By on May 14, 2011

It started as a flippant Twitter comment, in which GM Global Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick agreed to champion a return for the “El Camino” if 100,000 potential buyers raised their hands for it. Smelling an opportunity for some publicity, Jalopnik quickly picked up on the “challenge” and urged readers to leave a comment in support of the trucklet. At first Ewanick tried to hedge, saying he needed 100k deposits, rather than blog comments, to approve an El Camino for the US market. But now the former Hyundai marketer has taken Jalopnik’s challenge to Chevy’s Facebook page, giving a surprising amount of credibility for a “challenge” that began with a throwaway tweet. What makes Chevy’s endorsement of the “El Camino Challenge” even more surprising: the total lack of apparent enthusiasm.

According to the most recent update at Jalopnik’s post, only about  3,800 El Camino fans have taken the time to voice their support (although more have reportedly raised their hands on Facebook). Since we can’t independently verify the current count, we’ll refrain from reading too much into what appears to be a fairly disappointing response… especially since GM may have to bring an El Camino to the US whether hordes of enthusiasts get worked up about it or not: after all, with CAFE going up, GM has to either offer smaller, more-efficient pickups or face the exotic, expensive alternatives. Which is actually a good thing. An enthusiast and ironic-nostalgia-driven El Camino (which I’d imagine as an imported, V8-powered Holden Maloo) might enjoy a brief fad (or, based on the hand-raiser numbers, not), but would ultimately flop (hello SSR). Meanwhile a basic, inexpensive, utilitarian-oriented El Camino could offer a uniquely efficient way to help truck-loving Americans out of their $100 fill-up fatigue. While giving  GM an opportunity to escape its old Hummer-dominated anti-green image.

In short, fear not enthusiasts: even if the “Draft El Camino” movement fails to reach 100,000 hand-raisers (or, at this point, even 10k), GM will probably bring some kind of “ute” (as they’re known in Oz) to the US at some point. You just have be patient and let CAFE force GM into bringing the products you really want. Bet you never thought you’d read that sentence, did you?

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83 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Search For El Camino Edition...”


  • avatar

    Maybe an EL CRUZO would fit the bill.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      That is exactly what I was thinking. RWD V8 trucks already exist. Something along the lines of a pickup version of the Transit Connect would be ideal for me.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Kind of like a Rabbit Pickup, circa 1979?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @th009: Bingo! More like what GM already sells in South America, the Chevy Montana. Based on the FWD Opel Corsa (I think) platform with an open bed, like the Pickup and the Rampage. If gasoline stays above $4/gallon, this will be the template for the next daily use pickup truck.

    • 0 avatar

      That could be it. Though in Brazil,land of these mini trucklets, the Chevy Montana is left in the dust of the likes of Fiat’s Stada and VW’s Saveiro.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        The outdated Montana must be soon to be replaced seeing the success of the Fiat Strada and VW Saveiro. It would be Great to buy one in the US. It can cover the market as a replacement for the soon to be missed base 4 CYL Ford Ranger. The market is soon to notice that the only small truck is the Toyota Tacoma and maybe the Ford Transit Connect. The $3.5-4.5 gas price is not going to really leave. As a home owner I can see my neighbor’s being able to utilize a sub 20K commuter pint size truck with enough cargo capacity for small job’s around the house and little to zero towing capacity. Low Price, FWD & Gas Mileage are the advantages over on the 4CYL 4WD Tacoma. There are lot’s of people out there that could and would use these pint size Trucks if only they were marketed to them.
        Thinking of it, what is stopping Fiat from RAMing the Saviero into us fleet? It would work wonders on their corporate mile average…
        BTW there is a business case for the El-Camino as the Australian arm already paid for the development. If a sister arrives a Caprice we are good on costs. I can’t wait to see the first SEMA treatments…

      • 0 avatar

        Rental Man if you’re interested, read my thoughts on the Montana in the following links. It has been renovated and it sucks. It even brought down a GM do Brasil president.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/gm-do-brasil-clueless-and-rudderless/

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/gm-do-brasil%e2%80%99s-new-mini-truck-big-change-no-gain-why-is-gm-so-shy/

        and if you like you can read the next one on the Peugeot mini truck and my comparo Strada X Saveiro. follow links below

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/09/vw-and-peugeot-do-brasil-we%e2%80%99ve-got-the-pickup-blues/

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/brazilian-brawl-battle-of-the-mighty-mini-pickups/

      • 0 avatar

        Rental Man, the current Tacoma is no smaller than the current GM Colorado/Canyon. But I do agree there is a market for a Transit Connect sized pick up truck. I used to own a VW Rabbit pick up, and if they had used the door from the 2 door and taken the 6″ out of the bed it would have been perfect sized. I looked longingly at the Golf III based Caddy they offered everywhere but America, but we never got it here.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Hola Marcelo! I meant the Montana as a descriptor of size and mission, not so much as the specific model. From your postings I understand the Fiat model is doing very well. I would also think that Fiat/Chrysler would be remiss if they were not going to introduce it in the US market in the next couple of years. I don’t think fuel prices will go down anytime soon, and this could be an excellent ‘segment-buster’ as they are fond of saying here in the US. Maybe VW should consider the Saviero (or even the Amarok!) for the US market too.

        I believe if the “recreational” or “occasional” truck owners could get past the mini-Freightliner obsession, it would be easy to see the clear logic of the smaller truck, like the ones in South America.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Rental Man: I’m having a hard time thinking that the Elky will have a second chance after a.) the SSR flop and b.) consistent $4/gallon gasoline. Maybe (maybe) if it was marketed at a higher level of demographic. But with the increasing CAFE regulations coming up, I remain doubtful of it’s success.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    I like the idea of an El Camino/Ranchero type vehicle. Something like that would be a perfect suburban alternative to the full-size pickup. But it would have to be something with a second row of seats. Without that it’s a niche product at best.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      The only problem with having a second row of seats is the bed then becomes too short for any real use and then there is the issue of weight when going with a 4 door variant.

      Trucks should not be the sole vehicle when a family is concerned so a standard truck, or an extended cab truck should work fine, but heck, even just bringing back the S-10/Ranger type of trucking would be better than the full sized monstrosities now being built.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Trucks usually aren’t the sole vehicle in most families but they are still needed to haul extra passengers no matter how many other vehicles are in the family. That’s why regular cab trucks sell so poorly.

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        Even a 4 foot bed is already far more capacious than any conventional trunk. With the tailgate down that’s room to spare for nearly any appliance or assembled piece of furniture.

        I wouldn’t want this kind of car without a second row, not so much for the seating which I’d use once a year but because that’s your weatherproof trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        My first thought was G8 Camino, fsck yeah!

        And then I remember that that was Lutz GM. New GM is all about foreign market FWD jellybeans with tiny I4s and EPA spec transmissions.

        Opel Camino, no thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Holden Crewman.
      http://www.rightcar.govt.nz/carimage.html?id=10497

    • 0 avatar

      Why? Why does every truck need to have seating for 5 when most times it is being driven with just one person in it? The consumer has been sold 7-8 passenger crossovers and SUVs and extended and crew cab pick ups the same way they are sold AWD and all that extra horsepower.

      You know what is enough passenger carrying capacity for me and my truck? 3 across! Now you could ask, “wouldn’t you be more comfortable with the extra passenger in the back of an extended cab?” and sure maybe I would be for the 1% of the time I have 2 passengers. But then the other 99% of the time I would be hauling around an extra 500lbs and 12″ of wheelbase, which equals less mileage and less fun to drive.

      A regular cab truck should always have split bench/buckets with the ability to carry 3 people in a pinch. There is nothing more useless than a crew cab truck with a hard cover over a carpeted bed. You know what is a better option for you mister? A Crown Victoria.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        parkwood60, some of us have a wife/spouse/co-workers/significant other, plus kids, plus friends. You can buy a regular cab pickup if you want one, but most buyers pick crew or king cabs because they have people, pets, groceries, and stuff that don’t like to ride in the rain.

        …and you may not like bed covers, but those of us who do (or have) used a pickup for actual work often don’t want our tools and other sh*t to end up in the rain, snow, or pawnshop, so bed covers can make a lot of sense. I like my $500 commercial truck tires out of sight, and I really hate slinging them around when they are full of water.

        Your idea of useless is a little off.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Huh. So I have been buying the wrong vehicle with the wrong spec’s and using it the wrong way. After all this time you would think that I would have noticed. I’m sure that all of us that use pickups for actual work will take note.

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        Passenger anxiety — similar to range anxiety with electric cars. I know that I’ll be commuting in it alone 99% of the time, but what if I were to get married and have 6 kids? What if the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader bus breaks down and the only way they can get to the game would be to catch a ride with me? Yup, better get the one with the third row.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I also would like a little room behind the seats. Not enough for a full bench, just enough to store grocery bags and other small items. And perhaps one or two fold down seats that face each other, but only as a separate model, in case you don’t need the extra space required for the seats.

      • 0 avatar

        Can’t reply to Toad, so I will write it here. When I need to go somewhere with more than 2 friends, we take the wife’s car. When I have a bunch of tools, they go in the copious space behind the seats. If I has more than that I suppose I would have a big metal lockable box back there. If I had to drive my wife and kids and pets on a service call where I installed commercial truck tires I would be staring in a reality show and most likely would have some sort of modified RV with a shop in the back.

        I need to carry motorcycles occasionally, and dirt car parts from the junk yard, but when I don’t the regular cab regular bed Chevy Colorado is plenty fun to drive with 5cyl, stick shift and factory sports package. About the only thing that would also allow me to haul around bikes as easily would be a full sized van, but that would be a PITA the majority of time when I don’t need to haul bikes.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @MikeAR: The Subaru Baja matches your description; it’s a 4-door vehicle with an open pickup bed. Since I’m trying to replace my Ranger with a family car, I was intrigued with them for a while for that reason. But I second the comments that say the bed is too small to be useful. It would require a lot of effort to secure a bunch of 8′-12′ 2x4s in a 4′ bed. That kind of cargo would likely end up on roof-racks.

      If you were to put a 6′ or 8′ bed on the Baja, then you end up with the same drawbacks as an 4-door F-150 — the thing’s just too big to drive it like it was a zippy little car.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      Perhaps the answer is a folding rear seat like the Skoda Felicia Fun (Google it)

  • avatar
    ajla

    It got me to sign up and comment on Jalopnik. That’s got to be worth something, right?

    • 0 avatar

      Eeew, with that new design, and Gawker’s stated hatred of its commenting community, I’m surprised it let you sign up or comment at all.

      The relatively few times I’ve been weak enough to click some half-way interesting sounding link someone has shared on twitter, it lands me on the damned blog post but shits that stupid, nausea-inducing right-hand headlines & ads column DIRECTLY OVERTOP THE ARTICLE TEXT dead center in my screen. I’ve stopped clicking entirely on links to Jalopnik, if something is linked and it really sounds like “world class” reporting (1x – 2x per year, tops) I’ve resigned myself to going to Jalopnik’s CANADIAN site that doesn’t suffer from reader/commenter-punishing, completely unusable design.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    They really should’ve held firm to demanding deposits – someone on the internet claiming they’d buy a car if it were in production is as meaningless as claiming they’d punch a centaur in the face if they ever met it.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      +1

      Any 15-year-old with Internet access can “Like” a page. It takes a bit more to commit to 60 months at x.xx% APR, plus tax, title and license.

      Plus, the aforementioned issue of CAFE…

    • 0 avatar
      blau

      I’d kick it in its shins, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      And even with that they’ve only had about 3,000 responses… not counting the one I wrote wondering if this was an open-ended exercise of if they are going to give up at some point.

      I did’t get a reply to my buzz kill.

  • avatar
    MrFixit1599

    Subaru Baja anyone?

  • avatar
    Doc

    I really do not think that many people would buy one of these. These are like station wagons and shooting brakes. Only a small group of very vocal people like them. In the US anyway.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Car-based pickups have always had a pretty small and fragile market niche here in the US. Even with CAFE pressures it is hard to see that changing much unless automakers experiment with new packaging ideas that catch on. (For example, the Baja had promise that was all but overwhelmed by over-the-top styling.)

    Despite Jalop’s grandstanding on the El Camino, I wouldn’t be surprised if such an entry did only marginally better than the ill-fated, Holden-based GTO. Neither the Holden coupe nor the pickup do a good job of appealing to American gearheads’ nostalgia because they are brand-engineered imports.

    Just as importantly, the Holden pickup suffers from an additional problem — its styling looks decidedly awkward because of GM bean counting. A proper El Camino would have doors that fit a car-based pickup’s unique proportions. GM instead took the cheap way out by using doors from the sedans. Looks rather dorky to me.

  • avatar

    This is the basic setup of the Honda Ridgeline; take a sedan and make a trucklet out of it. It has basic truck-like utility and many benefits of it’s car heritage.

    Based on how well it’s treated Honda, I imagine that 4k posts is actually a reasonable predictor of sales for this idea. It might suit slot of people well, but truck enthusiasts will bemoan it’s inability to compete with trucks and sedan/crossover/wagon buyers won’t be drawn in due to the sacrifices in the interior.

  • avatar

    An El Camino or Ranchero could be a great seller in the US if it is done right. The Baja would be great if it could have towed 3500 pounds. Lets get something in here that is reasonably economical, will tow, and looks decent.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      We have those. They’re called the F-150, the Silverado C-1500 and the Ram 1500. I just don’t see these utes being all that popular. The nichiest of niches.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Yes, but not everyone wants an F-150. I co-own an F-150 with a family member, and it’s a very well engineered machine and it’s the perfect tool for a lot of jobs.

        But there’s NFW I would want one as a daily-driver (unless my daily driving involved hauling heavy objects and/or tools). I live in a 1950s suburb and have a white collar job, and my (t)rusty old Ranger is too much of a truck for my purposes most of the time. If I wanted to replace the Ranger with another truck (and I really did for a long time), but they were all just too big for my purposes, so a revived El Camino would have been at the top of my list.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    car based trucks have seen their day just like station wagons

    CUVs and light trucks like the Ranger and Colorado have taken over

    even if people do not have a use for 4wd they like the look (and buy the 2wd version) or they pay a bit more for the 4wd version on the off chance they may use it

    car based trucks and station wagons have the stink of 1980s

    soon we may even see small cheap coupes going the same way!

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    Couldn’t they have picked one of the late ’60′s/early 70′s Chevelle based El Caminos to use for this campaign? I’m sorry, but those late 70′s/early 80′s were slab sided and boring looking.

  • avatar

    For those with a bad case of nostalgia, there’s this on ebay, apparently in great condition, and a bunch of others. I HAD one of these, and I suspect it’s lost in the basement.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Dinky-Toys-Chevrolet-El-Camino-/330562702109?pt=Diecast_Vehicles&hash=item4cf7128b1d

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    GM, you’ve learned nothing if you’re seriously considering an EL Camino come back. Bring back the Shovette while you’re at it, OK? Not saying there isn’t room for a fun/interesting car in your line up but… OK, how about a Fiero redo but this time don’t neuter it to protect the Camaro/Corvette from cannibalizism? The 220HP, 258Tq 2.0 I4 Ecotec Turbo DOHC VVT from the current Regal should be good. Light weight materials should but it at under 2500lbs and 35 MPG with a 0-60 in the 5 second range, based on the 3600lbs Regal’s 28 MPG hwy and 0-60 in 6.8. Sheesh, do I have to do everything for you, GM?

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You know, except for not being mid-engined, that sounds like the Solstice GXP, a car that most certainly saved GM from bankruptcy and Pontiac from the grave.

      • 0 avatar
        M 1

        My wife has a GXP. It’s a bit porkier than it ought to be, and the trunk is more dismal than it has any right to be, but it’s fun and surprisingly fast. And for a couple hundred bucks you can add about 100 HP and not even lose significant mileage.

        I’ve really started to think that the Solstice GXP is one of the best cars to come out of Chrysler in a long time…

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Heck, just build a decent-sized car that can pull my $400, folding 4′x8′ utility trailer. For years I though I “had” to own a truck for DIY projects in the course of remodeling four homes, then realized that over 95% of the time I was getting 17 mpg for the privilege of hauling a load of…air.

  • avatar

    Wait, GM actually building cars that are wanted and sell?

    That turns the Pontiac Aztek to the now CRV, instead of the Minivan abomination that was sold.

    The Roger Smith Era of badge-engineering prevails and no bean counter can realize that cross badged SportTruck/El Camino or even the now dead Holden GTO sold numbers that in turn turned to other sales.

    Instead Ford is now selling more than GM and except for GE and US Motor Fleets no one is buying Volts (recalled within the last week).

    Nice effort for Media attention but will not get anywhere after the first of June.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    “But it would have to be something with a second row of seats. ”

    ? this would ruin it. This would either make it much heavier to have much less cargo room.

    This is like saying people would buy a compact truck – if only they’d add two rows of seats, make it tow 1,500 lb, have ground clearance of 18″, and be 8′ tall. The Ford F350 is actually a compact pickup with all these features.

    Seriously though – one thing that made the old El Camino work was a bench seat, this way you could seat 3 in a pinch. Nowadays we are more safety conscious, want more personal space, and think bend seats are not sporty.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Think about it – American Truck V8 Power w/ 1000 lb less weight, lower CG, and better aerodynamics.

    Better performance and handling – check. Uses less gas – check.

    Helps GM with silly CAFE rules (trucks have own set of standards, so even if not great MPG for a car better than Silverado).

    Anyway back to that bench seat: I want mine perfectly flat, full width, and black vinyl. To bring back memories of my youth I also request they use same plastisizor so it has same smell (EPA willing)

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    How bout an Equinox with a slight lowering job, two doors, two seats, and a honest to god unitbody bed? Yeah the proportions would be a little strange but that’s for the designers to hammer out.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Avalanch-izing (Midgate FTW!) the Theta platform is probably the most commercially viable idea, but it would also be a pretty big stretch to call that vehicle an El Camino.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    why can’t they design interiors like this anymore?

    *
    *

    http://www.superchevy.com/features/truckselcamino/sucp_0806_1969_chevy_el_camino/photo_06.html

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      They can, but today there aren’t enough people willing to buy them.

      I miss the vinyl-and-rubber interior of my ’83 GMC Sierra – you could practically hose the entire thing out (and I did hose the floor out a couple of times). But for every “W/T” truck sold to non-fleet buyers, there are several times that many sold in the plusher trim levels.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Edward, Holden’s ute is sold down here with a 3.0 V6 (basic), 3.6 V6 (SV6) or 6/6.2 lt V8 (SS, SSV, SSV Red-Line). If fuel economy is a concern, any of the V6 might do. It also has IRS and can be had with a cool tonneau cover

    The Maloo you mention is built by HSV.

    I think you ‘Murricans may like it. I’ve seen SS versions loaded with plumber stuff, cement bags and overall used as work vehicles. I’ve seen them towing.

    Oz is not the only place where car-based pick ups are popular. As Marcelo has said many times, they’re highly popular in Brazil too.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    It would require some sensational styling for it to work these days.

    Forget about the ‘utility’ or functional aspects of the design. If folks were so concerned about that, they would all drive smaller cars and co-own utility trailers.

    The questions from my perspective is whether they have a platform that can make it a success. I just don’t see that out there at the moment.

    You can opt for a Caprice / El Camino combination with the Holden derived underpinnings. As Ed mentioned, the price would be far too much. The other option is to just lower the next gen Colorado and perhaps adapt some items that are common elsewhere in the GM ute universe.

    I can see that as a nice way to get the Colorado/Canyon some attention and make the economics work. If you do this, make it a nice flowing design, and get a good V8 under the hood, the El Camino can sell.

    But THAT is a lot to ask for…

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      “Forget about the ‘utility’ or functional aspects of the design. If folks were so concerned about that, they would all drive smaller cars and co-own utility trailers.”

      Since when does “utility” have to be mutually exclusive of comfort and convenience?

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Could GM partner up with a fleet buyer, say U-Haul or Penske, to bring over a bunch of One Tonners? That would be a great way to introduce people to the utility of a low mounted tray bed. Plus, it would have that Eric Cartman “This is so great, no you can’t have it!!!” thing going on, like what GM is doing with the Caprice.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I don’t think bringing back the El Camino, or Ranchero, is a bad idea at all. Such a vehicle would have as much or more utility that a compact PU, and be more comfortable.

    Build it on a platform that can accept an I4 or a variety of V6s and nearly everyone could be satisfied with the power/economy.

    Serious towing wouldn’t happen w/o BOF construction, but there are enough choices for serious towing already.

    I’d say build them on the Malibu/Fusion.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I’d buy a new el camino – ei malibino – in a heartbeat!

  • avatar
    NewLookFan

    A new El Camino smells too much like the SSR. Didn’t GM learn anything in the last 10 years? With gas at $4.00 a gallon, how about a new compact pickup, with modern good looks (not a Colorado), and a modern, RELIABLE, efficient powertrain (not an S-10)! And I don’t mean a mid-size truck. And how about something designed to go 10 years/ 150K? Surprise me, GM!!!

  • avatar
    roger628

    They didn’t even come close sot selling 100,000 a year even at the peak of it’s popularity. I don’t have figures handy, but I can tell you right now it was never 100,000.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      You’re correct; I can only access what’s on the Internet – so take it with a grain of salt – but it appears that the peak year of production was 1973, when just under 72,000 were built (and that number includes a handful of GMC Sprints).

      Average production from 1964 to 1981 was just under 50,000 units per year, before the numbers really fell in 1982. I remember this event, and why it happened: The S-10 was introduced. It was about the same size, the same or better capacity, choice of two cab and bed sizes…and the biggest advantage of all was that it cost less.

      Another plus the S-10 offered was the separate cab and bed. Companies such as my Dad’s loved El Caminos for when managers needed to make sales calls and deliver small loads, but Elkies were a bear to repair after collisions, or when the body flexed from being overloaded (which happened more often than one would think).

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I can’t think of a better hobbycar for my situation right now than a ’68 el Camino with the 230 straight six (for fuel economy) and a three speed manual tranny. I’d keep my Hyundai for the daily driving stuff and fire up the elMino when I needed another bag of pine shavings or some mulch. I had to rent a u-Haul last week to move some furniture I needed, and by the time they got through with their add-ons and fees, the advertised price for the truck was a mockery. Talk about bait and switch.

  • avatar

    This isn’t gonna happen. No matter how much hype GM or Jalopnik or any other entity generates, this isn’t gonna happen. The El Camino will end up in the same slow-selling niche cubbyhole as the SSR. Too many people out there who don’t see the point of a two-door car with an open bed, too few people who’d actually buy one and too many people who’d be just fine with a four-door “Crew Cab” pickup with a truncated bed.

    Take a look at the F-150 with the Ecoboost engine. That’s the direction Ford and other truck makers are going. And it makes the idea of the El Camino or any other car-based pickup as a “fuel-efficient alternative” a moot one.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      To which I will add that making an “F-100″ lighter smaller scaled version of an F-150 would stand a better chance of more sales at a much reduced cost of development. I hope the Ecoboost success will make the marketing folks realize that constantly up sizing girth and capabilities has rendered the pickup of today “too much” truck for the large majority of buyers…

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        For some owners, the F-150 is already a scaled down version of the F-250 and would not or could not accept anything with less capabilities, meaning an “F-100″. It would be easier to park but that’s about it. Capabilities, leg/head/passenger room aside, it would cost about the same and get the same MPG by the time they scale down the engines. I’d have to go back to F-250s.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @DenverMike: “For some owners, the F-150 is already a scaled down version of the F-250″

        How much of the market is that? The F-150 is too $&#* big for me, and probably a lot of other people, too. Sounds to me like a variety of truck sizes should be available for a variety of folks who have different tasks for their vehicles. My old Ranger won’t pull a gooseneck horse trailer or a 5th wheel RV, but I’ve never needed or wanted to do either of those things — so I just don’t need an F-250 or F-350. The F-150 is an excellent full-sized truck, but not everybody needs a full-sized truck — I certainly don’t.

        I’m a suburban DIYer. What I need for DIYing is a vehicle with a useful 4′x8′ cargo area. Weight capacity isn’t a big issue (though I have used the full 1000lbs capacity of my Ranger once or twice). Most minivans have a cargo area that’s something like 3’47-7/8″x7’11″, which just doesn’t cut it when you’re hauling plywood, drywall, or especially MDF (which is 4’1″x8’1″). The F-150 and the Chevy Astro van are the smallest vehicles that seem offer this kind of capability, and one is way overkill for my needs and the other is too fugly to park in my driveway. I considered the Transit Connect, but I’m more likely to go with an Impreza or a pre-2009 Outback with a $400 folding utility trailer,

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Luke42,

      Even though the F-150 is way too big for you, current owners seem happy with its size, or else why would they buy it? Would those that suggest a scaled down F-100 actually buy one? You maybe caught between a Ranger and an F-150 but you maybe also be niche buyer similar to El Camino buyers. Ideally Ford should build an F-100 and keep making the F-150 as usual (plus a Ranger with 2nd row seating) but if the F-150 as it sits today, was cancelled, I, like possibly most current owners, would end up with a Silverado or F-250.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @DenverMike: “Even though the F-150 is way too big for you, current owners seem happy with its size, or else why would they buy it?”

        Thanks for the tautology…

        The F-150 that I co own is driven by a family member who is quite happy with its size and capabilities, and she actually does use it for things that you couldn’t easily do in another vehicle. I don’t see the truck much, though, because it spends most of its time traversing unimproved roads in some the 3rd-world parts of the US.

        So, the F-150 is a great truck. But, if Ford wants to sell my family an additional truck, it’s going to be something smaller than an F-150. Unfortunately, the Ranger is being discontinued and hasn’t been updated significantly since the 1998 Ranger that’s in my driveway. I’ve looked at the Colorado, and it’s OK, but nothing special without a diesel. I wasn’t arguing that the F-150 is a bad truck; it’s an excellent vehicle. I was saying that I don’t want one, despite its excellence. It’s just not the right tool for the hauling that I do.

        American manufacturers are doing a great job supplying trucks to people who need full sized trucks and above, and they really do make great trucks. They’re just ignoring guys like me, and hoping they can upsell us to the F-150 Office Worker Edition — despite the fact that we only need a fraction of its capabilities. An El Camino like vehicle would be a much better match.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Luke42,

      “F-150 Office Worker Edition” That’s hilarious but so often true. I would prefer an F-200 which Ford kinda made early century (niche). It was an F-150 with 7,700 GVW.

      Just bought a ’99 F-250 CrewCab XLT diesel 4X4 because people are almost giving them away. Bought it sight-unseen for a negotiated $4,300. Everything works great just like he said (shocking) but it’s exactly what I need to fill the gap. I mean I’m sure as heck not getting one of those new ($50k & up).

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Perhaps they could license build the Ford Ute? I mean it carries a genuine 1 tonne in the separate tray, never been seen in the USA, so it won’t enrage the Chevy drivers who think they are buying a Pontiac. It can have a “super cab” option, hi lift suspension and GM could fit what ever drive trains it likes. Stranger things have happened. Because GM seems to be a designer of cars nobody want, and an importer of everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      My devil’s advocate idea would be for Ford to bring the Falcon ute in to replace the Ranger – they are just about to release the 2.0 Ecoboost, almost swapped the 3.5/3.7 V6 for the Aussie 4.0 inline and have a supercharged version of the 5.0V8. It has a separate bed & rear frame rails, many are sold with a tray top or other work body. Up to 2800lb load & 5200lb towing. No lhd version now but has been package-protected for easy conversion.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    They could have got their 100k replies if they hadn’t gone over to their horrible 5.0 system.

    Meanwhile, 3,800 replies is good for page views ++, which has been on a steady decline as of late.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I was just thinking the real story here is Jalop’s failure to pull even interesting numbers, whereas the old original probably could have made an impression…

      100K is a pipe-dream though. That has to be something like two years’ worth of Elky sales back when they were available and even popular…

  • avatar

    http://i56.tinypic.com/dhbivm.jpg took this picture yesterday

  • avatar
    rpol35

    The story, supposedly, is that the Holden Ute will be redesigned for the 2014 model year and it will come to the U.S. in late 2013 as a replacement for the Canyon/Colorado which goes away after the 2012 model year.

    CAFE is driving a lot of the decision because the Ute can deliver decent fuel mileage (sans the 6.2 litre motor) and good carrying capacity and towing ability (RWD). Don’t know about the “El Camino” moniker.

    As I mentioned, “supposedly”; stay tuned I guess.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Isn’t the El Camino supposed to be a modified Malibu? That may make sense, but I haven’t read or heard anybody anywhere asking for this. Does Chevyland want an El Camino? I have been on-and-off about them, and the only time one of these would’ve floated my boat was in 1967 when the stunning 1968 model was introduced, especially the SS 396! But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!

    At my father’s funeral in 1978, an old friend came to the visitation in the down-sized 1978 edition. While I liked it – sort of – the magic was long gone by then of the concept.

    Is it time for a re-introduction? Hmmm…

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    It started as a flippant Twitter comment.

    Enough said.

  • avatar

    There is a car design that needs to be produced.. but it’s not an el camino. It’s a muscle car in the shape of an old school wagon, only with a 3 position easy fold down MIDGATE and under BED TRUNK. over the bed a Baja like tubular cage. The bed is hard watertight plastic. RWD using Ultracaps from for high torque axceleratino and a small FWD 4 cylinder combustion for crusing speeds. The ultracaps are mainly sourced by Flywheel Brake assist, but also by the 4 cylinder as needed. Midsized, Two door, 5-6 passengers, 300hp, 4000lb towing, 40mpg city.. yes 40!

    Something like this:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FISV-un62KU/TmCtKRFRlvI/AAAAAAAAC3s/BqtS9QNta7w/s800/muscle_wagon.png


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