Tuesday, December 6, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1959 Chevrolet El Camino

For some reason I have a completely irrational love for the 1959 Chevy full-size car lineup. Coupes, sedans, wagons, all with fancy "bat wing" tail fins and cat-eye taillights. But perhaps the most ridiculous finned car Chevy built that year was a brand new variation on the theme: the El Camino coupe utility pickup.

The El Camino was a new approach to an old idea. The Australian ute had already been around for 25 years by the time Chevy introduced their own domestic version to the American market. It was a great idea and one which would make up a popular niche among people who needed truck utility in a car-sized package. One might call them the first crossover utility vehicles.

This matte black trucklet lives on Potrero Hill with a blue '59 Brookwood wagon and a light green '59 Impala coupe, apparently owned by an enthusiast who likes the '59 Chevy even better than I do. It's in pretty good shape with almost all its trim still intact. When I first learned about it on Flickr, it was painted red, so I went in search of a red El Camino. Instead, it turned out to be the black vehicle you see here. Honestly, I like it in combination with the white roof and fabric tonneau, and red and white interior. I'm not sure if the chrome bed rails are original. The vintage yellow and black plates though, are a great period touch.
If this were my El Camino, I'd source a hubcap for the left rear wheel and a grille 'bullet', clean up the whitewalls and remove those silly chrome half-circle headlight cover things. That's really about the extent of what I'd do to it, other than drive the heck out of it.

1 comment:

  1. hot. I love the photography here too! Really diggin the artsy rear end shot and the cool tilted fender shot.