Skip Black was the original owner of this truck and he special ordered it through Jerry Nuzum Chevrolet in Uniontown, PA in early 1984. Based on the vehicle’s build sheet, the truck was completed 4/25/84 and scheduled to be at Choo Choo Customs on 5/3/84 for a Super Sport facelift. The customization process was completed and Choo Choo attached a re-certification label dated May 1984 on the door jam and invoiced the work to Jerry Nuzum Chevrolet on 6/16/84. Skip must have gotten anxious to get the truck because someone from the Chevy dealership picked it up and drove it instead of trailering it from Chattanooga to Uniontown.
According to a letter Mr. Black wrote about the truck, he states that he is the original owner and that he, “… drove it for a short time”. At some point after owning the SS Mr. Black saw a picture of the IROC-S trucks that Choo Choo Customs were building for the 1985 model year and decided he had to have one. He made an arrangement through the Chevy dealer to have the truck he bought upgraded to an IROC-S model.
Terry Rutherford a Choo Choo employee at the time recalls that Chevrolet projected that they could sell 25 IROC-S special editions yet, only received orders for 14. He also recalled a truck coming back to the custom shop for an upgrade to the IROC-S version. That truck belonged to Mr. Black. Each of the fourteen IROC-S trucks
received a brass dash plaque stating the number of completion and owners name.
According to the website IROC-S.com 15 dash plaques were issued. The first one went to the original pace truck and the remaining fourteen were issued to eleven 1985 models and three 1986 models. Plaque number 15 was issued to Hubert Benson’s 1986 model from North Carolina. This is in conflict with the #15 dash plaque that ended up on Mr. Black’s IROC-S.
Choo Choo Customs issued Mr. Blacks second re-certification tag for the truck in March of 1986. This was probably fairly close to the end of the production run for the IROC-S conversions. Due to the fact that Mr. Blacks IROC-S was a redo of a previous SS conversion, it did not receive a dash plaque from Choo Choo Customs when the job was completed. So, this poses the question, Where did the #15 dash plaque come from on Mr. Black’s IROC-S.
If you read between the lines in Mr. Black’s letter about the truck, he was probably a really good customer of Jerry Nuzum Chevrolet and Mr. Black had the dealer handle all the details of the IROC-S conversion. There was probably an expectation that when the truck came back from Choo Choo it would have a dash plaque on it, but it didn’t. I am going to speculate that when the truck came back to the dealer without the dash plaque the dealer went to the local trophy shop and had one made and glued it on to the dash.
Why is this plausible? If you look closely at the dash plaque you will notice that the word ‘Camino’ is mis-spelled. The engraver left out the ‘N’ and spelled the word “Camio”. This is a detail that would not have been overlooked at Choo Choo Customs, it was a detail overlooked at the dealer and apparently not noticed by Mr. Black.
It is somewhat humorous but doesn’t lesson the vehicle’s value. It is after all the only 1984 El Camino SS to receive the IROC-S conversion from Choo Choo Customs, which makes this particular truck, ‘One of One’.