The El Camino’s never-ending house party
While Chevrolet's classically distinct El Camino model originated in the early 1960s, the line has had an enduring cult status among auto enthusiasts – even through its many generations – for a signature look that combines the front end of a muscle car with the rear of a pickup truck. Up until its discontinuation in the late 1980s, the El Caminos underwent numerous tweaks to their interiors, bodies and engines, meaning that collectors can find a lot to love (or hate) about the different generations.
And while younger car fans may associate the El Camino more with certain Canadian one-hit wonders, the El Camino has been embraced by musicians and athletes for decades. In particular, country singer Dwight Yoakam – famous for his traditionalist take on Southern music – drove a black 1978 El Camino, while former New York Yankees star – and Mr. November himself – Reggie Jackson frequently posed with his 1969 red El Camino.
The fandom the El Camino has endured also extends to car collectors, who have set up communities and associations dedicated to the model. In particular, the National El Camino Owners Association boasts more than 19,000 registered members, a testament to the vehicle's lasting appeal.
And while these fans are a bit of a minority in the car community, El Camino owners tend to be die-hards. (Cool Rides Online member texaselcamino owns three great versions of these models including a burnt orange 1978 El Camino, a rustic red '78 El Camino and a tricked-out '78 El Camino with LED undercarriage lighting and oversized rims).
So, while the El Camino may have yielded more of a one-off creation than a distinct vehicle class, it's brand of experimentation may be unforgettable, even if, like the Sum 41 song, it's only celebrated among those with specific tastes.