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Chevrolet El Camino, Blue, for sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $13,595.
When I was a kid, the guy down the street drove a 1971 El Camino just like this one-it was even the same color. With a limited vocabulary, I called it the truck-car, but even my 4-year-old eyes knew it was way cool. A Chevelle with a bed, it's great news for muscle car fans because it puts you behind the wheel of one of GM's great machines with a trunk that'll carry anything you can buy at Home Depot.
With so many of these being work trucks when they were new, finding a clean, straight, unabused example like this is no easy task. The 5-year-old Mulsanne Blue paint is holding up well, although this is definitely not a trailer queen, and does show some signs of having been driven and enjoyed. Those massive rear quarters are not so easy to get lined up and flat, so you know someone really cared about this Elky while it was being resurrected. The silver rockers, which were standard on the El Camino, give it an updated look, and along with the black vinyl top, it looks a lot more upscale than the work truck I remember our neighbor using. Note that the bed has been finished with a sprayed-in bedliner that will look great and last practically forever, and a sizeable investment has been made in the chrome and trim, too.
The bench seat makes the El Camino practical enough to carry three passengers, just like any truck, but it's beautifully dressed in Chevelle threads. Nicely detailed seat covers give it a fresh look, the dash is nicely presented with original gauges, and a modern Grant GT steering wheel adds a sporty feel that makes you forget you're driving a truck. This one comes complete with factory A/C, a tilt column, as well as a Clarion AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit. The door panels are standard black, but I like the vent windows, which do a fine job of funneling air into the passenger compartment and they're sorely missed on today's cars.
The engine is a rebuilt 350 taken from a later model, and upgraded with standard hot-rod upgrades like an Edelbrock carburetor and a set of long-tube exhaust headers. Dress-up is limited to a set of chrome valve covers and an open-element air cleaner, but it runs well and pulls the relatively lightweight Elky around with a great V8 burble. A TH350 3-speed automatic shuttles horsepower back to a 10-bolt rear, and this powertrain is about as reliable as they come. The chassis is solid, the floors are clean, and the exhaust system sounds great. It's cool to see the Chevelle's coil springs under a pickup truck, but they endow the El Camino with wonderful road manners and a pleasant ride, and all the upgrades available for Chevelles are virtual bolt-ons. Finally, a set of polished American Racing alloy wheels wear a set of 235/60/15 Goodyear radials.
Old or young, El Caminos are just plain cool.
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Transmission:3 speed automatic
Location:Charlotte, North Carolina