Previous Next

Lot 186

1970 Chevrolet El Camino Custom

  • Chassis no. 136800L179155

Sold for $30,800


Est. 275 bhp, 307 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed overdrive Hydra-Matic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, rear trailing arm suspension with coil springs, and front disc and rear drum power-hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 116 in.

  • The passenger pickup cult classic
  • Mild custom touches and upgrades
  • Ultimate “ute” with maximum style


Although the car-based utility pickup was very common overseas—Australia had been building “utes” since the 1930s—the style did not catch on in the United States until the 1950s. Ford was the first to offer such a vehicle, the Ranchero, in 1957. It was based on Ford’s two-door Ranch Wagon and was built until 1959; afterwards, it was downsized to the Falcon platform.

Chevrolet followed in 1959 with a similar formula, as well as a Spanish name, El Camino. It proved quite popular, selling more than 22,000 in the introductory year but barely 14,000 in 1960. It then went into hibernation until 1964, when it reappeared as a counterpart to the new mid-size Chevelle line.

The new downsized El Camino was well received, with some 32,500 sold the first year, and it trended upward from there. Initially, it was sold as a utility model, with two basic six-cylinder engine options and two 283-cubic inch V-8s. Even before the 1964 model was out, its status as a cult classic was apparent, and 250- and 300-horsepower 327s soon became available. A custom model in 1966 added an upscale interior, and for 1967, a big block 396 became an option.

A new-generation Chevelle for 1968 ushered in a longer companion El Camino. In 1970, a new 307 V-8 was also added to the options list. The ute’s popularity had grown, as more than 47,000 were sold.

This mildly modified 1970 El Camino, which first started life as a California truck, was purchased by its second owner in 1974, and at this time, it was refreshed with new paint. From 1997 to 2006, there was much work done on the drivetrain, and new trim and carpet were added. The 307 engine was also completely rebuilt in 2007, while the transmission is a 700R4 four-speed overdrive Hydra-Matic. Three years ago, this El Camino was acquired for the Andrews Collection.

Recent upgrades made to the pickup include EZ EFI fuel injection, a FrontRunner serpentine belt setup, and a front suspension package from Chris Alston Chassis Works. The latter, employing tubular A-arms and Wilwood front disc brakes, resulted in a two-inch drop and a pleasing, mild rake. The interior is all new and includes a Grant GT steering wheel. The exterior pinstriping was applied by James Crawford, an old-time artisan, with this being the last job he completed before his passing.

The truck is equipped with optional rally wheels and Michelin XGT M+S blackwall radial tires. There is also a spray-on Line-X bed liner that protects its excellent sheet metal. Vintage Air conditioning and a Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo system have been subtly added. It comes complete with the original owner’s manual, a Protect-o-Plate, and documentation of the work performed.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more