21 March 2008

El Camino (Sur)Real


It's a car. No, it's a truck. Whatever it is, it's back.

General Motors has jumped into the auto industry's retro trend, unveiling a half-pickup, half-muscle car amalgamation bearing a striking resemblance to a long-lost classic: the Chevy El Camino.

The original El Camino, along with the nearly identical GMC Caballero, has indubitably earned a niche in popular culture, with references in songs by dozens of bands, including ZZ Top, and appearances in plenty of movies and TV shows, including "My Name Is Earl." During its last three years of production, it was built in Mexico. The band Ween called it an "Aztec machine speeding to the light."

But much of the affection has fallen into the tongue-in-cheek variety, and Nerad wonders if the car will appeal only to those who might have owned an El Camino, say, 25 years ago. "Maybe you're just mining that vein and then the vein runs dry," he said.

I'm queer for El Caminos. You want vein? Take it. Make mine red to offset the pallor brought on by no blood.

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