The Story Behind the 1959 Chevrolet El Camino

The first gen 1959 Chevrolet El Camino is considered a coupé pickup because it merged the lines of a car with the utility of a farm truck, and it was a design with a lot of history behind its making.

59 Chevrolet El Camino

1959 Chevy El Camino image by Vegavairbob at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The History Behind the Creation of the 1959 Chevy El Camino

Long before there was a sporty coupe pickup with great fins and an edgy stance: long before anyone had ever looked at a tough little car-truck and whispered the name El Camino, there was an Australian woman who wanted a nice church ride that could haul some pigs, too.

The story behind the creation of coupé pickups, like the ’59 El Camino, goes back to the early 1930’s, when the wife of an Australian farmer wrote a letter to the Ford Australia company asking for a vehicle that would be suitable to take to church on Sunday and then haul hogs to market on Monday. Then, a few years of development and competition led us to the delivery of the first generation Chevy El Camino hitting the streets.

1959 El Camino

1959 El Camino image By allen watkin from London, UK (1959 El Camino) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

’59 El Camino Specs

With an overall length of 210.9 inches and a wheelbase of 119 inches, the front engine, rear wheel drive ’59 Chevy El Camino stood 56.4 inches tall and came in the buyer’s choice of two series.

The 1959 El Camino 1100 series was the six cylinder model while the 1200 series delivered the power of a V8 engine.

Engine Options for the ’59 El Camino

Seven different engine options were offered in the 22,246 Chevrolet El Caminos produced in 1959:

  1. The 1-bbl 235 ci engine that delivered 135 horsepower
  2. The 2-bbl 283 ci V8 that offered drivers 185 hp
  3. The 4-bbl 283 ci V8 that provided 230 horsepower
  4. The 4-bbl 348 ci V8 with its 250 hp delivery
  5. The 3×2-bbl 348 ci V8 that offered 280 hp
  6. The 4-bbl 348 ci High-Lift Cam V8 that provided 300 horsepower
  7. The 3×2-bbl 348 ci High-Lift Cam V8 and its 315 hp delivery

1959 El Camino Transmission Options

A total of five different engine transmission options were offered in the 1959 El Camino models, including: a 3-speed manual, a 3-speed overdrive manual, a 4-speed manual, a 2-speed PowerGlide automatic, and a 3-speed TurboGlide automatic.

By Laure Justice

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