Interesting El Camino Facts
The El Camino is often thought of as being light in the rear end. This is not necessarily true. The El Camino has a front/rear weight distribution similar to other V8 front-engined, rear-wheel-drive coupes of the era. For 1964-1967, the El Camino has a slightly heavier forward bias than a comparably equipped Chevelle coupe. However, for 1968-1972, the El Camino actually has a better weight distribution than a comparably equipped Chevelle coupe ! For example, Chevrolet's published vehicle weights for a 1968 V8 Malibu 2-door coupe (with no options) are 1810 lbs front and 1395 lbs rear (3205 total). That equates to 56.5% of the vehicle's weight resting on the front tires. A comparably equipped 1968 V8 Custom El Camino is listed at 1800 lbs front and 1410 rear (3210 total). That equates to 56.1% of the vehicle's weight up front.
The 396 was first offered in the El Camino in 1966, two years before the first SS El Camino was built.
The 1968-1972 SS package for the El Camino contained everything that was in the SS package for the Chevelle, with one exception. It was not possible to get the F41 heavy duty suspension (rear anti-sway bar) on the El Camino. It is believed that this was prohibited due to the hauling nature of the vehicle, and the rear air shocks that came as standard equipment.
1968 was the first year for an SS El Camino. Exactly 5190 1968 SS El Caminos were built.
1968 and 1978-1987 were the only years that the El Camino SS was a separate model. From 1969-1977, the El Camino SS was a Custom model, with an SS option package. The 1969-1971 SS El Caminos can be especially difficult to authenticate. No production totals are known for the 1969-1977 SS El Caminos.
Unlike the Chevelle, the 1970-1972 SS El Caminos did not have "SS" emblems on the door panels. This was because the El Camino had vent window cranks where the SS emblems were placed in the Chevelle.
Genuine 1972 SS-454 El Caminos have a "W" as the fifth character in the VIN.
Diesel-powered El Caminos and Caballeros were built from 1982 to 1984.
All of the 1985 and newer El Caminos and Caballeros were assembled in Mexico.
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