As a long awaited counter to Ford’s 1957 Ranchero, Chevrolet finally debuted the El Camino in 1959. By model year 1970 the El Camino had been based on the Chevelle line for a time and in that year it took the same styling changes that the passenger car underwent. It was available in either Base or Custom trim but the SS option was available only on the latter model. This is The Franklin Mint’s first precision El Camino. An all-new tooling, it is high tech and lovely! As has long been the case, Franklin’s shape and stance of the replicated model is true to form to the 1:1 SS396. TFM opted out this little cherry bomb as the Turbo-Jet 396 (which actually displaced 402 cubes) pumping out 350 ponies at 2500 rpm.
In Cranberry Red with dual broad hood stripes in Classic White, the model really stands out. Franklin added styled steel wheels with Goodyear™ Polyglas G70-14 white lettered tires. The interior is black and contrasts the exterior rather nicely. The grille is blacked-out and matches the black center of the tailgate. The high tech is represented in the form of terrific chrome metal foiled insignias and side scripts. The tailgate latch mechanism, “SS” moniker, front and rear side markers and, “Cowl Induction” letters are all done this way. The doors are on hidden hinges and the hood pins and tethers are done the same way that TFM previously did the 1970 Challengers. They do not need be opened as they are part of the hood and open in one unit.
The cowl induction port opens and the tailgate folds down and snaps back shut. The interior is very richly appointed and has great detail in the door, seats, dash, console and floorboard. The engine is immaculately fabricated to yield all sorts of stickers, wires, hoses, lines and cables. Scaling is especially good. The suspension works well; the front on actual springs and the rear on springs and working shocks. The paint is rich and even and shines like a new penny. Proportions are excellent, gaps nearly non-existent and overall fidelity to the real article is genuine. This diecast stands out very well in any crowd.
-Tony F Perrone