El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for an El Camino for my son. Sort of a father son project car ofr his first car. There is a local 1973 El Camino for sale. The body appears to be good (a little rough but not much rust) We live in Michigan.

Looking at some parts sites. 1973 seems to be the least likely to find parts for year. Is this true? Not a well thought of year apparently. I was wondering why.

On the one hand it would be a good project car (not too much loss if he dents it) On the other hand it seems like it might be hard to get some parts for.

Does anyone have any suggestions, comments or thoughts?

Thanks for looking.

Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Morning Phil. I personally like the 4th gen '73 through '75's and wouldn't mind getting my hands on one to keep along with my '72. But your correct, you don't see to many parts in the more popular catalogs for them. They do seem to be the "forgotten years" Elky's.
Sure, you'll see some carpet and seat covers, but you have to really search for other parts. I am starting to see more parts on Ebay for those years.

Best of luck with your project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Virtually everything from 73-77 is interchangeable except that headlight doors and grills are different for different years. Almost all 73-77 Chevelle stuff works too, except quarter panels and rear bumpers. If you look around, the old parts sellers, OPD, NPD, etc., are listing more 4th gen stuff. Just be sure thst the frame isn't seriously rusted. I think you should go for it. We 4th generation owners are sort of the "red-headed step-child" of the El Camino community, but remember that since the parts are harder to find, there are less of us around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your insight. It is sort of nice..has the swivelling front seats. Supposedly the engine has been rebuilt and the back is loaded with spare parts (exactly which ones I don't know) The interior is trashy dashboard seats console mostly. It looks like the seat covers are available and maybe a dash. But if I bought the car(oops truck) I don't see one of those cool looking cowl induction hoods in my future.

Not sure what to do. There is another relatviely inexpensive 81 and a 78 ss which are on the other side of the state. Maybe I will call about them also.

Although the 73 in my heighborhood for 3k is inviting and easy.

Thanks for your thoughts Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
As a 4th gen owner, I am probably biased, but I say go for the '73. I have had my '73 since the day I turned 16 and it has served me well. Along the way my misadventures gave me several up-close meetings with other vehicles and objects, but never anything that was excessively severe to mine (worst accident totaled the other car (a little econobox), on mine wrecked one fender, bent the bumper, and broke the FRP fender liner - a little crowbar work and I was driving it that afternoon).

Parts can be a challenge, but you can do pretty well junkyarding for a lot of it. Also, just in the last couple of years, the repro market has perked up considerably in things like lenses and such. Your biggest challenge (based on my experience to date) is exterior trim, which sometimes takes some serious hunting to find replacements for. Of all the 4th gen, I think the '73 is the best-looking as it was the launch of the body style before they started cost-reducing out details like the wing grills and the separate metal nose cap. But I'm possibly biased.

While the 4th gen is somewhat the 'lost generation' for Chevelles and El Caminos, that just makes seeing a well-restored one all the more unusal. Personally I wouldn't trade my '73 for one from any of the other generations, no matter how good-looking (now - getting ADDITIONAL El Caminos, of course, is a different matter :D )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Actually... Mechanically- most everything for the car is available- Brakes they came stock with front Disks(Nice!) Engine bays are HUGE and you can pretty much get any v8 parts you could want for it- same thing with suspension stuff- all readily available from any parts house...

Now restoration type stuff- body panels, trim prices, etc etc- that stuff is generally not reproduced (but some is starting to become available)- but if you are willing to look, there are many of these cars in junkyards around the country, and with the internet- it is fairly easy to find stuff you need.

Personally I really dig 73-77 elcaminos- I had a 75 in highschool and always wanted to put a 73 grill on it... I loved the in-swept tailgate's! :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Just re-read your post again- Cowl hoods for 73-77 elcaminos& chevelles are available, i have seen them for sale... Pretty sure harwood makes them. :D :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the comments. I am on the east side of michigan. But my mother lives in GR.

I think I am ready to take the plunge. I do like the back tail gate and the car is in decent shape (for a 73) . I also think the swivel buckets are cool.

I will check and see if it is still available. I looked at it yesterday. What is the malibu in Gr like? That might be a nice parts car.

At least I won't be alone with the 73 . Thanks for the support. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
My Elky is a 76 and while I haven't been able to find some small stuff,I've been able to get almost everything.I can't find a decent bed mat or front parking light lens,but so far thats all I haven't found.
73 to 77 Elkys were made in larger amounts than any other generation of Elkys.As more people restore this generation,more parts will be availble.
Take the plunge and join the 4th Generation.
8) Shane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I bought it. 1973 el camino 350 engine. Swivel buckets.

The floor pans are rusted so I need to find replacements for that first. Not to mention a lot of interior components such as the dash and seat cover replacements for the swivel buckets.

I am going to check the links page.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top