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Old 07-11-2007, 10:23 AM   #1
Ghastly
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Default 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Anyone ever heard of or see a 1959 or 60 pontiac elcamino? This guy tells me he has a body only to one and that there where only 3 made. Anybody?
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Safariknut might know.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

http://www.murfy.us/1959_Pontiac_El_Camino/page1.html


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Old 07-11-2007, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

I would think a Pontiac truck would be rather easy to make using a Safari wagon and an El Camino roof & box. This would be true with the later cars and trucks from '64-'87. I've seen a few Studebaker Larks the were converted too.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

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Originally Posted by Ghastly View Post
Anyone ever heard of or see a 1959 or 60 pontiac elcamino? This guy tells me he has a body only to one and that there where only 3 made. Anybody?
Here's a '60 (I just threw in the Merc).
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

In fact, you can do it two ways - bolt the El Camino body on a Pontiac Catalina chassis, and change the doorskins, quarter panels and tailgate, or get a Canadian Pontiac front clip and bolt it right on your El Camino. I've seen a photo of at least one example of the latter. They left the stock Chevy quarters on it, but there was a Canadian Pontiac 2dr wagon that would make quarters an easier transplant than working from a 4dr wagon.

(for those not aware, the Canadian Pontiac used Chevrolet chassis and drivetrain and had a shorter front clip with a 115" wheelbase rather than the 121" wheelbase of the Catalina and 123" of the Bonneville. They also didn't use the "Wide Track" feature the US cars did).

Now I have seen in print in a couple places that GM did build three factory prototype 1959 Pontiac pickups, as they were considering adding it to the line. As per "Standard Catalog of Pontiac" - "There was a 1959 proposal for a Pontiac version of the El Camino. One prototype still exists in a private owner's hands. ..." It goes on to explain they toyed with it again in 1978, going so far as to update it to 1980 front sheetmetal, based on the Grand Am, plus another one with the LeMans nose intended to be sold as a GMC (GMC did sell a very thinly rebadged El Camino at that time).

The catch is if you wanted to do the work, it wouldn't be that hard to fake one. I'd want to dig around and research just what body tag it should have on it, and be sure that tag was on the car. Same for what serial number a prototype would have on it.

The dashboard in the Pontiac is a bolt-in - I'm not sure if they are in the Chevy, but even if not it wouldn't be hard to cut out and add the tabs the Pontiac uses to allow theirs to bolt in. Here again, without finding the real one or a good expert on GM Prototype cars, it's hard to know what they would have done to build the real one to distinguish a clone.

But if it was cheap, I'd buy it, it would definately be different -
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

I'd like to see more on that 60
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Here's a '60 (I just threw in the Merc).
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

There was one factory 59 pontiac el camino made as a concept. But it never went into production.

To make one, out would use a 59 pontiac wagon, because it comes with the correct tail gate and trim. and then a 59 or 60 el camino, roof and cab back. obviously there are a few doors to be taken care of also...
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Make life easier. Use 2dr Pontiac doorskins on the El Camino doors. You'd probably also need to use the Pontiac tailgate skin on the El-C tailgate, but I've never had two side by side to compare.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

About 3-4 yrs ago, in S.W. Florida, at the Atomic Rockabilly Rumble, I saw a Kustom '59 Pontiac El-Camino. It was white with gold scallops. Also had a very unique bed cover that continued the paint scheme, but done in stitching. Have yet to see this car again, despite going to allot of Florida shows. I have a picture, but it was taken with 35mm film so I would have to scan it. Could do it if interested.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

What would you check the numbers against? If you only have a body and no motor or chasis.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

I have a magazine article on that 59 factory el camino prototype, I will try to dig it up and get more info. for you. From what I remember ,it was a designers brainchild, he converted a 59 2 door wagon and a elcamino, he used it for a few years , and then it was used bya car dealership in the detriot area for years.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

A real factory prototype car might have a body style number on it that doesn't match any known number, or have all X's. If it has the same number as the ones for the regular '59 line, it's most likely a clone. You might look up details on the Pontiac X-400 showcars to see what the tags on that read, as it started life as a '59 Bonneville ragtop, had Catalina quarters added in it's changeover to show car, and then got updated to 1960 appearance later.


The one that got away here locally was a '60 Pontiac Gran Prix prototype. It appeared to have been a convert or 2dr ht that had a fiberglass roof added in the style of the 1962 car roof. It was in an upstate NY junkyard until around 1991, then whoever ran the yard took the car apart (the motor, trans, and interior parts were laying around) and the body vanished.

Forgot to say before, there was no US model 2dr wagon after '58, although it hung on through '60 in Canada.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Thanks for the info. I still have not seen the car. It is one of those friend of a friend things.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

I still can't get my own pictures to post. The magazine article is in High performance pontiac, dec. 2002. darrel lotridge of auburn hills mich. owns it, and has been restoring it for the past 30 years according to the article. the article mentoined that this was the only one built, although parts were allocated for at least 4 projects. a second vehicle with a crude flatbed was reportedly built , but wasn't considered for production.It started as a catalina safari wagon 389 4bbl hydro, a 59 elcamino body was put on the pontiac chassis. pontiac 2 door sedan 1/4ers and doors were used. the doors had the elcamino window frames installed.catalina dash tailgate front clip and bumpers were used.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

That could be the same guy. This is a friend of a friends neighbor. He lives in Pontiac, Mi. I hope to get over there to check it out this month. I will thake some spy photos if I can.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Sounds like the same car I saw about 25 years ago at a chem-strip place in detroit. The stripping place is long gone but I did see a pontiac el camino body there and was told the same story about there only being 2 or 3 ever produced.

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Old 09-12-2007, 01:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakespeed63 View Post
About 3-4 yrs ago, in S.W. Florida, at the Atomic Rockabilly Rumble, I saw a Kustom '59 Pontiac El-Camino. It was white with gold scallops. Also had a very unique bed cover that continued the paint scheme, but done in stitching. Have yet to see this car again, despite going to allot of Florida shows. I have a picture, but it was taken with 35mm film so I would have to scan it. Could do it if interested.
JT
Scan it if you can! I really like to check it out... and I hope this post continues, '59 El Caminos are towards the top of my list of "Rides I Will Own One Day", so a variation on one is VERY intriguing to me.

Keep this thread alive!

-ns
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

here they are.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

As a kid growing up in the Detroit area, my dad worked at the Pontiac Retail Store in Pontiac Mich and I remember seeing this 59 Pontiac Truck that was badged as a "Catalina." The truck was white with red interior and was used by the retail store as a working parts truck or something, but it was definately not a "show" truck. This was around 1969 and the truck was pretty rusty and neglected, but it stuck out in my mind after all these years. The last I remember, the truck was wrecked and probably sent to the junk yard as I don't think anyone at that time thought this truck had any value. I often wondered if someone rescued this truck and if it still exists somewhere.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:48 PM   #21
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

The 78 Pontiac Grand Am style el camino existed, I actually drove it once. As I recall it was black and gold. I worked for a GM supplier that was just a few hundred yards from one of the gates to the complex. Occasionally someone from engineering would drive a prototype over. The skunk works in Pontiac used to have a pretty good assortment of cool stuff that never made it to production.

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Old 07-02-2008, 07:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

That 60 in the pic is from the Clarion, Pa. area. It was built from a wrecked hardtop when it was almost new. The last I knew, the guy that built it still has it, and it was very well done.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

thats pretty sweet. I wan't one!
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

This was at Santa Maria
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Rear shot
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:10 PM   #26
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Default Re: 1959 Pontiac Truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghastly View Post
That could be the same guy. This is a friend of a friends neighbor. He lives in Pontiac, Mi. I hope to get over there to check it out this month. I will thake some spy photos if I can.
Ghastly, gimme a call or pm me if you want company for the trip over there.
For some reason I think I remember talking to him at a POCI swap meet a long time ago. I think that the guy is a retired GM'er & I still work there.

Larry
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