1960 CHEVROLET EL CAMINO BACKGROUND
Following Ford’s success with the 1957 Ranchero, Chevy wanted a piece of the action. Ford created this new niche in the market, catching the rest of the industry flat-footed, and it took Chevy two years to respond. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The same thing happened again with the Mustang and the Camaro 8 years later. Chevy’s seminal Tri-Fives (1955-57) were followed up by the one-year-only ’58 Impala, but for the 1959 model year, a whole new platform was being built. Chevy too this opportunity to launch a pickup version to compete with the Ranchero, and they called it “El Camino” which means “the path” in Spanish. From the A-pillars forward the new ’59 El Camino shared everything with every other car in the 1959 Chevy lineup. It was actually based on the Brookwood 2-door station wagon. Of course, the 1959 bodywork is swoopy and doopy and you either love it or you hate it. But the 1959 Chevrolet El Camino outsold the ’59 Ranchero 22,000 to 14,000. The styling was toned down slightly for the 1960 Chevrolet El Camino, which would be the final year of this initial 2-year run. The El Camino disappeared from Chevrolet’s lineup for 3 model years, only to reappear in 1964, now based on the midsize Chevelle platform. The 1959 & 1960 Chevrolet El Camino remain popular 50+ years on not only because they were the first of their breed, but also because of their polarizing Batman-styling.