1987 El Camino SS-The end of an Era
While walking amongst the sea of cars at a recent Goodguys Rod and Custom event I spotted a factory-fresh 1987 El Camino SS. It looked clean from a distance but we’ve all been fooled by this metal mirage before. Once upon this truck; err, car it was very apparent the owner took extremely good care of it. As if it was teleported from the dealership floor to the garage floor without a mile driven in-between.
I soon found myself in a conversation with Benny Ellis, the proud owner of not only this 1987 El Camino SS but another very low mileage El Camino. The question needed to be asked. Why El Caminos, and why late model El Caminos? “I’m a GM guy and I’ve always had a fascination with the El Caminos. I like them all! I really like the G-body, and since the ‘87 is the last year it is the most attractive to me” he said.
As if he was preparing for a final exam, Benny began researching the history of this car. The original owner was an employee of GM and likely ordered the car to his specifications. It was delivered to Simms Chevrolet in Clio, Michigan and he kept it for the first 27 years. After that, it changed hands a couple times before Benny had it delivered sight-unseen on April 5, 2017, from sunny Florida to sunnier Arizona. Since he previously owned one in this same color combination and it had low mileage, Benny said “I had to have it.”
Once purchasing the car a few subtle upgrades and touches were done to refine this model – the last ever Elco model produced.
New polished American 5-spokes and tires, a sprayed-in bed liner, Retro Sound radio and Smartfilm clear paint protection on the front are the only things that are not as it was when originally delivered from the factory.
The car runs and drives so well that for right now Benny is just driving and enjoying it. Although, the thoughts of swapping in an LT1 376ci/6.2L, 460 HP engine and 4L70-E four-speed automatic transmission combo along with upgrading the suspension have slowly been tugging at his GM heart strings.
For Benny, this car is like being reacquainted with an old friend after not seeing them for 20 years. This relationship runs deep!