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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the Molding on the very top of the Tailgate (wide Molding that is a continuation of the Bed Moldings), is the '59 and '60 Molding exactly the same or are there slight differences between the two.

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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Ok now for the bonus round... The majority of 59-60 Elky's have a "badge" on the tailgate that sits on a complimentary raised bit of sheet metal. Now while a number of aficionados of these years know that the badge was an easy/cheap way for GM to cover where the window mechanism would have been on the wagon model's tailgate, I have yet to find anyone that can tell me the origin of the badgeless Elky's that are far less common. FWIW I have never seen a badgeless 59 that was not shaved on a custom show car. I have seen a handfull of stock appearing 60's though of which I own 1 of and would be very interested in learning the reason for this feature.

137561
 

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This, I have to admit, is not a fact that I was aware of. I did a little research and I do see a few listed that do not have the cover plate for the rear window crank made in 1960. I do know that the sedan delivery did not have the cut out for the cover or the stamped raised area. Perhaps some of the El Caminos, which the bodies were made in Fisher plants, came off the line using the skins for the Sedan delivery to fabricate the tailgates rather than the station wagon tailgate. It would be worth researching who has one and which plant they came out of. Great observation.
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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I finally got around to sorting the details for the 2 vehicles above and sadly I do not see any notable differences.
Both have style codes 60-1280 (1960 el camino 2dr truck) body code VN (Los Angeles 1958 - 1964) and from the VIN codes both show assembly plant L (Los Angeles 1958 - 1964)
The white one was a 6 cyl. originally and the copper one an 8 cyl.
And as many El Caminos they have matching trim codes also.

Mr Fin, this pretty well covers my knowledge of both body styles and these specific examples. I am currently out of rabbit holes...
 

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So, Los Angeles had its own Fisher body plant attached to the assembly line and thus both of the bodies were stamped in that plant. One thing that you might check is when the vehicles were produced. Since 1960 ended the production of the El Caminos, and a shade over 14,000 were built in that year, it is a posibility that some the end of the run was cobbled together using left over parts. I do not mean this in a disparaging way but, all manufactures do what they have to to maximize production. Look at the cowl tag and see if the unit that has the badge deleted has a large body number. i.e. VN 6000 rather than a VN 1000, (numbers estimated.). If this is not the case, and you are still curious about this anomaly, pull the tail gate access panel off and look for a modification that might have been done sometime after manufacturing. After all the truck is 62 years old and may have had many owners. Either way it has been an interesting phenomena.
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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Very interesting, the cowl tag does show VN 6134 and I will no doubt soon find myself pulling the access panel from the tailgate. And now for more possible inconsistent details.
trim 803 paint 963B acc EZW IP

While no longer the factory color I have found traces around the fuel filler that match the paint code, the ACC codes have me confused as I cannot locate EZW for 1960 (EZI is glass option) and IP I cannot confirm but there is no indications of having been one in the past. The dash is painted in an attractive dark green/blue that appears more like to be original as opposed to added when the current body color was done around 12 years ago.

The copper Elco is truely a unique oddity with a history that I am trying to confirm. The story goes that it was originally owned by an employee at the Oakland Ca. GM plant who used contacts in the LA chevy and cadillac plants to trim his new el camino with cadillac interior and options. I can confirm that there are options installed that are cadillac and top level impala bits like the 6way power bench seat, leather trimmed panels and visors, autronic eye, and twilight sentinel lighting control tied to a factory harness. I hope to track down either the original owner or possibly children of to try and confirm this story.

One other possible contributor to any abnormal production run in LA plants around this time was a steel strike in late 59 that resulted in the GM southgate, chevrolet and Fisher body plants closing for 5+ weeks between August and December. Prior to shutdown as steel availability dwindled who knows what may have been done to stretch resources.
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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And now more confused then ever. It appears as though the hole was punched in the tailgate skin and then an interesting patch cover welded from the backside and then likely smoothed on the outside to eliminate the hole. I suspect that short of getting feedback from other owners of badgeless tailgates this may remain a mystery.

138443
 

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You definitely have a rich story line to verify. The VN factory usually started building El Caminos before other plants and would have started production as early as August of 59 for the 1960 models. The production would have stopped prior to July 1960 as it took time to set up new tooling and train. I am not sure how many total units of El Caminos came out of the VN plant in 1960 but, as I said in a prior post 14K was the grande total for all plants that year. That is why I estimated around 6000 maybe higher for the end of production from that plant. If you combine that with your steel shortage, it sure makes the hypothesis of the plant using the delivery gate to finish the bodies. If you remove the inspection plate on the tail gate and see no visible artifacts of customization, you may have just unlocked a forgotten piece of history.

The cowl tag info I can decipher for you. the interior color 803 is gray vinyl. This is the most common interior color for the first gen cars. 963B is sapphire with white as the second color. Usually the rear quarter stripe but could also add the roof. EZW is a tinted windshield only. EZI is all tinted glass. You can check the date codes on your glass to see if they are factory glass or if they have been replaced. IP is the code for a padded dash. These were glued down so you might not see remnants of this if the car has been restored at some point in the past. Near impossible to replace, as far as I know. Things change every day though.

Now for the Cadillac/Impala options. It is entirely possible that some in-house horse trading was done because in those days many cars were produced to customer order. Dealers were actually offered a sample car to put in the showroom with any option available to entice customers, to not only buy a new car but, to upgrade to more profitable accessories. Dealers would also add items on in the shop at a customers request. Cargo rails and side view mirrors were a good example of dealer add-ons. It would be no surprise to have an auto dimmer, speed minder, skirts, or electric seat installed after purchase. But, unless you have a bill of sale, or receipt for the option installation, you will never be able to verify it is authentic. Either way, you have a couple of unique vehicles. After owning a 1959 for 35 plus years, I can confirm that you have only started writing a rich history of owning, driving, and sharing yours. As they say, "Enjoy the ride."
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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Thank you for the additional info on my vehicle!

While I may never be able to verify if the options were a special install by the dealer someone did an impressive job of spec'ng some uncommon OE parts including:
remote operated drivers side mirror
rearview mirror w/ map light
tilt steering column w cruise ctrl button in blinker arm (this seems like later than 1960?)
power assist steering / power disk brakes (front only)
power windows / vent windows
power door locks
am/fm radio with remote quad channel amp (I have not disassembled to verify dates but both are GM Delco units)

This will surely be a keeper but the wife insists that i part with the white one at the earliest possible time (needs carb rebuild before selling)
 

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This will surely be a keeper but the wife insists that i part with the white one at the earliest possible time (needs carb rebuild before selling)
[/QUOTE]

Can you post a few pics for those of us interested in Gen 1's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wondering when the Tilt Column was first an option on GM cars. For Chevrolet, it was '63.

Bill
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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Wondering when the Tilt Column was first an option on GM cars. For Chevrolet, it was '63.

Bill
Excellent catch Bill. It seems that not all options installed could possibly have been at the time of purchase. I just discovered today while trying to locate a replacement photocell for the twilight sentinel system that the one installed was only available in 1964 Cadillacs and is now very scarce if available at all.

While this kind of kills a cool story it seems more important now to find the history of this vehicle.
 

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pearl white 1960 283 th350 impala int. copperish? 1960 454ci th400 61cad int. & pwr options
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This will surely be a keeper but the wife insists that i part with the white one at the earliest possible time (needs carb rebuild before selling)
Can you post a few pics for those of us interested in Gen 1's?
[/QUOTE]

This has been on my todo list but it seems that I have a different understanding of what photo hosting services entail now days. This is kind of important for me as I plan to put one of the trucks up for sale soon and will need accessible photos.

I am attempting to resolve this matter with the current provider but it does not seem promising. As soon as I get things sorted I will post photos of both vehicles.
 

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1960 El Camino 350, 5 speed, GM 12 Bolt, 4 wheel disk brakes, air
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a lot can happen to the lives of our cars over 60-62 years...

I have a 1938 Nash Lafayette sedan, that was supposedly parked in a barn in ND in the 1950's... I'm not really a "concours" car kinda guy... but when I was working on the running boards, all the original hardware came off without breaking a bolt... ( parked before they started salting the roads ) I sent all those to a guy working on a "concours" car & replaced all of them with new stainless hardware on my car... because I like stainless hardware...

My 60 El Camino, I've gotten intimate enough with it now, to know there are a couple different "original" colors on the body panels... I suspect mine was never well cared for, but somehow managed to survive all these years, to find it's way to me last year...
 
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