Light Up An El Camino


El Camino – the legendary vehicle from the fabulous Chevrolet company all the way from exotic Flint, Michigan. Now available longer, lower, and wider than when it was shorter, higher and narrower. Heads will turn as you light up an El Camino.


Okay, enough nonsense. Ford made the Ranchero to turn a standard passenger body into a light pickup and Chevrolet made the El Camino to do the same. They ran them from 59-60 and then again in 64-87. One source speaks of them as coupé utility but we would just call them utes. Apparently North America thinks of them as trucks. This ’59 El is some truck…


As it has appeared at Gillam Drive on Bake-Your-Brain Sunday…the car event that sells more bottled water than beer…I suspect that this El Camino may have been slightly modified. I cannot remember them being quite that low… At first I thought it might be one of the cars that has air bags to lower it for shows but then lifts its skirts to go home. Not the case – as luck would have it this car pulled out on the road behind my Suzuki after the show and trailed me for several kilometres patiently waiting to pass. It was this low even out on Champion Drive. It did eventually pass, and while it did not beetle past below the belt line of the Suzuki, it was really low nevertheless.


I cannot get over the capacity of that bed. Okay, a ’59 Chevy was a large car, but until you see it spread out in this much open space you really don’t appreciate it. The curse, of course, is everyone else sees how big it is and forms plans for you to come and help them move furniture and fertilizer. If your ute is not a show queen with french-lacquered bed and automatic feather fans you are in a sort of awkward position vis-a-vis your mates. I solved it when I owned a Ford ute by clapping a Flexiglass canopy on it as fast as I could afford one… Please note that I am not a bad photographer…the ’59 El Camino is soooo long that it was beyond the capability of my widest-angle lens to capture. It starts here and goes to there and there is way over in next week…


Please also note two things about the appearance of the El Camino; the red satin paintwork and the window striping. Both are glorious proof of the freedom of being a hot rodder. No-one else who drives a car gets to have this much style or fun because they are all tied to convention and what they think is someone else’s design. Rodders are different – they decide what they like and do what they want.






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