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Should i Buy the choo choo?

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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, i am looking for a project car. I dont want a ford, and i have had a firebird, but I think i have settled on an el-camino.
Now, I have found an 87 Choo Choo customized, and it looks cool. I honestly dont like the caprice front ends, but the monte ss is growin on me.
My question is other than all the stickers, what makes a elcamino a choo choo? Is it possibal for this car to have a 350 in it? I was told it was a 350, but it may be a 305, either way...
Also, this car needs restoration, but the guy has all the parts. I have not seen the car yet, because its in storage, but what options does it have? is it likley to have bucket seats up front, and a tach? Also, were these all power windows, locks, etc. or was there base model choo choo?

I keep seeing posts about choo choo conversions, etc. I did a search, and im not finding the info im lookin for. Was the Monte front end only on the choo choos?

Were the choo choos any faster? i read somewhere that they were only appearance, but it wouldnt make much sense to customize a car, and not toss in any perfromance perks.

Is it hard to repair a cracked facia?Its not cracked bad, but only 2'' on the corner. I have never messed with fiberglass b4, but is it easy to repair? can i bondo it? (im good with tha bondo)

The car has a little over 100k miles i believe (may be 70k, but canot remember) but will the other parts on this car be worth more than 500 bux? The car comes with a spare tinted back window that i was told was worth money, but i dont know. I just dont want to buy this vehicle and have it end up costing more than i want to restore it.

The guy wants 500 bux, and the cars body needs a little work. the whole car is solid except for right behind the drivers door, there is a hole rusted through the quarter panel, but i can weld well. The whole thing needs repainted, but the interior is mint.

I would appreciate any replys. Thanks for the input.
 

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The Choo Choo Customs, Inc. El Caminos are covered in this article as Super Sport info #6: http://www.elcaminocentral.com/article-34--0-0.html

It was mostly a graphics package with the addition of the Monte Carlo style front fascia and optional hood scoop and optional non-functional side mounted exhausts. Additionally, special wheels could be ordered on the '85-87 models. Bucket seats and the tach were optional features.

The original front fascia was not fiberglass, but was polyutheren (more rubbery). Repair of this material is more difficult than fiberglass in my opinion, but they do make kits to repair this material.

Choo Choo Customs, Inc. El Camino SSs were fairly rare. (unaudited figures): 1983 - 587, 1984 - 1309, 1985 - 1198, 1986 - 995, 1987 - 861 (total of 4950)

So, if you bought the '87 and it's a true Choo Choo, then you'd own one of 861 special 1987 El Caminos and one of only 4,950 ever produced.

Just over a million El Caminos and GMC Sprints/Caballeros were produced so one of 4,950 qualifies as quite rare.

Generally speaking, a "Choo Choo" front fascia assembly is worth $500 by itself.

The Choo Choos all came equipped with the 305 engine. There were no performance enhancements made by Choo Choo Customs, Inc.

There were also no performance enhancements made to the Chevrolet Motor Division produced 5th Generation El Camino Super Sports (RPOs Z15/Z16).
 

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I think the choo choo nose is nice but the regular front ends give these a more muscular look, besides being cheaper. Get what will make you happy. The choo choo like the SS was just for looks. If it is stock it will not be fast. The good news is that their are tons of stuff to make them fast & handle better than a vette.
 

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I think their both nice, but i like my choo choo a little better just because i have one and mine is the only one in my part of my province that i know of and i get a lot of looks and coments, and the best part of owning one is making them fast and handle good.
 

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Choo Choo Noob said:
Ok, i am looking for a project car. I dont want a ford, and i have had a firebird, but I think i have settled on an el-camino.
Now, I have found an 87 Choo Choo customized, and it looks cool. I honestly dont like the caprice front ends, but the monte ss is growin on me.
My question is other than all the stickers, what makes a elcamino a choo choo? Is it possibal for this car to have a 350 in it? I was told it was a 350, but it may be a 305, either way...
Also, this car needs restoration, but the guy has all the parts. I have not seen the car yet, because its in storage, but what options does it have? is it likley to have bucket seats up front, and a tach? Also, were these all power windows, locks, etc. or was there base model choo choo?

I keep seeing posts about choo choo conversions, etc. I did a search, and im not finding the info im lookin for. Was the Monte front end only on the choo choos?

Were the choo choos any faster? i read somewhere that they were only appearance, but it wouldnt make much sense to customize a car, and not toss in any perfromance perks.

Is it hard to repair a cracked facia?Its not cracked bad, but only 2'' on the corner. I have never messed with fiberglass b4, but is it easy to repair? can i bondo it? (im good with tha bondo)

The car has a little over 100k miles i believe (may be 70k, but canot remember) but will the other parts on this car be worth more than 500 bux? The car comes with a spare tinted back window that i was told was worth money, but i dont know. I just dont want to buy this vehicle and have it end up costing more than i want to restore it.

The guy wants 500 bux, and the cars body needs a little work. the whole car is solid except for right behind the drivers door, there is a hole rusted through the quarter panel, but i can weld well. The whole thing needs repainted, but the interior is mint.

I would appreciate any replys. Thanks for the input.

I bought my 81 for $500 in 95 and have never looked back.
Actually I bought it to fix and sell for BUCKS but I like It sos I've kept It.
I use it as my daily driver here in FL that is yearround.
But it!
L8R
allanova
 

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Tommy said:
The good news is that their are tons of stuff to make them fast & handle better than a vette.
You can make an El Camino or GMC Caballero handle twice as good as when it came from the factory...but, I don't believe an El Camino could be made to outhandle a C5 Corvette. I own both and just can't envision that happening. You could put enough money into an engine to outrun a 'Vette in a straight line, for a while, but not outhandle suspension wise, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, The Rpo codes...
Also, the car only has 34,000 miles on it, but since its been chillin in a yard for 7 years, its a bit rusty. but the guy has all the extra body parts i need.
AR9 : SEAT, FRT BKT, EUROPEAN STYLE, PASS A DRIVER RECL
AU3 : LOCK CONTROL, SIDE DR, ELEC
A01 : WINDOW, TINTED, ALL SHADED, W/S
A31 : WINDOW, POWER OPERATED, SIDE
B32 : COVERING, FRT FLOOR MATS AUX
B9K : ORNAMENTATION, B/S MLDG, REAPPLY TO RR DOORS ONLY
CD4 : WIPER SYSTEM WINDSHIELD, PULSE
C60 : HVAC SYSTEM, AIR CONDITIONER FRT MAN CONTROLS
Unable to locate code D39 in our database!
D55 : CONSOLE, FRT COMPT, FLOOR
D7L : GEAR, SPEEDO DRIVEN
D73 : RAIL, HAND, PICK-UP BOX
E5Z : SPEEDOMETER ADAPTER (DELETE)
Unable to locate code E7Z in our database!
E9Z : SPEEDOMETER KEY (DELETE)
F41 : SUSPENSION SYSTEM, FRT, RR, FIRM RIDE, HANDLING
GU2 : AXLE REAR, 2.73 RATIO
G92 : AXLE REAR RATIO, PERFORMANCE
JM5 : BOOSTER, BRAKE, 200MM TANDEM, HIGH FLOW
K34 : CRUISE CONTROL, AUT0MATIC, ELECTRONIC
K64 : GENERATOR, 78 AMP
LG4 : ENGINE, GAS, 8 CYL, 5.0L, 4BBL
MV9 : TRANSMISSION, AUTO 3 SPD, THM 200, CONV CLUTCH
MX1 : MERCHANDISED, TRANS, AUTO PROVISIONS
NA5 : EMISSION SYSTEM, FEDERAL, TIER O
N23 : FUEL TANK, 83L, 22 GAL
N33 : STEERING COLUMN, TILT TYPE
QSA : TIRE ALL, P205/75R14/N RWL R/PE ST TL ALS
Unable to locate code SAL in our database!
TR9 : LAMP, GROUP
T63 : ALARM, HEADLAMPS ON WARNING SYSTEM
UA1 : BATTERY, HEAVY DUTY
UF7 : CLUSTER, INST, OIL, COOL TEMP, VOLTS, FUEL ECON
UN3 : RADIO, AM/FM STEREO, CASS, MTR
UN9 : RADIO, SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT
UP8 : STEREO RADIO INSTALLMENT PROVISIONS
U26 : LAMP, INTR, ENG COMPT, COURTESY
U35 : CLOCK, ELECTRIC
U73 : ANTENNA, FIXED, RADIO
V08 : COOLING SYSTEM, HEAVY WTY
V73 : ANTENNA, FIXED
YT9 : OPTION PACKAGE, FISHER FURNISHED PARTS
ZJ7 : WHEEL,SPECIAL HUB CAP 6 TRIM RING
Unable to locate code IAY in our database!
Unable to locate code IIL in our database!
Unable to locate code 11L in our database!
Unable to locate code 11U in our database!
Unable to locate code LLU in our database!
Unable to locate code 278 in our database!
Unable to locate code 271 in our database!
Unable to locate code 279 in our database!
Unable to locate code 6VX in our database!
Unable to locate code 7YX in our database!
Unable to locate code 8HN in our database!
Unable to locate code 9HN in our database!
If anyone can fill in the last rpo's let me know. Thanks.
 

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As far as it being an original Choo Choo, it should have a sticker on the inside of the driverside door jam on the door stating it's a Choo Choo unless it was removed to repaint the car. $500 is a very good price for any Elky running thats not all rusted out, especially a Choo Choo. Make sure that the frame is in good shape. If so jump on the deal, I would!

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I'd BUY! Running or not, they are getting harder to find, especially that one.
Where are you located in Cleveland, I lived there many years ago, eastside and westside. :-D
 

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Choo Choo Noob said:
Unable to locate code IAY in our database!
Unable to locate code IIL in our database!
Unable to locate code 11L in our database!
Unable to locate code 11U in our database!

If anyone can fill in the last rpo's let me know. Thanks.
Almost all the RPO codes you can't find are really "Production Line Instructions", used by the assembly line workers, and won't be found in the majority of Internet RPO decode lists.

The front fascia, bucket seats and console are worth twice the asking price of $500. One caution though, if you aren't ready for some serious work in this project... don't buy the car. These projects are both rewarding and frustrating.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replys guys. Im definatly getting it unless the underbody is shot. Its too wet and snowy now for me to be rollin on the ground yet.

Ive done all of this type of work on my firebird, but i just have not done any paint jobs. I know i can get this lookin great, and would be one hell of a thing to keep, and say i did this when i was 18, when im 40. (sorry to make all ya 40yr olds feel older). I dont want to let a car go that im gona wish i would have kept. y'all know what i mean.
 

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regrets i.ve had a few

i've had 9 el caminos over the years . every time i sell one off within a few months i go out and get another . its like i can't live without it .
people say they are not practical ,not really a car not really a truck .
but what else can you haul stuff with that looks this kool right from the factory . a wise old german i knew gave me some good advice .
its just nuts and bolts if you can take it apart then you can fix it .
and its true if you can spin a wrench your have way there .
don't have any regrets . like they say on ebay ( buy it now ).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I got a good look at it, and i found out i also got the bed rails, (not a big fan of, so they may appear on ebay :eek: . Also i found out that it is an 85.
Now, with the SS's are these the H.O. 305's? (9.5:1) or the standard 305.

This is also a true choo choo. I will also be the 2nd owner.

The lower quarter panels are rusted out. Not that big of a deal, i know how to weld, and jcwhitney's got them for 100 bux a piece. The rest of the car on the outside is just very dirty from sitting outside for so long.
He has extra doors, glass, (including extra tinted rear window, told that was rare, can anyone confirm?) and tailgate. Also the front facia is cracked on both corners, 1 crack on each side, and they are 2" long. Other than that, the interior is in show room shape.

Btw, Does any one know where to get the choo choo graphix at?
 

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Standard 150hp 305. Choo Choo graphics can be purchased from either Honest Charley's or other ECC/NECOA sponsor vendors. Don't forget to ask for your member discount when you purchase them.

I've not heard that the tinted rear glass was rare. Could be. Extra parts are always a plus. :p

Congratulations!

-dan
 

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Choo Choo Noob said:
Also the front facia is cracked on both corners, 1 crack on each side, and they are 2" long.
2" long? What exactly do you mean by this? If your saying that the fascia is to long, or wide by 2" approx, that would indicate that the fascia and fenders may be off a SS Monte Carlo and that would make that car not an original Choo Choo, do the body lines match all the way down the side of the car? Is there a sticker on the drivers door stating it's a Choo Choo (I saw a sticker up for auction on Ebay once)? Be careful here, make sure those cracks aren't stress cracks from trying to make an SS Monte frontend fit on that Elky! GM contracted with Choo Choo Customs to make these cars (actually the fascias', ground effects and bolt on non functional cowl induction hood scoops) they were originally (I believe) all white when given to Choo Choo Customs and then repainted various colors. It is posssible to put the SS Monte Carlo frontend and doors on the Elky, but the bodylines will not match the Elkys quarterpanels bodylines. Choo Choo Elkys fascias were made to specifically fit Elkys and are approx 1 1/2" narrower than an SS Montes'. Honest Charleys now has the contract to make the replacement front ends when they bought out Choo Choo Customs. I am not sure but all the original Choo Choos may have been equipped with the rubber type front fascia and not the fiberglass...members who own original Choo Choos should be able to verify this. Cmon guys, help me and him out here, lets make sure he's getting what he's getting so he doesn't get burned.

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theelcaminofactory said:
I am not sure but all the original Choo Choos may have been equipped with the rubber type front fascia and not the fiberglass...members who own original Choo Choos may be able to verify this as I am not totally sure of this either.
It's my understanding that is correct, all original Choo Choo's came with a urethane front facia. All the aftermarkets kits I've seen have been fiberglass. Although more durable as far as holding shape and paint, I prefer the urethane nose for it's ability to withstand everyday "bumps" and "nudges". :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
no replica, definatyl a choo choo...

Na, this is not a replica. It looks like the guy hit a parking block, and the corners cracked from the bottom up. All the body lines match up, all the emblems and stickers are in place, and the seller is the origonal 1st owner.

Also, How would i go about repairing the cracks? does anyone know of a kit, or what i should use?

Now, Did only the choo choo's come with the monte facia? What did the non choo choo ss's (if such a thing) front end look like? Remember, sory if this is trivial for ya, but im da noob. :p

Thanks guys, you are bieng a great help, And btw, since i got the vote, im gona turbo my 90 yugo gv plus. :lol:
 
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