Choo-Choo Customs El Camino SS Model (1983-87)


  The Choo-Choo Customs, Inc., El Camino SS model was available through any Chevrolet dealership from 1983 through 1987. The "Choo-Choo SS" was an appearance package only. Unlike earlier Chevrolet Super Sport models, no performance enhancements were made to the production Choo-Choo SS models. A very large percentage of the Choo-Choo Customs, El Camino SS's were not factory Super Sports. That percentage of SS's do not carry the RPO code "Z15", designating Chevrolet Motor Division's "SS Sport Decor". All of the choo-Choo Customs styling, protection and restoration components where available to enthusiasts individually to create an El Camino of their own.  

   The following information on the Choo-Choo SS is from a 1992 Choo-Choo Customs Specialty Parts Division catalog:

   The original El Camino SS was produced by Choo-Choo Customs for GM from mid-1983 until the El Camino series was discontinued at the end of 1987. In addition to the aerodynamic nose treatment that was the primary styling feature of all El Camino SSs, all vehicles received graphics on the fascia, doors and tailgate, and a small chrome train logo above the glove compartment door. Vehicles manufactured in 1987 also have a Choo-Choo Customs logo with train on the front fascia and tailgate. A limited number of El Camino SS had aerodynamic-ground effect style side exhausts with rectangular chrome exits. Early El Camino SS until mid-1985 used aluminum body side molding with a machine-turned center and two vinyl inserts running full length of the molding. Later El Camino SS used a more rounded style body side molding. Some vehicles used factory side molding and fender well trim. Many El Camino SS were equipped with aluminum wheels. Early vehicles had center caps with styling holes. Later vehicles featured solid center caps. Aluminum cargo rails were also installed on numerous vehicles." More details of the front nose treatment (fascia) can be seen here: Fascia Image, Fascia Assembly and Parts List.

   In 1986, Chevrolet was the official truck of the Indianapolis 500 and a specially developed El Camino SS was one of the featured vehicles that performed on-track services before and throughout the race. This one-only El Camino SS featured an aluminum 350 CID Chevy engine and functioning strobe headlights and tail lights, plus a roll bar mounted strobe light system. A special El Camino SS was the only truck to ever pace an IROC race. This IROC-S also featured the trade-mark aerodynamic front end design, IROC-S urethane paint in custom candy colors, and 16" aluminum wheels. Approximately fifteen IROC-S were built between '85 and '86.

   *Choo-Choo Customs El Camino SS's also featured a certification sticker mounted below the driver's side door striker.  (Recertification Image) Yes, this one was mounted upside down.

   *All Choo-Choo SSs had "Designer Series" emblems on the door handles. 

   *The front bumper ends were cut off and a portion of the front bumper remained behind the front fascia of all Choo-Choo Customs SS El Caminos. The parking light mounting and lenses are unique.

   *Large SS graphic was used at the bottom of the front air-dam when no front license plate was used. Smaller SS graphic was used on the driver's side front below the parking light when a front license plate was used. The production Choo-Choo graphics came in only black or silver.

   *Many, but not all, Choo-Choo SS's used an additional Choo-Choo Customs, Inc., "train" graphic. Often found below the driver's side headlights and on the tailgate. It is believed that Choo-Choo Customs, Inc., experimented with different versions of their logo (train w/smoke trailing and CCC letters) in multiple locations, front fascia and tailgate, throughout 1983-1987.

   *All Choo-Choo Customs El Camino SS's were "final assembled" at Choo-Choo Customs, Inc's.,  headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

   *Production figures for Choo-Choo Customs El Camino SS (unaudited figures):

    1983 - 587,   1984 - 1309,   1985 - 1198,   1986 - 995,   1987 - 861 (total of 4950)

   Choo-Choo Customs went bankrupt in 1991, though it managed to rebound briefly. In the early 2000's the company went out of business for good and Honest Charley's Speed Shop, part of the Coker Tire empire, purchased Choo-Choo Customs' remaining stock. The shop continues to offer the SS front-end conversion parts, only now they're molded in fiberglass.

   There is a Choo-Choo Customs Facebook Group Choo Choo Customs Collectables with over 250 members. This group is for Choo Choo Customs El Caminos and other Choo Choo Customs vehicles only, but anyone can view their Facebook posts.