The grandfather of all is the Chevrolet El Camino. Of the car-truck hybrids, it wasn’t the first and maybe not necessarily the best, but it has the most name recognition. Sales of the El Camino and its sibling the GMC Caballero were: strong from the beginning in the late 50s and declined from the late 1960s to its demise in the mid-1980s. The car model that served as the basis changed over the years, but the basic size of a comfortable, car-like truck with seats for two or three remained constant. The other constant for the El Camino is its stunning looks. Throughout its production, it was an attractive alternative to full-size pickups.
The first El Camino sparkled with its presence in 1959, based on the Brookwood shooting brake with styling cues borrowed from the Bel Air and Biscayne, according to Eckler’s Classic Chevy. It saw immediate success, selling over 20,000 units in each of its first few years. Later models would share their styling and chassis with the Chevelle, one of the most popular muscle cars of all time. This generation spawned special editions, such as the SS 396, with massive big-block power. The last few generations shared their styling with the Malibu and got slimmer and lighter for the latest iteration. GM continued production until 1987, when strong, efficient and highly capable compact pickups hit the market and demand for car-based trucks declined. The ride.