refuse, to do something so shapely and proportional now.

      If they could exactly reproduce the looks of that '59, but with a modern drivetrain, they would have an incredible winner on their hands.


      • 6 Years Ago
      I miss my parents 81' Conquistador V6 with the camper. Of course I added a twin size mattress for " naps". It got 21 mpg and was actually very reliable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chevy had some very good unique designs during that period from 1955-1959.
      Also 50 years ago most car manufactures still had individual styling...unlike the pathetic universal clone styling you see so often today.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Sometime in the 80s, my late father traded his used Ford F150 truck for a '69 El Camino, thinking it might be collectors-worthy someday. Not long after he found out his particular Chevy wouldn't cut that kind of mustard, he didn't get upset or panic: He simply painted it yellow and aqua green, then added it to his ServiceMaster fleet. It proved to be an interesting conversation starter toward potential new clients.
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