Haul Lumber (And You-Know-What) With This El Camino1
Did you like the GMC Caballero we ran a few weeks ago? Here is its sibling, albeit one that’s faster and possibly more fun (if your foot is on the heavy side). When this 1979 El Camino was new, it was part of the downsized mid-size vehicles General Motors debuted in 1978. Hundred of pounds were shed in a quest to regain direction after the bloated 1973-77 cars proved to be wrong for America as fuel fluctuated due to several oil embargos. General Motors’ gamble paid off, as all Chevy, Pontiac, Olds, and Buick versions were very popular.
The 1979 Chevrolet Malibu was available as a two-door, four-door, and wagon, with this El Camino variant being relatively popular. However, remember this was 1979, and horsepower was a thing of the past due to emissions. Even with a 350 small-block V8, the Malibu and El Camino was asthmatic and a shell of its former self. What it had going for it was good style and a rather bullet-proof disposition.
Performance fans were not left in a lurch, however, as these cars were easy to modify. Or, as the seller of this El Camino has proven, they also make for great race cars. This one is being touted as a “drag-raving/pro-street/pro-touring show car” that has only made 15 passes down the drag strip. Equipped with a 540 big-block built by Charley’s Speed and Machine out of Nebraska, Canfield aluminium heads, SRP pistons, Competition Cams roller cam, it’ll put out 775 horsepower. Of course, for a serious drag car, it has a TH400 automatic with 4.11 gears out back. Seller claims it can be made street legal with some conventional exhausts and street tires. Is this LeMans Sunset orange El Camino worth $32,000? That’s a small price to pay for an NHRA-certified, mid-eight-second racer.
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Here we go again. Talking about 30+ year old vehicles that are still popular, yet new versions are not available. GM misses the mark(-et) once again. “Sedans-R-Us” keeps on Truckin’.