1972 Chevrolet El Camino

Rumor has it that Mattel’s Elliot Handler (the ‘el’ in Mattel), spotted designer Harry Bradley’s El Camino in the Mattel HQ parking lot and commented, “Those are some hot wheels,” coining the new name for Mattel’s line of toy cars, Hot Wheels. In fact, Elliot was so impressed by Bradley’s custom El Camino, he insisted that Mattel use it as a model for the first line of Hot Wheels toy cars. And the rest as they say is history.

For consignment, a pre gas crisis, pre-emissions, pre muscle car killing legislation car that has had a redux in the past. With an engine replacement done, this farm to church hauler presents in nice condition. A few dents and dings, bubbles, all in all a very nice paint job, two tone blue and some parchment vinyl added to the top. Dig further my Camino loving colleagues and stay thirsty for more info.

Exterior

Light metallic blue in very good visual form covers this car/truck combo’s steel panels with the lower body under the trim spear being a darker blue. Gaps are consistent but some rust bubbling is noted, particularly in the lower panels. Bumpers, front and rear, are looking good and all badging is present and accounted for with an added SS grille badge. The metal bed shows in body matching blue with just a few dings from prior use. A taut clean parchment tonneau covers the bed and partially hidden brightwork proves nice framing. The tailgate functions fine, and sporty chrome side mirrors are on either side attached to the doors. Just above covering the roof is a well preserved and unscathed parchment vinyl top. On all 4 corners are highly polished chrome deep dish wheels with simple dog dish caps wrapped by 205/75R14 thin whitewall rubber.

Interior

Parchment which shows a very rich texture of grained vinyl covers the door panels with a nice vertical tuck and roll design. These have simple padded parchment arm rests as well as chrome for the cranks and door releases. More parchment in the door panel matching pattern vinyl covers the bench in this two seater, and the backs are split for access to a small storage area behind the bench. Bolsters are smooth parchment vinyl and there are all presents nicely. Newer brown carpeting covers the floors, and the very clean and correct dash fronts the vinyl split bench. Save for the aftermarket AM/FM/CD neatly mounted in the factory location the dash is in good original condition. A newer perforated tan headliner floats above. Nicely done in here with a few minor custom touches.

Drivetrain

Under the long steel hood is a non-original 305ci V8 circa 1977 residing between the inner fenders. A 4-barrel carburetor is on top and feels the air and fossils through a Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold. Behind this healthy mill is the numbers matching TH350 3-speed automatic transmission. Power gets kicked rearwards to a 10-bolt rear axle. Under the hood our eyes are drawn quickly to the added chrome for the valve covers, air cleaner assembly, alternator, and master cylinder cap.

Undercarriage

Underneath we meet a mix of matte black paint and patinaed surfaces on the structurally sound undercarriage. We did see the 2 rearmost body mount bolts on the driver’s side have corroded away and need to be replaced. Independent coil springs for the front, and a 4-link with coil springs for the rear along with front power discs and rear power drums are seen. A Turbo muffler system in dual exhaust form allows for an easy exhale from the mill.

Drive-Ability

A quick starter, and good driver which handled our test track with ease. Braking was bias free, and handling was adequate during my drive as was the acceleration. All functions were working at the time of my drive and I had enough fun to take a few extra laps to not only enjoy the early spring weather but to also listen to my partner in crime and all around good guy give me a full blown El Camino history lesson.

A very nice job has been done overall as to the restoration of this car/truck. With a newer engine, nice paint, vinyl top and some slight custom interior pieces, this truck/car can haul hay or haul ass or both, although the hay may all go away prior to arriving at your intended destination. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. All thanks to a churchgoing farming woman from down under!

VIN DECODE

1D80H2B546373

1-Chevrolet

D-Custom El Camino

80-2 Door Sedan Pickup

H-350ci V8 2bbl

2-1972

B-Baltimore, MD Assy Plant

546373-Sequential Unit Number

TRIM TAG

ST 72 13680-1972 Custom El Camino 2 Door Sedan Pickup

BDY B333063-Baltimore Body #

TR Illegible

PNT 57-Golden Brown


Price: $21,000

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Seller's other items: classicautomall

Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States