1959 Chevrolet El Camino by Johnny Lightning #P415
1968 Chevrolet El Camino Custom by Hot Wheels
1970 Chevrolet El Camino by Matchbox #74
1971 Chevrolet El Camino by Johnny Lightning #373
The El Camino in 1:64
by Doug Breithaupt
For many years, fans of Chevrolet's El Camino have had little to collect
in small-scale diecast. That has changed recently as the El Camino finally
joins the 1:64 scale parade. Up until the 1990's, only one El Camino was
available to toy car collectors. The original Johnny Lightning series by
Topper offered a Custom El Camino, complete with surf-boards molded into
the rear deck. It is no surprise that Playing Mantis chose this model for
reproduction when the Johnny Lightning models were revived. In fact, the
Custom El Camino was the very first re-issue, #101.
Four of the eight El Camino models to the left are from Johnny Lightning.
The 1959 came out in 1997 and was part of the Trucking USA series. It represents
the very first El Camino model and is a very nice casting except for the
solid wing-windows. Johnny Lightning offered a 1971 El Camino in 1995 as
part of their Sky Show play set. It came with track and a glider that releases
from the truck-bed. The last JL El Camino is a wild mid-engine funny car/truck
called the Trouble Maker. The body lifts from the rear to show a monster
V8 and rail chassis.
It is amazing that Hot Wheel's first El Camino had to wait until 1999 to
be produced. While the body is a 1968 El Camino, it is anything but stock.
This El Camino would not be too good for a trip to the lumber store as the
truck-bed is fully occupied with a huge rear spoiler and transverse V8 planted
Matchbox also waited a long time to offer an El Camino. Their 1970 models
produced in 1997 and offered in the 1998 line-up. It is a well-done toy
car/truck and has been a popular item on store shelves.
The last two El Camino models represent an interesting modern version of
Chevy's car/truck. The 1983-86 El Camino SS was produced on the same platform
as the Monte Carlo and offered a taste of the earlier muscle-trucks with
an SS (super sport) edition. Majorette of France first offered this model,
a surprising choice for a European diecast company. The model has proved
popular and is still in the Majorette line-up today. While the casting is
clearly in the toy line, it comes with decent detail and the usual good
quality offered by Majorette.
A more collector-oriented version of the 1986 El Camino SS was offered by
Racing Champions as part of their Mint Editions line in 1997. Complete with
opening hood and engine detail, the Racing champions casting is an excellent
Several generations of El Caminos are still missing in small-scale. The
mid-sixties and late seventies models are a likely edition to 1:64 scale
diecast in future.
Custom El Camino by Johnny Lightning #101
Custom El Camino funny 'truck' by Johnny Lightning #PM310
1986 Chevrolet El Camino SS by Majorette #296
1986 Chevrolet El Camino SS by Racing Champions #99