Sunday, June 6, 2021

1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary (LT4) SLP Edition

1997 SS Camaro SLP 30th Anniversary

Anniversary Editions are always fun. Special stripes, badges, and performance upgrades find their way onto a limited number of stock versions of a vehicle to celebrate the special year. 

Although anniversary additions usually see minor changes, that wasn't the case when it came to the 1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary SLP Edition. All of the 30th Anniversary Camaros (RS, Z-28, and SS) seen an eye-popping color scheme and 30th Anniversary badges placed throughout the interior, but a few SS Camaos (US 100 – Canada 6 – Prototype 2) got much more than just a few minor upgrades and a cool looking color scheme.

1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Card

Where Did The Color Scheme for the Anniversary Edition Camaro Come From?

The color scheme is a throwback to the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. Just like in '69, the '97 30th Anniversary Camaro was painted Arctic White accompanied by a set of Hugger Orange racing stripes that graced the hood, deck-lid, and roof (unless it was a convertible) of all of the 1997 Anniversary Editions. 

But don't let that fool you, they all may have looked the same and had the same embroider badges on the seats and the floor mats, but only a select few got to wear the all-important 330-hp badge indicating an LT4 under the hood.

Almost all of the Anniversary Editions came with stock engines that matched their trim package except for a few lucky SS Camaros that got to take a trip to SLP Engineering after they rolled off the assembly line.

SLP Engineering was able to get their hands on extra leftover LT4 motors that were used in the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport a year earlier. Before SLP bolted these LT4 motors into the Camaros, they broke each of the engines down and had them balanced and blue-printed. 

LT4 Camaro SS engine

On paper, the LT4 was documented to get 330-hp at 5,800 RPM and reached its max torque at 4,500 RPM. But many car enthusiasts and automotive professionals believe this motor that had 10.8:1 compression was definitely underrated.

SLP SS Camaro

More SLP Camaro Upgrades

The 1997 Camaro SS with the SLP LT4 upgrade also received a Borg-Warner T56 six-speed manual transmission, a performance exhaust, a lightweight driveshaft, Bilstein sport suspension (optional level III Bilstein suspension package), and a Torsen limited-slip differential. All those extras were good to get you from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds. 

With the explosion of technology in the auto industry, that may not seem so amazing in this generation, but back in 1997, that was the fastest production American sports car on the market. There were no American sports cars at that time that could be bought from a dealer that went that fast.

330 HP Badge SS Camaro

Identifying a 1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary LT-4 SLP Edition

So how do you tell if what you're looking at or what you own is one of these rare 30th Anniversary SLP LT4 SS Camaros? Regular SS 30th Anniversary Camoros are commonly mistaken for these very rare SLP Editions, and that's because they're easy to pass off as one. 

All of the SLP LT4 Editions rolled off the line and out of the factory as an LT1 before being shipped off for the special treatment. That means even SLP LT4 SS Camaros will still indicate that it is an LT1 Camaro SS in the Vin#. 

First, to either begin or end the discussion of is it a true SS or not, look at the trim options. If it's anything other than a white SS hardtop with Huggar Orange stripes, your SS is not an SS LT4 SLP Limited Edition.  

There are a few places on the Camaro that will definitely give you the information you want if it wasn't removed post-SLP Treatment. Right above the rear bumper on the opposite side of the SS emblem, a special edition 330-hp badge will let you know if it's an LT4 SLP, but these can be easily applied to regular SS Cmaros. 

To get to the bottom of your research, you want to look inside the driver's side door and or inside the glove box to find the RPO code. This should indicate if it has been in the hands of the SLP engineers. But if you're still not sure what you are looking at, you can always call SLP Engineering, they are sure to have records of what Camaros they got their hands on.

1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary LT4 SLP Edition

If you do have a true LT4 SS 30th Anniversary Camaro in your sights, you're looking at a true collectible. These cars will eventually sell on the Barrett Jackson block like the COPO Camaros do right now. They're good-looking, powerful, rare, and fun to drive.

Happy Hunting!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Corvette ZR-2 "Big Doggie" 455: The C4 That Could Have Been

1989 Corvette ZR-2 with 455

How do you beat a slew of Fox-Body 5.0 Mustangs that were seemingly dominated the roads in the late '80s? 

You take a 454 cu.-in. big-block engine and stuff into a C4 Corvette and call it "Big Doggie"

"Big Doggie" ZR-2 Big-Block Corvette

I think everyone knew, by the time the C4 made its appearance in 1983 as a 1984 model, big-block enthusiast and all Corvette and sports car lovers alike knew big engines were officially going to be axed from GM's muscle/sports car line-up for a long time.

Not that there weren't plenty of signs through the 1970s that this was going to happen, but the '84 C4 clearly solidified that fact. With the absence of the Corvette in 1983 (in between the C3 and C4) some people might have been still holding out hope that there would be at least one powerful option for '84, but that was a no-go. 

The first C4 Corvette came out with a 5.7-liter Cross-Fire Injection TBI engine followed by a 5.7 Tune-Port Injection (TPI) engine later in the generation. Although Chevy called them legendary at the time, they weren't. Most people knew this, including some engineers at Corvette who wanted to build something people wanted.

Three Different Prototype C4 Corvettes with 454 cu.-in. (7.4-liter) Engines Were Built 

The project started at the GM Proving Grounds in Arizona, where Scott Leon and his crew decided to see if they could stuff a 454 cu.-in. engine in between the fenders of a C4 Corvette.   

They first started with a 1984 Corvette, and with just a few slight modifications, the big-block bolted onto the frame and in between the fenders. It was a tight fit, but one that fit nonetheless. 

Since the Corvettes by then were all using electronic fuel injection, Leon and the crew decided to go with a Tune-Port Injection setup bolted to a custom tunnel-ram manifold. Buick Grand National Injectors were used to keep fuel-flow efficient, and that was that, the first big-block was slammed into a C4 Corvette and ran super strong. 

Management Agrees to Go with a ZR-2 Prototype C4

With the success of the first built big-block C4, management started to see some promise in the idea and gave Leon and his crew a go-ahead to build a true prototype. So a 1986 Corvette 454 was born. This Corvette was built the same way as the '84 with an automatic transmission. 

After the second 454 C4 Corvette, Chevrolet got really serious about the idea, and a 1989 Roadster was grabbed for the final version, dub "Big Doggie". This Corvette had the Z51 performance suspension and a six-speed manual transmission. The convertible mechanism was taken out and a hard-top was bolted on to save weight, and then an orange paint job was applied. 

1989 Corvette Roadster ZR-2 455 "Big Doggie"

Although this ZR-2 could offer ZR-1 performance at about half the price, GM management was not looking to market the big-block Corvette. There were several reasons for not wanting to put the big-block Corvette into production, and one of those reasons included how much money had already been spent on marketing the ZR-1/LT5 campaign that included buying out The Lotus Group for their engineering and development satellite. 

The other reason why the ZR-2 had no chance for production is it had no chance of passing emission and fuel mileage requirements. 

Engine Specs: What is Known

This "Big Doggie" Corvette used Chevy's marine 454 short-block engine with a set of L88 aluminum heads, and although never dynoed, experts estimated horsepower at about 385, right around where the ZR-1 was at. But there was a huge difference, the big-block brought plenty more torque to the table, which also brought gas-guzzling numbers and safety worries. An all fiberglass frame with a big-block engine sent chills down the back of some uptight party-poopers.     

A New Idea for the Corvette 454 

Since GM had decided that there was no room for a big-block engine in the Corvette lineup, the next idea they came with was to make sure that all parts that were used for the ZR-2 were bolt-on parts that could be bought through the Chevrolet Performance Parts Catalog as a 454 ZR-2 swap kit. Unforantley, the idea never made it into the catalog. 

In the end, a very lucky few automotive journalists and development engineers got to drive "the C4 that could have been". And for those who did, they left no understated performance reviews. From all reports, the "Big Doggie" was super fast and super fun to drive.

1971 Corvette ZR2 

1971 ZR-2 455 Corvette

In 1971, Chevrolet offered a Corvette ZR-2 package (RPO) that offered a 454 cu.-in. LS6 engine. They also offered a ZR-1 packaged with a 350 cu.-in. engine. The way Chevrolet sold the Corvette Z-series was all power and little options. This made the cars less disable, and that caused Chevrolet to only have 8 ZR-1s and 12 ZR-2 Corvettes ordered and sold. 

This obviously means if you own one of these rare Corvettes, you might be sitting on a gold mine.  

What is the 1989 Corvette ZR-2 "Big Doggie" Worth

In June 2009, this "Big Doggie" Corvette drove across the Barrent-Jackson Auction Block - sold by General Motors - price $71,500. 

You might think that something this rare would go for more, but prototypes and concepts cars usually don't have a huge market for them. Like this 1989 Corvette ZR-2, most prototypes are sold with a No Manufacturer Statement Of Origin (MSO), no title, and only a partial VIN#, meaning you can't legally drive the "Big Doggie" on the road. 

But it would still be nice to own this 1989 beast of a Corvette ZR-2 with a big-block 454.   



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

2022 GMC Hummer EV Zero Emissions Truck and SUV

2022 GMC Hummer EV at Auto Show

Let's go back and visit a little history from the Hummer. Most people know about the Hummer because of its odd shape and style making it hard to blend in with other Trucks and SUVs on the market. 

In 1998, General Motors bought the Humvee brand from AM General, who started marketing the Humvee in 1992. Unfortunately, the Humvee wasn't very marketable and that's what GM was going to do with it - change its name, change its style, and make it a marketable automobile. 

General Motors came out with a Hummer H1, H2, and an H3 and seen some sufficient success in certain areas of the US. A lot of that success came from its pop-culture status. The Hummer's name was used in many hip-hop and rap songs as well as made appearances in many of those hip-hop and rap videos. 

Through General Motors' rough patch of bankruptcy and bailouts, the Hummer nameplate took some right turns, left turns, and eventually ended up with GMC where the idea for the "GMC Hummer EV" was born back in 2020 to be revealed as a 2022 Hummer. 

2022 GMC HUMMER EV Truck

Hummer Trim Levels

  • Hummer EV2

  • Hummer EV2X

  • Hemmer EV3X

  • Edition 1  

The marketing plan GMC has for the Hummer is a little unorthodox. In 2022, they will release the most expensive version of the Hummer, the Edition 1. This trim level has all the bells and whistles and will cost you about $112,595. 

The rest of the Hummers will come out in 2023-24 ranging in price from $80,000 - $100,000. 

2022 GMC Hummer Performance

We'll stick to the Edition 1 since that is the first one that will be hitting the market. 

The Horsepower rating for the Hummer truck is 1,000 
The Horsepower rating for the Hummer SUV is 830
The Torque for both the truck and the SUV is an estimated 11,500 ft.-lb. 

Are you wondering how fast these 4.5-ton trucks and SUVs can get from 0-60 mph, well wonder no more. The Hummer EV truck will get you to 60 in about 3-seconds flat and the EV SUV can do it in about 3.5-seconds.

Hummer Features You Won't Find on Other Trucks and SUVs

Hummer Crabwalk 

This function can help you get around obstacles, make parking a little easier, and pop a few bystander's eyeballs out of their sockets. Like with most functions in the highly optioned Hummer, with a push of a button, you can activate this clever option. 

Hummer Extract Mode 

This mode is also unique to any other truck or SUV on the market. The Hummer can use its air-ride suspension to lift the Hummer up six inches in an attempt to clear dangerous obstacles or to get you out of obstacles you have come to get stuck in. 

These are amazing features for someone who likes to take on off-road challenges that are out of this world fun, complicated, and dangerous. 

Full Underbody Armor

Fully Underbody Armor "2020 GMC Hummer"

Skid Plates and Rock Slides are put in place to help the Hummer's vital parts under the vehicle stay safe when you are traveling over the rough terrain and in the watery and muddy pathways. In fact, you can submerge your Hummer in as much as 32" of water without having one performance or flooding problem. 

Inside the Hummer EV

13.4-Inch Touchscreen

Outboard Cameras for Interior Awareness 
The Hummer truck has 18 outboard cameras and the SUV has 17. Both Hummers have two water-proof underbody front and rear-facing cameras with self-washing systems with replaceable lens protectors. 

Hummer's 35-inch Tires
The 35-inch stock Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires are quite big, but there is an ability to upgrade from there and go up to a 37-inch tire with no aftermarket upgrades needed. 

2022 Hummer Suspension

Adaptive Ride Suspension 
The 2022 Hummer EV Adaptive Ride Control Damping suspension adjust seamlessly off-road based on shock-travel. The ride height can be adjusted 2 inches lower for better aerodynamics and 2 inches higher for better ride height.  

There is not much this suspension can't handle - it can put you in the comfort zone when driving around the city and can put you in a position to take on some of the most toughest terrains the off-road can throw at you. 

Changing Lanes with No Hands
That's right, the time has come. When we say this Hummer can do it all, we mean it. There are over 200,000 miles of compatible roads that will work with your Hummer and can do lane changing for you.

I've always believed if you can't change lanes on your own or don't want to put your hands on the steering wheel, you really shouldn't be in the driver's seat, but to each his own. 

Other Cool 2022 Hummer EV Features

The SUV will receive a power swing gate in the rear, fold-down flat rear seats for plenty of cargo room, plus cargo room under the floor in the rear cargo space. The multi-pro tailgate will come with the truck version for easy in and out access to the truck bed. 

2022 GMC Hummer EV Interrior Cargo Space

2022 Hummer Multi Pro Tailgate

The SUV will come with removable transparent sky panels, which can be easily and safely stored in the front storage space of the Hummer. 

The 800V DC fast charging Ultium batteries can charge up to 100 miles in 10 minutes. Real-world MPG is probably somewhere around 75 miles per gallon. That is actually an outstanding number when you consider the weight and the performance this Hummer has.

Unfortunately, if you don't have a DC charging station nearby, you can charge your Hummer at home with an adaptor, but charging times are considerably slower.

The Best EV Truck and SUV Ever

2022 Hummer EV interrior

If you have a need for being the King of the Road and King of the off-road, then these GMC Hummer EV trucks and SUVs are right up your alley. They have everything and more that other trucks and SUVs on the market just can't compete with. 

The Hummers are pretty expensive, but think of how much gas money you will be saving as opposed to if you were driving a gas-guzzling Hummer. 


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Largest Tire In The World: Uniroyal Tire Of Detroit

Largest Tire In The World


In a place like the "Motor City", it stands to reason it would have a landmark that proves its dedication to the auto industry. Weighing in at 12-tons and as tall as 80-feet, this real rubber tire is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. 

You can see this amazing piece of rubber by taking I-94 in or out of Detroit. Just off to the side of the expressway, not far from the metropolitan airport, if you miss the largest tire in the world, you must have been sleeping. 

When and Why it was Built

The Uniroyal tire was built in 1964-65 by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon, the same company that designed the Empire State Building. It was used at the New York State Fair as a Ferris Wheel to help promote the Uniroyal product. 

Shipping the Big Uniroyal Tire to Michigan

In 1965, the huge Uniroyal tire was shipped from New York to Michigan in 188 pieces by rail. It was then put together and anchored into concrete in Allen Park off of Interstate 94 in a four-month period. 

Changing the Look of the Uniroyal Tire

The huge Uniroyal tire received a makeover three different times throughout the years, once in 1994, again in 1998, and once more in 2003. All three times the makeover included either new hub caps or new lettering on the sidewalls of the tire. 

Another Largest in the World

In 1998, Uniroyal had the largest nail in the world punctured into the tire. It was an advertising campaign for Uniroyal's new run-flat tires. The nail was eventually pulled out and sold on eBay for $3,000 to a businessman to raise money for the Historical Society. Ralph Roberts was the buyer and loaned out the nail to be put on display at local events. Allen Park originally received the nail when it was first pulled out and they were hoping to get about $100,000 for it, but it wasn't something too many people had too many uses for.    

Why the Uniroyal Tire was Placed Where it's At

Although just a myth, a lot of people believe it was placed on the side of I-94 heading into Detroit to let everyone know they were entering the "Motor City". Of course, now there's really no car factory action down in Detroit, but Detroit still holds the Autorama, the North American International Auto Show, and Indy Car Race Weekend at Belle Isle. 

Renaissance Center

On top of everything else, you can't miss General Motors headquarters down in the heart of Detroit. The Renaissance Center scrapes the sky with the GM logo on it for everyone to see. 


Friday, April 30, 2021

1990-93 Chevy 454 SS Collector Truck

1990 Chevy SS

With only 17,000 produced between 1990-93, these trucks are some of the more rare Chevrolet C1500 trucks of the 90s. In fact, purchasing one of these badasses was the only way you could get a 454 cu.-in. engine stock in a half-ton truck. 

There is nothing really too special about these trucks. Let's face it, in this day and age, a higher trim modeled crossover could take it off the line and beat down the quarter-mile. But it is outfitted for a 454, meaning a healthier one could be built and dropped in with no problem. 

Also, it's a truck, and you can always do some cool stuff to a truck with ease. A Cowl Induction hood, lowering springs, rims, etc. - all things that could be easily bolted back to stock with little effort if that's the way you wanted to sell it. 

Power and Specifications

  •  230 - 255 Horsepower
  • 385 - 405 lb.-ft. of Torque
  • 3-speed - 4-speed automatic transmission
  • 3:71.1 - 4:10 Rear-End Ratio 
  • 10 mpg city
  • 500 lbs. Max Payload
  • Dual Exhaust
  • Bilstein Shocks
  • 7.7 seconds 0-60 mph 
  • 15.9 seconds 87 mph - 1/4 mile
  • Black / Summit White / Victory

Chevrolet 454 SS

The Chevy 454 SS trucks had some serious competition in the early 90s - the GMC Cyclone, Typhoon, and the Ford Lighting. But for Chevy, this was their way of showing everyone that people still craved a big block even if it wasn't the fastest truck on the market. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

1970 Buick GS Stage 2 - The Myth And The Truth


1970 Buick GS Stage 21970 Buick GSX Stage 2

1970 Buick GS Stage 2 - The Myth And The Truth

The 1970 Buick GS Stage 2 was going to be produced as a predecessor to the Buick GS Stage 1. The GS Stage 1 was already one of the most-feared muscle cars in the industry and Buick was ready to double up on that fear by creating something bigger and meaner. 

Two lucky GS Stage 1 Buicks got the honor of becoming a true Buick Stage 2 prototype. One was a white GSX bought by Reynolds Buick in California, where “Pappy” Kennedy and Jim Bell (Kenne-Bell) tweaked and tested the car and all its after-market parts, and the other was a red 4-speed GS Stage 1 sent to races Doug Jones and Dave Benisek. 

Both teams of qualified high-performance Buick engineers/technicians went to work adding the performance upgrades like improved forged TRW pistons, redesigned heads, a valvetrain capable of 7000 rpm, and much more. The whole idea of the Buick Stage 2 prototype was to eventually turn the project into a production off-the-line streetable drag car that could compete in Super Stock classes at the drag strip. 

The Myth About The Stage 2

People who don’t know that much about the Buick muscle car era believe that the Buick Stage 2 was a production car. That idea is usually put in people’s heads because at car shows and race events, especially Buick events, people often have their GS Stage 1 Buicks labeled with GS Stage 2 badges.  

The Truth About The Stage 2

The truth is the badges are very easy to find and are inexpensive. This is not saying that the parts that replicate the GS Stage 2 Buick 455 cu-in motor aren’t under the hood, but the only originally GS Stage 2 Buicks that exist are the ones that were sent out by Buick to Reynolds Buick and races Doug Jones and Dave Benisek.

Although, with all the hopes and intent in the world of putting this monstrous Buick into production and on the track, Buick was forced to stop the program as stricter pending emissions standards were going to go into effect for sure and the Stage 2 upgrades and horsepower tweaks were never going to pass. 

The other reason why the program was going to be let go was that this was not going to be a Central Office Production Ordered Buick like the COPO Camaro, and street safety was becoming an issue. Government organizations like the Department of Transportation were none-to-trilled about the ability to title these drag strip-ready vehicles. 

Buying Parts To Turn Your Stage 1 Into A Stage 2   

Buick didn’t let the roadblocks get in the way of giving their raced-crazed consumers what they wanted. You could buy a GS Stage 1 Buick and easily purchase all the Stage 2 parts you needed at any Buick dealer around. So although a lot of those Stage 2 Buicks you see out there are for the most part going to be colognes, that doesn’t mean they still can’t pack the punch of the original two Stage 2 Buicks that ran the quarter-mile at a consistent and respectable 10.7s. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Chevrolet El Camino: The Most Successful Car/Truck

 Yellow SS El Camino

El Camino is a Spanish name that stands for "The Road". The name and the idea was first introduced to the public by Cadillac in 1954 at the Detroit Motorama. Even though it received some serious attention, the idea never set sail, and Cadillac would eventually drop the project after about one year.

Ford saw the potential and came out with their own version of a car/truck called the Ranchero in 1957. The Ranchero saw such a good response from its consumers, like in true competitivity fashion, Chevrolet was ready to get in on the game.  

The El Camino by Generations 

1959-1960 El Camino 

1959 El Camino


In 1959, Chevrolet relaunched Caddilac's El Camino idea based on the Chevy Impala Bel Air's frame and styling. But again, the El Camino still became a hard project to get on its feet, so the El Camino got the axed again after 1960.

Experts believe the reason for the poor sales was that Ford downsized the Ranchero from a Ford Fairlane-based frame to a Ford Falcon-based frame. This ultimately made the Ranchero smaller and more desirable to drive. This left buyers heading toward Ford for the truck/car vehicle and forced Chevy to put the El Camino project back on the shelf.


235 cu.-in. I6

283 cu.-in. V8

348 cu.-in. V8


3-speed manual

4-speed manual

2-speed Powerglide automatic

1964-1967 El Camino 

'66 El Camino

(Second Generation)

During the El Camino's hiatus, GM was taking notes on Ford's progress with the Ranchero. After a few years, Chevrolet decided they had the El Camino style and design right in the sweet spot for a relaunch in 1964. With a smaller frame and style based on the Chevelle, the El Camino started seeing good enough sales to keep it in Chevrolet's lineup for a while, a long while. The El Camino stayed on Chevrolet's roster for more than two decades with 1987 being the last year for the odd but successful Spanish-named car/truck.

One of the things that helped keep the second-generation El Camino selling so well was the engine performance. Since it was based on a Chevelle, the El Camino came available with almost all the same upgrades that were available on the Chevelle, including the 327 cu.-in. motor in the first two years, then a beefed-up 396 cu.-in., starting in 1966. 


194 cu.-in. I6

230 cu.-in. I6

250 cu.-in. I6

283 cu.-in. Small-Block V8

326 cu.-in. Small-Block V8

396 cu.-in. Big-Block


3-speed manual

4-speed manual
2-speed Powerglide automatic

1968-1972 El Camino 

1970 El Camino


In this generation, the El Camino would see some major performance upgrades to keep up with the muscle era. This would include an SS396 which had an actual displacement of 402 cubic inches (6.6 liters). The next engine up was an even more powerful LS6 454 cu.-in. that put out 450 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. Yes, this beast was powerful and could run the 1/4 mile in the upper 13-second range. 

Then 1971 came around, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) came down hard on all of the automotive companies. Mandated lower-octane unleaded fuel pushed for a reduction in engine compression, and GM's A.I.R. system (smog pump) was added to control tailpipe emissions. No more big horsepower outputs for the El Camino, and even worse for gear heads, most other cars suffered the same fate. 

Most all the engines in the El Camino lineup suffered about a 150-200 horsepower decrease. This was a sad time for muscle cars (the end of an era). 


230 cu.-in. I6 

250 cu.-in. I6 

327 cu.-in. V8

307 cu.-in. V8

350 cu.-in. V8

369 cu.-in. V8

454 cu.-in. V8


3-speed Manual

4-speed manual

2-speed Powerglidue auto.

3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic auto

1973-1977 El Camino 

'74 Chevrolet El Camino


This would be the largest and longest El Camino of all of the generations. The new redesign used the Chevelle bodylines and Chevrolet's station wagon chassis. This was without a doubt the most comfortable driving El Camino but was also the heaviest.  

The energy-absorbing hydraulic front bumper systems early in the generation years were truly undesirable. Moving forward it seemed that not just Chevrolet, but all of the automotive companies were in the business of making fuel-efficient cars that were both safe for the people and the environment. Through these years, the El Camino would receive a lot of upgrades including suspension upgrades, standard front disc brakes, interior redesigns, a lift in ground clearance, High Energy Ignition (High Energy Ignition), some headlight rearrangements, and more.  



250 cu.-in. I6

307 cu.-in. V8

350 cu.-in. V8

400 cu.-in. V8

454 cu.-in. V8


3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic auto

1978-1987 El Camino 

1986 El Camino


For this new generation, the El Camino would see some different changes. The V6 Chevy and V6 Buick 90-degree engines would replace the inline-six cylinders. The 454 cu.-in. engine was dropped for an Oldisomblie sourced 350 cu.-in. diesel powerplant. You had a choice of four different trim models: Classic, Black Knight (1978) Royal Knight (1979–83), Conquista, and the SuperSport (SS). 

The 1983–87 El Camino SS was offered as a conversion (completed by Choo-Choo Customs Inc., of Chattanooga, Tennessee) to include the aerodynamic front-end similar to the Monte Carlo SS, but it did not receive the L69 engine package.

Moving on with the times, Chevrolet moved production to Mexico and added a 4.3-liter fuel-injected V6 as their base engine for 1985-1987. The El Camano ended production in '87. 


3.3 L (200 cu in) Chevrolet V6

3.8 L (229 cu in) Chevrolet V6

3.8 L (231 cu in) Buick V6

4.3 L (262 cu in) Chevrolet V6

4.4 L (267 cu in) Small Block V8

5.0 L (305 cu in) Small Block V8

5.7 L (350 cu in) Small Block V8

5.7 L (350 cu in) Oldsmobile deisel V8


3-speed manual 

4-speed manual

3-speed Turbohydromatic automatic. 

Black Custom El Camino

28 Years of El Camino Existence 

It sounds odd that a car/truck would make it through so many generations, but then again, look at the minivan. The El Camino may be out of production now, but it is not out of America's automobile history or memory.  

You'd be hard press to show up to a car show and not see at least a couple of these El Caminos, either in their stock form or customized for show or drag racing.