Hot Rod Hauler: Roadster Shop 1960 El Camino


Back in the late 1950s, automakers were trying wild and wonderful things. Fins, sweeping body lines, elaborate chrome trim, and aircraft-inspired styling cues were plentiful. So, it's no surprise that this was also the time when General Motors greenlit a now-legendary blend of family car and pickup truck: the Chevrolet El Camino. The 1960 El Camino seen here is an elaborate yet tasteful build from the restomod wizards at Roadster Shop in Illinois.

Roadster Shop's 1960 El Camino Build


Above: The before-and-after comparison of Barry's 1960 El Camino.

This El Camino belongs to one of Roadster Shop's long-time customers named Barry. He bought the car and completed a partial restoration, getting it to the point where most of the body and trim parts were present and accounted for. Then he handed it over to the guys at Roadster Shop for a complete mechanical transformation.


Components such as the conical tail lamps and bezels were sourced and installed prior to the car's arrival at Roadster Shop. However, the car needed a fresh coat of paint and some mild body work.


With new emblems, trim, glass, and a fresh coat of blue paint, the El Camino was ready to shine once again. However, its beauty is much more than skin-deep.


Roadster Shop replaced the El Camino's entire chassis with its 1958-60 Impala Fast Track chassis, including power steering and coilover suspension. This took the car from a smooth but floaty ride to modern, sports-car-style handling.


In the rear, 5-inch-travel Roadster Shop SV coilovers and a 9-inch rear end with 4-link contributed to the improvement in ride quality and handling.


The El Camino is powered by a 480-horsepower LS3 topped with Lokar 409-style valve covers and air cleaner that have been refinished in Cerakote by Roadster Shop. The engine is bolted to a Bowler T56 Magnum manual transmission.


In order to maintain a timeless look and avoid cutting and tubbing the bed, Roadster Shop installed custom Forgeline RS6 wheels with 245 tires up front and 275s in the rear. These wheels are a true "knock-off" design with an adapter bolted to the hub. They also display a set of drilled and slotted big brakes.


Despite its completely new chassis, engine, and suspension, the El Camino retains its original style and functionality. The bed offers tons of room for gear, whether Barry is running errands or going on a road trip.


From what we can see in the video below from Roadster Shop's YouTube channel, this El Camino is a perfect mix of classic style and modern performance. Even the interior retains the old-school look with a Frigette under-dash air-conditioning unit.

Looking for Impala, Bel Air, or El Camino Parts?


If you own a classic Full-Size Chevy vehicle — such as an Impala, Bel Air, Biscayne, Caprice, Delray, or 1959-60 El Camino — Classic Industries can help you find the parts you need to restore it. Our Full-Size Chevy catalog includes thousands of items for these vehicles, from gaskets and trim to crate engines and suspension kits. Click the button below to get a free full-color Impala/Full Size Chevy parts catalog.