Purity Of Essence: 1964 El Camino

Lose the HD front plate and call it a day
Lose the HD front plate and call it a day

A few years ago, in the wake of the theft of my 1985 4Runner (a story for another day) I seriously considered purchasing an El Camino. Aside from the inherent awesomeness, it actually made sense at the time; gas was cheap and I was hauling a bunch of waterski gear around. I ended up buying an ’87 4Runner, which was subsequently stolen 13 months later. The second 4Runner was a great ride, but I kinda always view the ElCo as The One That Got Away.
Alas, with Junior on the way, -aminos, -cheros and -pages were disallowed due to the lack of a back seat. Were that not the case, I’d be all over this ’64.

El_Camino_ (2)

Apparently I’m on a small-smallblock kick these days: 260ci in my Falcon and now a 283 in this El Camino. Huh? Keep in mind, at the time, the ElCo filled the light-duty hauler role that countless PT Cruisers, HHRs or xBs do today. It was only in post-script that they became the Mulletmobile of yore. As such, the low-spec 283ci is totally in-character (provided it exhales through the cheapest glasspacks pizza delivery money can buy).

El_Camino_ (3)

Backing up the pittance of cubes is a proper row-your-own Muncie 4-speed. Our subject appears to be riding on appropriately sized powder-coated black steelies, with a load of slot-mags in the bed. The seller claims 29k miles, but we’d probably guess the missing 6th digit is a “1”.
Basic stats aside, the ensemble presented has an undeniable rightness to it. There’s more honesty in that patina than a stake of Abes a mile high.
Source: eBay Motors

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  1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    "…and I was hauling a bunch of waterski gear around."
    Were you auditioning for a Juicy Fruit commercial?

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Captain of the UCSD Waterski Team for 2 years.
      Those were the first 2 years the team went to the national championships. 8th and 12th IIRC correctly.
      When we sold it, our ski boat had the highest number of hours of any non-commercial vessel in San Diego County…something like 3800 hours, roughly the equivalent of 500,000 miles.
      Click here to see the place were we'd go for preseason training.

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        heh… you were into watersports…

      2. LTDScott Avatar

        Really, you had to go all the way out to friggin Bombay Beach when you have the ocean?

  2. Alff Avatar

    Sporting a black plate, no less. Were I still in SoCal, I'd be all over this.

  3. scroggzilla Avatar

    Is that a Porsche 911 steering wheel in that ElCo? That's just wrong…………Illinois Nazi wrong!

    1. tom Avatar

      nope…thats like an 80's chevy wheel

  4. joshuman Avatar

    What's that on the front plate?

  5. Tomsk Avatar

    Though I prefer the looks of the facelifted '66-'67 body myself, there is a lot that's right with this one, including the price. Throw in the mags in the bed and I'd probably venture behind the Orange Curtain to at least look at it.

  6. Tomsk Avatar

    The Harley-Davidson logo. As M_S said, that would be the only thing that would have to go.

    1. joshuman Avatar

      I missed the caption. Thanks.

  7. engineerd Avatar

    My "dream job" is owning my own import/export auto business. Sort of like Tom Cruise's character in Rain Man, but with more legality. If I ever realize this dream I want a proper "speed shop" type parts runner. Something like this or an old IH panel truck would be perfect.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      I would like to be included in this Rain Man Job, please. Although, to take a page from The Fast and The Furious, I would prefer Paul Walkers Lightning as my parts car.

  8. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    We normally trained in the little cove off of Fiesta Island, but The Shrimp Farm* is warm and smooth all day, with us being the only ones there.
    *So called because it was at one time used a shrimp farm…a common way to get the whole outfit regulated and insured as an agricultural business, rather than a waterski lake.

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      Weird. Just another Salton Sea oddity. All kinds of fascinating weird stuff out there.

  9. CptSevere Avatar

    That ElCamino would look nice parked next to my '64 Chevy motorhome. I like the fact that the Camino has a four speed, not the Powerglide. I had a '65 Malibu SS with the two speed Powerglide, and that tranny sucked. I like the 283, I like the way they sound when they're wound tight. I like that sound so much I blew the one in the Road Condo after I put Edelbrock stuff on it. It sports a 350 now.

  10. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Is that the stock steering wheel? Looks like it came off of an '82 Cavalier.

    1. MadKaw Avatar

      Definitely NOT the stock steering wheel. That one may well have come off an '82 Cavalier.