1960 Chevrolet El Camino / Photos, Styling, Specs, Production Numbers

Shown here is a 1960 Chevrolet El Camino. The El Camino was developed as a direct competitor to Ford’s Ranchero which debuted for the 1957 model year. When the Ranchero debuted it was a game changer.The Ranchero was a sales success for Ford and Chevrolet wanted in on that niche market for crossover utility vehicles.

chevy el camino
1960 Chevrolet El Camino

Chevrolet had the luxury of knowing there was a good market for it’s El Camino having witnessed the success Ford had two years earlier with their Ranchero. Introducing the El Camino in 1959 posed little risk for Chevrolet.

Chevrolet introduced the El Camino for the 1959 model year, some two years after the Ford Ranchero debuted. The El Camino was considered a crossover utility vehicle offering passenger car comfort and styling along with the utility of a pickup truck. The Chevy El Camino was sold along with the Chevrolet truck line.

The first El Camino (1959) was based on the Biscayne Station Wagon model. Chevy used advertising slogans such as “It’s magnifico!” “It’s terrifico!” “Good looks never carried as much weight!”.

Earlier Car / Truck Hybrids

Hudson in 1937 produced a pickup named the Hudson Terraplane Cab Pickup. That vehicle essentially had a passenger car styled front (the Terraplane automobile) with a pickup cargo box in the rear, This was somewhat similar to the Ranchero and El Camino without the extra passenger comfort seen in the late 1950’s car / truck crossovers.

Also, down under in Australia, vehicles called “utes” date back to the 1930’s and were used by farmers. The name “ute” is short for “coupe utility”. These car / truck vehicles were very popular in Australia and all manufacturers there were producing their version of the vehicle.


1960 el camino

The Years that the El Camino was Dropped and Came Back Bigger

The El Camino made its debut in 1959 but was dropped between 1961 and 1963. The model was dropped simply because Chevrolet didn’t feel the sales were successful enough. The Ranchero was still getting much better market share. Something had to change and it did beginning with the 1964 model year.

The El Camino model came back in 1964 when Chevrolet introduced a new model based off the stronger Chevelle. This new El Camino model was also available with a Super Sport option.

The El Camino went on to become a crossover utility muscle car. For the 1968 model year the El Camino,had a total body restyling. In addition to that, the vehicle was loaded with a more powerful Super Sport engine. At that time the Chevy El Camino truly became an American muscle car.

The 1960 Chevy El Camino Styling

The 1960 Chevy El Camino was built as a full size vehicle. One very noticeable exterior difference between the 1959 and 1960 El Camino;s is that the 60 model has rounded rear taillights.

The Chevy El Camino was designated a coupe utility vehicle. Although the El Camino was sold alongside Chevrolet trucks, these crossover vehicles essentially had their front ends styled like passenger automobiles. These hybrid car/truck vehicles showed style and flair.

The 1960 El Camino sported a 32.5 cubic foot pickup box with double walled side panels. The box floor was ribbed with 18 gauge steel. The tail gate also was built with double walled panels and when opened was flush with the box floor.

1960 chevy el camino

1960 Chevrolet El Camino Specifications

Three engines were available for the 1960 El Camino. These were a 235 cubic inch inline six, a 283 cubic inch V-8 and a 348 cubic inch turbo V-8. These were the same three engines offered with the 1959 El Camino. The highest horsepower from the 348 V-8 was 335.

Transmissions available were a three and four speed manual and a two speed Powerglide automatic.

Dimensions included a 119.0 inch wheelbase, 210.8 inch overall length, 79.9 inch width and 56.3 inch height.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Total 1960 Chevy El Camino production was 14,160 vehicles. When the Chevrolet El Camino came back for the 1964 model year the production totaled 32,440 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1957 Ford Ranchero

1985 GMC Caballero

Reference material for this article includes..El Camino By Chevrolet by author Mike Mueller..Chevy El Camino & SS Muscle Portfolio by Brooklands Books Ltd.

1960 chevy el camino specifications

The Chevy El Camino Collector Car

The El Camino has a good following with collectors. The Chevy El Camino became an iconic vehicle for Chevrolet. Being a crossover, the El Camino offered the best of both worlds. The vehicle had the comfort and styling of a passenger car and the utility of a pickup truck. The El Camion ended production in 1987 and today American automakers no longer produce automobiles with truck beds. Although the El Camino was dropped after 1987 the vehicle today is a true classic.

Current auction and asking prices for 1960 Chevy El Camino’s in excellent condition may be found in a range of from $30,000 to $50,000. Perfect examples would be above this price level at about $50,000 into the six figures.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)