The other day in the local parking lot that keeps on giving I stumbled upon this interestingly patinated 1970 El Camino. My initial thought that was wow, it’s a year younger than me but still coming to the market to which this lot belongs. Later I realized that since my own official build date is October of 1969, if I were a Chevy El Camino I’d be a 1970 model as well. There’s every chance that this little (mostly) red devil is the exact same age as me. Hmm. What other things might we have in common?
For starters that’s a little 350 badge on the fender there, which is 5.7 liters in the German vernacular to which I was born. I don’t have a badge on my side, just a mole or two, and my ticker (hopefully) isn’t that large, but if this one’s is as original as mine then it still starts every morning, but perhaps not with the same gusto it once had. But with a little bit of warmup time in my case primed with a shot of caffeine (goose of the throttle?) it then runs pretty smoothly for the rest of the day. I hope to not have to run poorly for as long as a Chevy engine can run that way, but I suppose running at all would still be far better than the alternative.
Looking at the externalities, up top neither of us is wearing our full and complete original covering. Like the Elky’s roof paint, my top covering has thinned to an appreciable degree as well, mainly in the back for me, and if left uncovered also develops a bit of a burn like this one has. On the plus side I’ve retained my original pigmentation all over otherwise and while it occasionally peels a bit it’s pretty much the same shade and gloss level as it ever was. I’ve also never had to repair or replace my nose although it is a bit larger than many others I see, just like this one here.
The grille, well, I’ve had work done on mine as a teen although it’s still not all straight but at least it’s there. It’d cost far less to make this one perfect in that regard than it did my parents for mine. As the El Camino’s is though does probably make it easier to suck in the bugs if that’s one’s thing. The eyes are still mostly okay, although this one has wisely adopted some now fashionable dark frames (wait, it’s black on one side and red on the other, a fashion faux pas!) and perhaps new lenses, something I should think about as well, it’s getting a bit harder to see at night. Not sure if I want E-codes like Hugo Boss or Yves Saint Laurent or if the domestic choices will be good enough. They won’t be two-toned though for sure.
I’ve got a couple of scars, most notably the one on my knee at about the height of this one back here, mine came via a motorcycle accident. There are a couple of others scattered about as well, although I don’t have the open sore that this has behind its wheel (knee?). There’s also no dent in my rear end. Or at least I don’t think there is. Come to think of it, there’s something far worse but perfectly natural, just like opinions everyone has one. I guess here the back end can be opened up too via a top and bottom piece. This one looks to be lockable too!
Looking through the handy window shows that the Elky is carrying a little more weight than it rolled off the line with. Same here and it gets more difficult every year not to add a little more. Mine shows a little more though while the Chevy still casts the same shadow it always did. Hmm, advantage El Camino!
I do lie on my right side when sleeping, if on a rough surface perhaps it’d look like that when I woke up too but mine just springs back into shape, for the most part at least. Although the right knee hasn’t worked completely right since that sledding incident back in ’99, that could be when this took a hit as well. I didn’t get a great look at the tires although surely they aren’t original like mine, which probably explains why they hurt after a long (or even not so long) voyage on them.
Even with the damage over the years, all of the original brightwork and protrusions and whatnot are still in place, so we have that in common too. I see a few little metal accent pieces on the sides here, I too got an earring when I was eighteen and in college. But only on the left. It hurt too. But I know it looked better than it does on the Chevy and I’m sure it helped me get girls looking at me. Or maybe the girls looked at me they way they’d probably look at this car if it slowly rolled by…but let’s not dwell, there’s more.
It looks like this one has a pacemaker or something mounted to the dash, thankfully I don’t have need for one of those but being able to monitor things in real time might be of use, especially after working hard. Colorwise my insides are probably pretty similar to this (besides the denim), and there’s probably a few small bits of plastic and styrofoam that got in there over the years along with that gum I swallowed when I was nine.
I can still steer myself in any direction I want to go no matter where others would prefer I go, and there are definitely a few cracks and wrinkles appearing all over these days too. At least everything still seems pretty firmly attached and functions as designed, if perhaps with a few more creaks and a rattle or two at times.
This one carries historic plates and my wife signed me up for an AARP card last year as a lark, although we found out we need to renew it every year while the plates are good for five at a time. They really ought to offer a five years for four deal or something at the AARP, I’ll bet most people would play those odds, I wonder who would ultimately win that in the long run.
What strikes me most though is how just as with the El Camino I always thought of myself as large and in charge, but now the small young’uns are surprisingly big themselves when they walk alongside and are still getting bigger every day. One day soon I’ll be as small as this El Camino looks in between these two young kids at its sides, and that’s alright with me, it’s progress and a marvel to look at, explore, and enjoy. Hopefully I’ll be coming to this parking lot for many years to come and hopefully my new reflection will as well so we can assess each other going forward.