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How Rare are 1958 Cameos?

This was the end of the series! It is said the 1957 year would have ended production for this “Boulevard” pickup. Their unique bed was why they continued about 6 months into the next production year.

GM either had too many complete beds in stock or they were locked into a contract with the outside bed producer. Either way, GM did not want to send most of their expensive beds to the land fill or be sued by the bed factory for not buying the agreed number.

Thus we have a 1958 Cameo to help dispose of the oversupply of complete beds. The result was a total 1958 Cameo production of 1,405 units produced in just a few factories, not the six assembly lines during the other three years.  This was not enough Cameos to supply one to each dealer!

All this occurred because there were too many beds. It even caused GM to postpone the plans to introduce their new deluxe full trim fleetside pick up until 1959!

To help the Chevrolet dealers from having two designs of half ton deluxe pickups in 1958, the new trim design was held back until the next year. Without GM doing this, the 1958 Cameo would really have been difficult to sell.  For about the same money the style conscious retail buyer would not look twice at a 1958 Cameo when a new updated deluxe Fleetside ½ ton was available.

In this way dealers were given time to reduce their inventory rather than GM giving the dealers a percent off the unsold Cameos. This helped sales of the new last year Cameos.  This would not have been good for the three years of previous Cameo owners that had paid the full retail price.  All this, because these- too many- remaining beds postponed the plans to introduce the new Deluxe Fleetside pickup.

What is an unrestored 1958 Cameo price in today’s market? It’s like most any limited survival item. It is what the market will bare at any particular time.

Look at the attached photos of Scott Phaneuf’s recent 1958 Cameo purchase. To most it would be a total loss other than maybe the bed.  This will be Scott’s 6th ground-up restoration of a 1958 Cameo (he still has them all) and an expert in his field; he knows what he can do to make it a show quality restoration.  Saved from the landfill!

Another item of interest about Scott’s Cameo Fleet: How do you get your four best 1958 Cameos to a car show? It’s easy!  You restore a 1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100 tractor and a 1964 four vehicle carrier and all arrives at the same time.  Photos to follow!

Note: If you really like very rare GM trucks, watch for a 1958 GMC Suburban Carrier. It has the same bed, cab, and differential.  Less than 500 found new owners 60 years ago.


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