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Showdown: Chevrolet El Camino vs Ford Ranchero

Motoring Research Logo By John Moroney of Motoring Research | Slide 1 of 21: According to American legend, GM design chief Harley Earl first flew the coupe pickup idea back in 1952. The Aussies tell a different story, claiming that the notion came from a farmer’s wife who wanted a vehicle stylish enough to take her family to church on Sunday, but useful enough to take her chickens to market on Monday. Regardless of provenance, Ford did it first back in 1957 with the Ranchero, and Chevy followed suit in 1959 with the El Camino. Over subsequent generations, each brand had highs and lows, making coveted classics some years and substandard stinkers in others. But for every year of either marque, there is a fan. When talking about old cars, old terminology often rears its wizened head. Car fans of a certain age will remember “cid” as meaning “cubic inches of displacement.” In modern terms, each 60 cubic inches is equal to one liter, more or less. A 200-cid engine is equivalent to a 3.3-liter, a 300-cid engine is equivalent to a 5.0-liter, a 400-cid engine is equivalent to a 6.6-liter, etc. Special thanks to GM Media Archives and Ford Motor Company Archives for their invaluable assistance.

It’s actually called a “coupe pickup”

According to American legend, GM design chief Harley Earl first flew the coupe pickup idea back in 1952. The Aussies tell a different story, claiming that the notion came from a farmer’s wife who wanted a vehicle stylish enough to take her family to church on Sunday, but useful enough to take her chickens to market on Monday.

Regardless of provenance, Ford did it first back in 1957 with the Ranchero, and Chevy followed suit in 1959 with the El Camino. Over subsequent generations, each brand had highs and lows, making coveted classics some years and substandard stinkers in others. But for every year of either marque, there is a fan.

When talking about old cars, old terminology often rears its wizened head. Car fans of a certain age will remember “cid” as meaning “cubic inches of displacement.” In modern terms, each 60 cubic inches is equal to one liter, more or less. A 200-cid engine is equivalent to a 3.3-liter, a 300-cid engine is equivalent to a 5.0-liter, a 400-cid engine is equivalent to a 6.6-liter, etc.

Special thanks to GM Media Archives and Ford Motor Company Archives for their invaluable assistance.

© GM Media Archives and Ford Motor Company Archives

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