By mid 1964, Chevrolet's 250- and 300-bhp 327-cid Turbo-Fire V-8s were added to Chevelle/El Camino options lists. However, an exhaust-manifold clearance problem reportedly delayed deliveries of the 300-horse mill until summer. Total 300-bhp Chevelle installations would come to just 1,737, including what were no doubt a very few El Caminos.
In March 1964, Chevrolet announced that the most powerful carbureted Corvette engine, the 365-bhp L76 version of the 327, would be available in Chevelle and El Camino. Rumored 0-to-60 times were in the sub-six-second range. However, availability was canceled after only a few weeks. A very small number of L76- powered prototypes or pilot-line vehicles may have gotten out; it is unknown if any El Caminos were among them.
A three-speed manual transmission was standard, with overdrive optional. The two-speed Powerglide (air cooled with sixes, water cooled with V-8s) was the only automatic offered. A GM-sourced Muncie wide-ratio four-speed manual was optional with V-8s only.
All of the above helped the El Camino go. To make it stop better, sintered metallic brakes were optionally available for "special service" use right from the start.
Interior color choices for the 1964 El Camino were aqua, fawn, or red. Base models bore all-vinyl trim, while Customs featured a cloth-and-vinyl combination, along with upgraded door trim, and a two-tone steering wheel (except with the red interior).
After January 1, 1964, driver and right-front-passenger seatbelts were made standard in all El Caminos. Floor coverings started with rubber mats in a "spatter color treatment." The Custom had a carpeted floor.
Optional bucket seats in textured vinyl were available for Customs and included a matching vinyl cover for the spare tire, which stowed with the jack behind the seat. By February 1964, revised ordering information noted that "four Super Sport type wheel covers" were included with the bucket-seat option and that a console was also included when the four-speed transmission was chosen. Price increases for the option reflected the additional equipment.
A 1964 El Camino could be loaded with many other factory options, such as power windows, air conditioning, a tachometer, and an attractive simulated-wood-rim steering wheel. Numerous factory-approved dealer-installed "Custom Feature Accessories" were also offered. Spotlamps, outside rearview mirrors, and a tool kit are but a few examples. Some Custom-model equipment could also be applied to standard El Caminos as accessories.
The 1964 El Camino was a hit with buyers, especially in the nation's midsection, where the combination of city style and country utility offered by a "gentleman's pickup" was particularly appealing. The 32,548 El Caminos sold for 1964 represented 8.8 percent of Chevelle production, handily outdoing any single-year Ranchero -- or El Camino -- showing to date. Meanwhile, the restyled 1964 Ranchero drew 17,316 orders -- about 1,200 fewer than the year before.
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