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Friday, January 1, 2016

Choo Choo Choose This Rare El Camino IROC-S For Your Collection


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.BOLD RIDE


How does one quantify rarity? You could say the McLaren P1 is a rare car, the Woking factory only built 375. Then again, the bonkers Jaguar XKR-S GT is rarer still, as only 30 exist. Rarity, then, spans a rather large gamut, and intersects somewhere with desirability. 

But for El Camino fans, it doesn’t get much more “hen’s teeth” than one of these—a Chevrolet El Camino IROC-S, a car designed around the official pace car of the 1985 International Race of Champions.

These special IROC-S “Elkys” were customized—among legions of “SS” cars—by Tennessee’s Choo Choo Customs on behalf of General Motors. They received the requisite racing stripes, a chrome roll bar in the bed, and a line of warning lights, bringing them remarkably close in appearance to their pace car progenitor.

Here’s the tasty bit: only 15 are said to have been built, 19 if you count models sent back by dealers, and this one recently landed on Hemmings. Talk about “rarity.”


So where did the IROC-S come from? At the time, the Chevrolet Camaro was the pony of choice in the International Race of Champions series, which saw the greatest drivers of the day test their skills in matching-spec cars. In celebration of the series’ return in 1984 (still with the Camaro), Chevrolet gave the IROC-Z name to its top-of-the-pile Camaro.That same year, the bea-ute-iful El Camino was picked as a promotional vehicle to star at the series.

The one-off “ute” wasn’t a pace car, however it led Chevrolet to commission Choo Choo to build an official pace truck for ’85. The famous red, white, and blue IROC-S was born—the only truck to pace an IROC race—and it came fitted with go-fast bits like an all-aluminum Chevrolet 350ci V8, more aerodynamic front end, roll bar, Centerline wheels, and custom side pipes.


The 15 customer cars that followed plied those same pace car looks, albeit not with the special engine, and remarkably a number have still survived today, plus the scant few that were sent to Choo Choo from dealers.

 While this Elky IROC-S is said to be one of those later cars, what makes it more peculiar still is that it’s believed to be the only “S” built from a 1984 El Camino.

Does that make it “rare” in your book? Let us know.