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Freak Show Friday: The Difference Between Creating and Designing

There’s a big difference between creating and designing. We hear many times, “That’s different!” But being different does not make it good design. Different can be very good, but it is not exclusively one way or the other. For this week’s Freak Show Friday we present two very different El Camino-like creations. You can decide whether they are good design or merely, well, merely freaks. 

The “Trans Camino” is some 1980s show car we are not familiar with. Sorry to those who created it and thought it would be immortal, we’ve never seen nor heard of it. But sometimes fresh eyes find things compelling so not being on our radar doesn’t make it immediately bad. 

The show car Freak Show circuit is crammed with cars of questionable taste

An El Camino with Firebird front clip and rear end in candy apple red

The show car circuit is crammed with cars of questionable taste its creators find on a level with God’s work. It’s a weird kind of bubble that exists within the fringes of car enthusiasm. This example is obviously the creation of one of those who have taken in the Kool-Aid intravenously.

An El Camino with Firebird front clip front 3/4 view

It is fashioned from a 1973-77 El Camino with a Firebird clip and rear end mudded into the main body. Especially the rear gets a bit wonky but the Firebird front clip ties in well. You can’t win them all. Wire wheels, chrome side exhaust, and awkward graphics pin this as a 1980s dreamboat. Or nightmare-you decide. Obviously, the builder has never heard of “stance” but we figure with candy Brandywine paint, wire wheels, and gorpy graphics, the stance is just another realm that is too difficult to wrap their brains around.

RELATED: The First Outrageous Chevy El Caminos

El Camino with Firebird front clip and rear with bikini babe

Our second Freak is a more current version of the previous 1980s Freak fright. Not to infer they are the same car because they are not. But they fall victim to the same imagination or lack thereof. We must give credit to this exercise because we are baffled as to what this started as. We are also baffled as to what it finished as.

The end result from a design perspective is a freak show but the execution is superb

A 1980s car turned into an El Camino-like truck

But it does exhibit some extremely crafty paint and finish quality. In Freakland those are normally mutually exclusive. So while the end result from a design perspective is questionable at best the execution is superb. Questionable and superb; I’ve never used those two words in the same sentence. Actually, I’ve never used those words in the same post.

On a side note, we see that wherever this is registered it uses “Antique Auto” registration. We hate to stir things up but this is a late model-something. Though we can’t determine what it started as we can agree that it is not an antique. 

What do both of these extreme efforts into making a car/truck portend?

an 80s car turned into a pickup truck in a parking lot

So, what do both of these extreme efforts into making a car/truck portend? That enthusiasts of all stripes want an El Camino/Ranchero they can personalize and enjoy. We have had none since 1987 when the last Chevy El Camino was produced. Ford killed its Ranchero a little earlier in 1979. When individuals are willing to go to these extremes to have the car/truck of their dreams it should signal to car manufacturers that there is a pent-up demand for such a vehicle.

Hyundai is closing in on the Santa Cruz which is a four-door version of an El Camino for the 2020s. If it sells well we may see more as certain crossovers and SUVs are ripe to make into a pickup version. Until then we’ll champion the fight with an occasional Freak Show Friday car/truck to heat things up.