The El Camino was introduced for the 1959 model year two years after the Ford Ranchero.
Like the Ranchero, it was based on an existing and modified platform, the new-for-1959 Brookwood two-door station wagon, itself based on the completely redesigned, longer, lower and wider full-sized Chevrolet.
Unlike the Brookwoods wagon and a sedan delivery variant, the El Camino was available with any full-sized Chevy drive train. It came in a single trim level, its exterior using the mid-level Bel-Air's trim, and the interior of the low-end Biscayne. Its chassis featured Chevrolet's "Safety-Girder" X-frame design and a full-coil suspension, both introduced in the 1958 model year.