Say What? Bob Lutz Says If Holden Ute Does Comes To US Shores, It Won't Be An El Camino
By: Mike Levine Posted: 08-25-07 02:17 PT
© 2007, Hans Lehmann Hidden Image

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I'm not sure what could be worse? Writing a letter to Santa about why you really, really deserve a new Magna BMX freestyle bike and never hearing back. Or gleefully opening a response from jolly old St. Nick only to have it read, "The elves know you've been wanting a freestyle bike, but if they build it for you it's not going to be a BMX!"

Uh oh.

Well, that's pretty much what happened to GM Inside News member MonaroSS when he dropped an e-mail to Mr. Claus himself at GM, Bob Lutz, after reading about the new Holden VE Ute family unveiled last week down under.

MonaroSS wrote to Mr. Lutz, "Hope the new Ute gets a more Chevy look if it goes Stateside, and Mr. Lutz wrote back, "Well, that's what we want to do, but it won't be a Chevrolet!"

Say what?

Car-based pickup fans have been hoping GM might resurrect the El Camino using the same Zeta rear-wheel-drive platform the Holden Ute shares with the upcoming 2009 Chevy Camaro.

Now that this note from Mr. Lutz has seemingly put coal in the stockings of Chevy El Camino fans, speculation has turned to which other GM brands, like Pontiac or GMC, might be rewarded with a car-based pickup.

GMC used sell a twin to the El Camino, called the Caballero, but Pontiac also had its own very brief fling with a car-based pickup in 1959 - the same year the El Camino debuted.

Only two Pontiac 'El Catalinas' were thought to have been built, and one of those was used as parts hauler around the factory. Jay Leno has an El Catalina in his collection, but it was custom built from a stock four-door Catalina sedan.

Since Pontiac's new G8 sedan will be based on Holden's Commodore, another Zeta car, it's not too far fetched to think Pontiac could have the inside track in GM's internal race for an American ute.

This is potentially disappointing news for El Camino fans, but maybe if we're all extra good this year we'll get the ute we've been waiting for.

(By the way, in researching this story, did you know that Target sells a Boys' 20" Cadillac Escalade Bike for $299? Yikes!).

Want to learn more about the history of utility-class pickups? Check out our look back at these car-based haulers.

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