Curbside Classic CA Vacation Edition: Triple '67 El Caminos and Reclusive '56 Nomad

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
curbside classic ca vacation edition triple 67 el caminos and reclusive 56 nomad

I have a growing cache of Eugene El Caminos, and was going to break them out soon enough. But taking a stroll around San Mateo, I ran into three ’67s within a few blocks of each other, so let’s caminar down that long and fertile el camino of Chevy’s popular ute pickup, with this particularly popular year. And what’s that lurking in the garage? Let’s take a closer look:

Yes, this Chevy lover has a ’39 in progress, and a pristine ’56 Nomad in there, along with a cool pink slammed pedal-car. I tried to coax the Nomad out into the sun, but the wife’s Vanagon was getting serviced, so no such luck. The ’55 Nomad is my favorite of the three, and one of my all-time lust objects for American cars of that vintage.

We’ll save our Nomad ammo for a better day, and get back to the business pickups at hand. I’ve got a nice ’59 waiting for the beginning of the El Camino story, and a slew of later ones. But these ’67s are the last of the gen2 series that started with the very clean ’64s and ended up with the almost equally clean ’67s. Things got distinctly more “interesting” with the highly-styled ’68s and on, and we’ll see them soon too. But I suspect I’m not the only one who thinks that this generation may be the most palatable one of the whole family. As usually, that’s a highly subjective matter, and El Camino lovers are welcome to debate that point.

One thing is overwhelmingly clear: El Caminos are incredibly popular. I’m constantly amazed at how many there are on the streets, both here and in Oregon. The grossly outnumber the more pedestrian varieties of Malibus, and rival old Mustangs, Mercedes SLs, and old Caddys as the most popular “collector” cars that I see curbside. The number of last-gen El Caminos amazes me most of all; even in my neighborhood in Eugene, where old Chevies are not that common, there are several of those ’77 through ’87 s around. I have a “hybrid” version of one of those to share with you soon. Obviously, all the benefits of Chevy interchangeability and parts availability make these very easy to keep running and modify to whatever degree one’s heart desires. And nothing like being able to haul engines and other junk yard parts in one’s hobby car to make the job easier!

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4 of 12 comments
  • Galaxy Flyer Galaxy Flyer on Jan 03, 2010

    I have never figured out why El Caminos were not more popular. Visit Australia and what they call "utes" are everywhere. The are used by tradesmen as utility trucks (very efficient), by kids as cheap cars and by the richer as sports cars. Wonderful vehicles they are. I wish Ford would import them, I'd get one the very next day

    • See 1 previous
    • Accs Accs on Jan 09, 2010

      But if this were GM... Theyd just tell you, oh the U.S isnt interested in such frippery. Yet they turn around and a sell us GMT800/900 shit.. and lots loaded with Lambas and Vues.

  • Lilpoindexter Lilpoindexter on Jan 03, 2010

    Judging from all TEH COOL junk in the driveway and garage of the first picture...I'm going to guess the guy isn't married?

  • MaintenanceCosts Imagine that... the OEM that doesn't make absurd false claims about "Full Self-Driving" and that doesn't release beta software onto public streets gets better treatment from the regulator.
  • MaintenanceCosts Yes, yes, balance, quick turn-in, working the gears, blah, blah.I'm sorry, none of it is convincing. A 3-series needs two more cylinders than this so that it doesn't sound like a Jetta on $199/month special.
  • MaintenanceCosts Is Stellantis capable of making a product for the American market without embarrassing levels of over-the-top fake machismo?
  • Philip This raises two questions for me:[list=1][*]What happens to all of the chargepoint that we have installed at our homes? Do those all have to be replaced?[/*][*]What happens to all of the billions of dollars from the federal government being spent on non-tesla ports at wal-marts and pilot service centers? [/*][/list=1]
  • FreedMike I didn't know the 318 was made in anything but that ugly hatchback style.