Ford, not Chevy, deserves credit for the El Camino’s design, as well as its Spanish-inspired name. For 1957, Dearborn realized that it could sell a few more station wagons by removing two-thirds of the car’s roof and marketing the new machine as an open hauler. The early Ford Ranchero was successful, and became even more so when it was shifted downstream to the penny-pinching Falcon platform in 1960.
Sheetmetal and minor trim differences aside, Chevelles and El Caminos rode on identical all-welded perimeter steel frames, but the convertibles and the El Camino had boxed frame members for added rigidity. Coil springs were standard fare, front and rear, on Chevelles, but the El Camino’s rear suspension received a boost from factory-installed air shocks. When inflated, these shocks raised the El Camino’s payload capacity by 500 pounds.
The stunning Monaco Orange El Camino featured here is the product of an extensive restoration which was detailed in the September 2010 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Mike McNessor.