The Chevrolet El Camino reached its largest size in the 1973-1977 fourth-generation version, while engine power decreased at about the same rate as its bumper size increased. Still, these cartrucks are somewhat sought-after today, more so than the later, smaller G-body-based ones.
Since you won’t see many of these vehicles in self-service wrecking yards, I thought this California example was worth including in this series.
I didn’t feel like getting dirty and checking casting numbers on this small-block V8, but it’s probably a 350 (a 400 would have been yanked within days of showing up in the yard, and the 350 is both the base engine for 1974 and the most likely size to have been swapped in later).
Cars don’t rust much in California, but the rainy winters coupled with indifferent GM weatherstripping can make water collect in some areas and cause some rot.
The vinyl upholstery on the seats and door panels has held up remarkably well in the harsh petrochemical air and thermonuclear rays of coastal California.
800 pound payload! Optional captain’s-chair swivel buckets!
[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]