The first Mark IV big-block 396 El Camino was produced in 1966, but the El Camino finally received Super Sport status in 1968, complete with the same trim that identified its brother, the Chevelle SS 396. There were three engines available, but only two were advertised − 325 and 350 horsepower. The L78 396, rated at 375 horsepower, was never advertised due to it violating General Motors policy of 10 pounds per horsepower. Suffice it to say that a solid-lifter El Camino is a very rare piece, but a lucky guy in British Columbia, Canada found one sitting in a garage.
As told in Driving.ca, Al Marshall and his friend bought identical El Caminos at Mander Chevrolet Olds. Aside of color, both were ordered with the L78 396 and 4-speed manual. After several years of Point A to Point B and some street racing on the side, Al sold the Elkie to Glen Yates, who kept the car 10 years before selling it to Jim Baechler in 1981. At that time, the car was still largely original aside of a custom-pleated interior. Baechler stored it on jack stands in 1987 and kept it there for 27 years until Steve Wright discovered it.
“I bought the car without ever seeing all of it, it was jammed so tight with all sorts of other collectibles,” Wright said, adding the car cover hadn’t been lifted in more than 25 years. “This is a total time capsule and it’s a genuine Mander car. The car came with the original Mander bill of sale, the GM warranty booklet and the Protect-O-Plate warranty card.”