Profile of the 1974 Chevrolet El Camino
In 1974, Chevrolet released its distinctive El Camino with a new look and many practical features. It had a wide stance, but was low and long. It was sleek in the roofline, but dominating out front. Its interior was elegant. As a car/truck blend, the El Camino appealed to all types of car buyers, from those who wanted to haul items without buying a truck to those who enjoyed driving unique vehicles. Here’s a profile of the 1974 El Camino and all its great features.
Several El Camino model types were available for 1974. These were the standard El Camino model, the Classic, the Classic Estate, the El Camino Conquista, and the El Camino SS.
Standard El Camino features
The standard El Camino came with frameless door glass and a sleek roofline with thin roof pillars. It had a full-width seat made of foam cushion that could be ordered in 18 different upholstery color and trim combinations. Available were six cloth and vinyl combinations, six all-vinyl choices, and six knit vinyl options. It had a matching vinyl door, headliners, and side panels. The bench seats and vinyl swivel bucket seats could also come with folding armrests. In the floor board, there was cut-pile carpet that could be ordered in seven different colors.
The swiveling bucket seats allowed for easy entry and exit because they would pivot up to 90 degrees. They could also be ordered with built-in headrests for added comfort. The all-vinyl, full-foam seats were fitted for amazing comfort with contour shapes. These could be adjusted forward or backward for perfect positioning. They could also come upholstered in blue, black, green or light neutral.
Standard El Camino equipment and accessories
The standard El Camino came with a 350-cubic-inch V-8 engine with an optional 454-cubic-inch V-8. It used an independent front suspension with coil springs and with a capacity of 2315 to 2950 pounds. The springs had a capacity of 1157 to 1475 pounds each. It had 1-inch-diameter shock absorbers that were the air-booster kind, which could be adjusted by changing the air pressure. It also had a coolant recovery system.
The clutch used was 10 inches in diameter for the 350 engine and 11 inches for the 454 engine. The standard model used a three-speed manual transmission. It featured dual master cylinder brakes. The tires used were G78-14B, G70-14 bias belted ply with white letters for the SS model. For the electrical system there were a 61-amp-hr. battery, directional signal lights, and integral parking and side marker lights for the front and rear. The windshield wipers were dual electric and included washers.
The El Camino Classic
This year’s El Camino Classic was stylish with an elegant, classic look on the inside. It had a full-width custom seat with a fold-down armrest in the center. The instrument panel was padded. It had door panel trim and a deluxe headliner that was coated with vinyl. The rearview mirror was finished in black.
The Classic Estate
The Classic Estate model was an upgrade from the El Camino Classic with a full-body side and tailgate accent along with unique wood-grain vinyl trim. It also featured a special body side, drip rail, tailgate and moldings on the wheel openings.
The El Camino SS
The El Camino SS could come with either a two-barrel or four-barrel version of the Turbo-Fire 350 engine or the Turbo-Jet 454 engine. For the transmission, buyers could order either the Turbo Hydra-matic transmission or a close-ratio four-speed transmission with the 454 engine option. On the exterior, the El Camino SS came with matching sport mirrors (left and right), with the left-hand mirror being adjustable from the inside. This model’s grille came finished in black. Buyers could choose from black or white body side striping as well.
The SS models came with “SS” medallions on the wheel and door trim panel. The instrument panel had a special instrument cluster with black bezels. The tires used were Turbine I wheels (14 inches x 7 inches) with G70-14 white-letter bias belted ply tires.
Other SS model features included a drip rail, upper body moldings, a tailgate, and “SS” emblems on the front fenders and tailgate, and on the grille as well.
El Camino Conquista
With the El Camino Conquista, the standard model was enhanced with gorgeous two-tone paint and intriguing body moldings. It was both sporty and stylish.
Accessorizing the El Camino
Buyers could get the look and feel they wanted for their El Camino by choosing from a number of options and accessories. Deluxe bumpers were available with resilient impact strips that gave added protection. Front and rear bumper guards were required with this feature. For easy and secure locking, buyers could order power door locks. The power locks could be locked with the touch of a button, and locking controls were available on every door.
Staying cool was a cinch with the Four-Season air conditioning option. With the Four-Season system, passengers could select the temperature they wanted for heating, cooling, defrosting, and defogging. It would even dehumidify and clean the air inside.
Power windows and power steering were available as well. The windows could easily be raised or lowered, and a separate control was provided for passenger convenience. The power steering made maneuvering much easier at low speeds and also helped with parking in tight spots. For even more comfort while driving, the Comfortilt steering wheel made it easy to enter and exit the car with six possible wheel adjustments. For those who wanted a more sporty look, dual sport mirrors were available that matched the exterior body color. The driver’s mirror could be adjusted by remote control.
An AM/FM stereo option was available as a fully-transistorized radio with push button features. Passengers could pre-select up to five AM and five FM radio stations. Its antenna was mounted in the windshield.
To enhance the wheels, El Camino owners could choose wire wheel covers that had 48 detailed spokes. Turbine 1 wheels were also available. These were made of metal-looking urethane and were backed by steel wheels to give the look and feel of expensive cast aluminum wheels.
For El Camino fans, Chevrolet offered many great models and choices in 1974. Buyers could get the car they wanted with the great convenience of a truck bed for hauling – all at an affordable price.