| Hershey, Pennsylvania
- First-year example of Chevrolet’s legendary utility coupe
- Wearing an older restoration in the cheerful combination of Classic Cream and Highland Green over green tri-tone upholstery
- Powered by a Turbo-Thrust 348-cu.-in. V-8 engine said to produce 250 horsepower
- Rides on Classic Cream painted steel wheels with polished full covers and whitewall tires
- Fitted with a factory-correct air conditioning as well as power steering and brakes
The Space Race of the 1950s was a transformative period for aesthetic design. Everything from furniture to washing machines seemed to sport a radical presence and automobiles were no exception. Hulking body lines of the post-war period evolved into long, low-slung forms which seemed in perpetual motion. Once-subtle tail fins soared to new heights with chrome trim and taillights modeled after their rocket ship inspirations. Chevrolets in particular were dramatically updated from 1958.
Leading the way were a pair of quad headlights separated by a wide grille of horizontal slats with polished bullets. Crowning the car’s low, wide “slimline” design were a pair of jet-engine-inspired air intakes mounted into the leading edge of the hood. Most treasured from 1959 however were the so-called “batwing” tailfins, creating an enormous rear deck that sloped to a low V in the center. Cradled under each winged fin were the beloved “cat’s eye” taillights.
It was into this flamboyant period of design that another Chevrolet legend was born, the El Camino. Chevy’s answer to Ford’s popular Ranchero series, the El Camino was based on the same B-platform chassis as the Impala and Biscayne, but with a truck twist. Chevrolet’s “Safety-Girder” X-frame chassis featured additional reinforcements such as bracing in the roof and rear cab panel. The cargo box sides and tailgate were double-walled while the bed floor was made of 18-gauge corrugated steel. The 1959 El Camino was promoted as the first Chevrolet pickup built with a steel bed floor instead of wood. The highly stylized line from Chevrolet bested the competition from Ford in its debut year, selling over 22,000 El Caminos in 1959.
Said to have been previously restored, this example is presented in the charming period combination of two-tone Classic Cream over Highland Green. It rides on Classic Cream painted steel wheels with polished full wheel covers and wide whitewall tires. The usually sparse El Camino interior is well-trimmed in Chevrolet’s “tri-tone” green upholstery with a cream and green steering wheel.
The two-tone steering wheel frames a stunning Space-Age dash in Highland Green. Five concave gauges sit front and center with a broad 120-mph speedometer leading the way. A pushbutton radio is molded into the padded dash above controls for the factory-correct air-conditioning system. Power is provided by the desirable 348-cubic-inch “Turbo Thrust” V-8 engine fed by a Carter four-barrel carburetor. Power brakes and steering complete this well-appointed and unconventional pickup.
Furnished with must-have El Camino features such as factory-correct air conditioning, “cat’s eye” taillights, and a Turbo-Thrust V-8, this Chevrolet icon is remarkable on many levels, finished in a stunning color combination with extroverted mid-century aesthetics wrapped in an offbeat body style.