The beneficiary of a detailed, frame-off restoration
Correct 265 cubic inch Chevrolet V8
Correct 3-speed manual transmission
Correct India Ivory and Gypsy Red paint
Correct Red and Beige interior
15-inch steel wheels
1 of only 5,220 Cameos produced for the 1955 model year
When you think the words "different" and "Chevrolet", what comes to mind? It's most likely NOT the acres of tri-fives, Camaros and Corvettes sitting at the local swap meet. What about when you think the words "cool" and "Chevrolet"? Well, that's pretty much all classic Chevys, so I guess I need to be more specific. What happens when you think "Chevrolet", "different" AND "cool"? Chances are something akin to this awesome Chevy truck rolls through your mind. Being a '50s bowtie, it's certainly cool. And being a low production Cameo definitely makes it different. But what makes it both different AND cool is the fact that it's a fully restored, low production '50s bowtie that's available for what's essentially cruiser money. Looking for an exclusive classic that doubles as an awesome weekend warrior? Come in, sign this pickup's papers and set out for the nearest car show!
The beneficiary of a detailed, frame-off restoration, this impressive truck is one of the coolest Chevrolets on the market. Its rock-solid panels sport a correct combination of Gypsy Red and India Ivory 2-stage that highlights distinct style while shunning '50s excess. While the Cameo was designed to appeal to more sophisticated buyers than the average Chevy truck, it was still intended as a working vehicle, and it's newly strengthened chassis was heavily promoted in GM's 1955 marketing materials. That adherence to strength and rugged execution makes for great panel fit, which gives the sculpted body an expressly handsome profile. And overall, this premier Task Force is a high quality classic that's poised to turn heads.
Originally envisioned by GM designer Chuck Jordan, the Cameo arguably began the American truck's decades-long march toward car-like attributes, eventually spawning one of the market's first legitimate crossovers: The El Camino. However, despite blending two distinctly different styles of vehicle, the truck managed to mix great detailing with excellent proportions. At the front of this Chevy, a domed hood centers a tough Chevrolet crest above a polished grille, chrome-trimmed headlights, bullet-style marker lamps and a guarded bumper. Behind that hood, like-new glass rides between polished stainless wipers, a color-keyed visor and polished stainless frames. Beneath that glass, a sculpted profile incorporates a combination of solid metal and lightweight fiberglass under a small mirror, slim door handles, a traditional fuel filler and color-keyed ornamentation. At the center of that profile, a Gypsy Red bed seats clean wood planks under polished stainless hardware. And at the back of that bed, a steel, cable-operated tailgate centers a wide bowtie between stylish taillights and a guarded, polished and painted bumper that's designed to cleverly conceal the truck's spare tire.
Hoist the hood and you'll find 265 cubic inches of small block V8 that hangs a date-correct 3703524 casting number behind a 1955-exclusive "F" suffix stamp. At the top of the spry mill, an oiled air cleaner funnels wind in to a big 4-barrel carburetor that's sequenced to stainless lines, a small bowl and a reliable Pierce pump. Below that juice box, a Chevy Orange intake perfectly complements stamped, Chevy Orange valve covers. At the back of that intake, a traditional points distributor shoots spark past cast exhaust manifolds via 7mm Hi-Temp Radio Suppression Cables. Opposite that distributor, a beefy radiator utilizes pliable hoses and modern screw clamps to cycle water around a familiar pulley fan. Details like a tagged Unit Parts generator and a modern battery ensure this Chevy runs every bit as good as it looks. And the engine's attractive frame is constructed of Satin Black fenders and an India Ivory firewall.
Crawling under this sedate bowtie reveals a factory chassis that, for the most part, appears weather-free. Power meets the pavement through a correct Saginaw 3-speed, which is tied to a sturdy 10-bolt axle. Correct leaf springs and big drum brakes occupy all four corners of the chassis, mixing rugged road prowess with firm and solid stops. An aluminized, single-pipe exhaust system, which is wired to a large muffler, runs the entire length of the truck. And everything rolls on Gypsy Red steelies, which twist 215/75R15 Ironman Touring Pros around stainless, bowtie-branded wheel covers.
Slide inside this Chevrolet's fully restored interior and step back into the simplistic and purposeful culture of 1950s America. The vibrant red from the truck's body is carried onto 2-tone doors and a 2-tone dash that's fitted with factory telemetry and a correct AM radio. Opposite that dash, a wide and supportive bench features tight vinyl surfacing. That seat is framed by fresh carpet, a small headliner and color-keyed sun visors. And in front of the driver, an aircraft-inspired steering wheel laps a polished bowtie centerpiece.
If you're looking for something a little different than a run-of-the-mill Chevy, this awesome Cameo is a fantastic choice. Distinctive, comfortable and lovingly restored, it's a lot of fun on the road OR at the show. Few classics make us want to just punch out, grab the keys and hit the Carolina backroads. This is certainly one of them!