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The Choo-Choo Custom was a dealer option, NOT a factory. Choo-Choo Customs was located in Chattanooga, TN. and sold the company in the late 1980's or early 90's. Many parts are often available on E-bay, also Laurens Engineering, and Honest Charley's Speed Shop. I built my clone by purchasing the nose(fiberglass) from Honest Charley and the rest of the items off of e-bay. To my knowledge there are no records of how many conversions were produced each year (1983-87). NOTE: the Monte Carlo SS front facia (nose) and the Choo-Choo Custom are not the same. They are not interchangable.
 

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I heard that any Elky that was made in Mexico could not use the web site you provided for the build sheet. I think all elky's made after 85 was made in Mexico. I know all after 86 but not sure about 85 or not.
 

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i think you are right on the 85 and newer being from mexico.i was told by a chevy dealer that the ones without the trim tag on the wiper cowl were made in mexico as well. he also said the ones with a painted body color header panel were also from mexico
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Regarding the Mexican production...any car with a VIN starting with '3' is by definition built in Mexico (or has a stolen VIN Tag!).

I was fairly sure that the Choo Choo was a dealer option and not something that would be listed on a factory build sheet, I appreciate the confirmation!

Also, good to know that the Mexico cars lack documentation relative to US or Canada built GMs.

Any one know if Honest Charley hung onto all the ChooChoo build records when he took over down there?

SS
 

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Yeah, I can not find my trim tag on the wiper cowl. I have an 86. I can't find a build sheet anywhere and without the trim tag and no help from GM's web site, I have no clue what actually came with my Elky. :(
 

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i have a friend with a 85 standard elco with no cowl tag and painted core support and it was built in mexico. he still has the window sticker and it says built in mexico
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I can not find my trim tag on the wiper cowl. I have an 86. I can't find a build sheet anywhere and without the trim tag and no help from GM's web site, I have no clue what actually came with my Elky. :(

An engine, a transmission, four wheels and tires, probably a whole lot of steel in totally awesome styling! Anything more is just details! :You_Rock:

Legally the '3' as the first VIN Digit means it was Mexico car, '1' is USA, I think '2' is Canada...leaving the office now but maybe I'll be able to find the list when I get home.
Since it is a legal requirement, I would use the VIN's first number as the primary guide for build country.

SS
 

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For Gen 5 Elky's the 1st digit of the VIN is the Country in which the vehicle was built. (1) U.S.A. (2) Canada (3) Mexico. The Arlington, TX plant stopped making El Caminos and Caballeros on August 11, 1983. So anything after that date the 11th digit should be an "S" for Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Thru 1985 the Body number plate was under the hood on the top left side of the firewall. In 1986 it was re-named Service Parts ID label and placed either on the glove box door or behind the seat. Also of note the 1987 Callaberos had the smallest production run, only 1705 units.
 

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Regarding the Mexican production...any car with a VIN starting with '3' is by definition built in Mexico (or has a stolen VIN Tag!).

I was fairly sure that the Choo Choo was a dealer option and not something that would be listed on a factory build sheet, I appreciate the confirmation!

Also, good to know that the Mexico cars lack documentation relative to US or Canada built GMs.

Any one know if Honest Charley hung onto all the ChooChoo build records when he took over down there?

SS
The Choo Choo package was a 'conversion package' offered by Chevrolet similar to how SLP modified the SS Camaros and Pontiac Trans Am WS6's during the 1990's - 2000's. It's not considered a dealer option because Chevrolet actually contracted with Choo Choo to build these El Caminos (it was not something added on later by a dealer). They had to be "Re-Certified" when completed and given a door tag. The dealer's had nothing to do with the conversions...they would order a Choo Choo El Camino from either Chevrolet or Choo Choo directly, and they would be delivered to the dealer completed. Also, dealers were not allowed to send standard El Caminos that were already on their lot to Choo Choo to be converted...the El Caminos turned into Choo Choos had to be dropshipped directly from the Chevrolet plant.

You are correct in that the Choo Choo option will not appear on the factory build sheet as an RPO code. But, on the bottom left corner of a Choo Choo El Camino's build sheet the final delivery address will list Choo Choo Customs and their address in Tennessee as the "shipped to" destination. So in an indirect way, the build sheet will tell you if it is a real Choo Choo.

I've done a lot of research on Choo Choos and I have become friends with an executive at Honest Charley's who used to be an executive at Choo Choo. He has been very kind and generous to me with regards to providing me with information, as well as some original Choo Choo photographs and documents. As far as build records with the recorded VIN numbers, im pretty sure he said he didn't have them anymore, but ill ask the next time I speak with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Choo Choo package was a 'conversion package' offered by Chevrolet similar to how SLP modified the SS Camaros and Pontiac Trans Am WS6's during the 1990's - 2000's. It's not considered a dealer option because Chevrolet actually contracted with Choo Choo to build these El Caminos (it was not something added on later by a dealer). They had to be "Re-Certified" when completed and given a door tag. The dealer's had nothing to do with the conversions...they would order a Choo Choo El Camino from either Chevrolet or Choo Choo directly, and they would be delivered to the dealer completed. Also, dealers were not allowed to send standard El Caminos that were already on their lot to Choo Choo to be converted...the El Caminos turned into Choo Choos had to be dropshipped directly from the Chevrolet plant.

You are correct in that the Choo Choo option will not appear on the factory build sheet as an RPO code. But, on the bottom left corner of a Choo Choo El Camino's build sheet the final delivery address will list Choo Choo Customs and their address in Tennessee as the "shipped to" destination. So in an indirect way, the build sheet will tell you if it is a real Choo Choo.

I've done a lot of research on Choo Choos and I have become friends with an executive at Honest Charley's who used to be an executive at Choo Choo. He has been very kind and generous to me with regards to providing me with information, as well as some original Choo Choo photographs and documents. As far as build records with the recorded VIN numbers, im pretty sure he said he didn't have them anymore, but ill ask the next time I speak with him.
Now if only the GM Archives had Mexico plant build sheets...
I may contact them after the weekend to see what they say.

Thanks for all the knowledge and for checking in with Honest Charley's! Tell him not to stop making the nose cones, mine needs replacin'! Polyurethane is all wavey.
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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If you're trying to find your buildsheet, aside from all of the usual places, don't forget to pull the headliner and check above it. I found my pace car's build sheet above the headliner.
 

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Thank you E-man. I stand corrected. I have a CCC catalog from 1992, so we know they were in business then. I have friend who still has his '87 that he bought new. He says he took it to CCC and they did the conversion for about $2400.00 in the summer of 1988.
 

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He says he took it to CCC and they did the conversion for about $2400.00 in the summer of 1988.
That sounds possible because by mid 1988 Chverolet was no longer producing the El Camino, and they would not have been sending any more new ones to Choo Choo for conversion. So I wouldn't be surprised if Choo Choo started doing customer conversions after their contract with Chevrolet was over (afterall, im sure they had a bunch of spare noses and parts lying around). Do you know if they gave your friend's El Camino a Re-Certification door tag? The door tag was required when selling it as a new vehicle at a dealership, so Im curious if they issued him one seeing as he had already owned the vehicle. Thanks for the info.

By the way, hang on to that Choo Choo brochure from 1992...those are starting to become very hard to find.
 
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