Around the late 1950s, Ford was enjoying tremendous success with its Ranchero, and Chevrolet decided to create a car/truck of its own to compete with its greatest rival. In the year 1959, the Chevrolet El Camino was introduced, but it only survived for two years. However, it made a comeback in 1964, and it quickly established itself as one of the finest muscle car/trucks in North America.

The first El Camino was constructed on the Impala platform, and it had many features that were similar to the full-size car, including the wild-looking wings and the trademark cat-eye taillights. Its front end and interior were also very much like the Impala. In the following year, the car/truck underwent the same modifications that were made to the Impala. It featured more angular body lines, and its taillights and wings were toned down. Production of the El Camino seized in 1960, but the vehicle would reappear in 1964.

The new Chevrolet El Camino was based on the Chevelle, and it had the same flat front end as the successful muscle car, as well as most of its options. However, it did not have the top engine options that were offered with the Chevelle. The standard El Camino was fitted with a 283 cid V8 engine with 195 hp, and optional engines were a 283 cid V8 with 220 hp and a 327 cid V8 with 250 hp.