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9 El Camino Like Cars Most of Us Probably Forgot About

El Camino Like Cars

Sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on why a class of car works. Or worked for as long as it did, then suddenly died.

Safe and sensible cars are fine for the zombified – The vast majority of automobiles today are an insult to the eight-year-old you that was looking forward to driving.

The coupe utility category of cars has been popular in Australia since the 1930s.

The pickup car hybrid combines the driving characteristics of a sedan with the practicality of a pickup truck.

Ford brought the concept into America with the Ranchero in 1957. Followed by Chevrolet with the El Camino two years later.

The El Camino outsold the Ranchero immediately.

Which is why in the American lexicon, like Kleenex, for lack of a better name we simply call any such car/truck like vehicle an El Camino.

The concept lasted until 1987 in America which was when Chevy built the last El Camino.

Strap yourself in as we check out some El Camino like cars from around the world.

1. Dodge Rampage/Plymouth Scamp

Dodge Rampage

image source: Pinterest

Although Ford and Chevy dominated the coupe utility segment for 30 years, the Rampage and Scamp were a thing from the Chrysler corporation for a while.

Gone was the Ford Ranchero. And while the El Camino was still a midsized vehicle.

The Rampage/Scamp are compact utilities based on the same front wheel drive platform as the Dodge Omni.

Debuting in 1982, production only lasted 3 model years.

2. Holden HSV Maloo

Holden HSV Maloo

image source: Pinterest

Utes are popular in Australia. Holden and HSV are the largest manufacturers of utes in Australia.

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These car-based trucks provide a combination of daily drivability and utility.

The Holden Ute above was in production from 2015 to 2017. You can get it in a small 3.6-liter V6. Or the vaunted 6.2-liter LS3.

Along with a pair of side vents for cooling the brakes, it features a thick steering wheel and high bolstered seats to keep you and your passenger in place during cornering.

3. Subaru Brat

Subaru Brat

image source: Pinterest

The Brat (Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter) was built from 1978 to 1987 as a response to market demand for car-like pickups.

It was a nimble little transporter with part time 4WD; great fuel economy; and open-air jump seats in the bed.

It shared its underpinnings with the Subaru Leone station wagon.

4. Subaru Baja

Subaru Baja

image source: Pinterest

Produced from 2002 to 2006, the Subaru Baja gets its name from the seriously challenging off-road racing series.

The Baja was a new range of El Camino like cars from Subaru that used the same unibody construction as the Outback.

It had a functional hood-scoop, and the interior was similar to the Legacy lineup.

But just like the Brat it wasn’t too long before Subaru pulled the plug, ending production in 2006.

5. Toyota Crown Pickup

Toyota Crown Pickup

image source: Pinterest

The Crown is Toyotas oldest nameplate. They were mostly upmarket sedans built in Japan for the Australian market.

The pickup was built on the S40 and S50 models of Crowns in the 1960s like this RS46 example.

These were utilitarian vehicles designed to deal with light commercial duties. They’re something of a collector’s item today.

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6. Toyota Corona Pickup

Toyota Corona Pickup

image source: Pinterest

A rarity for El Camino like cars is the fact that you could get the Toyota Corona Pickup as either a two door (like this 1967 example) or four door.

Introduced to the Japanese market in 1964, the Corona line was made up five different layouts including this pickup version.

Although they were also offered in South Africa and Australia, they weren’t really seen much in the States.

7. Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck

Volkswagen Sport Truck

image source: Pinterest

The funky little VW Pickup was the People’s Car’s answer to the Chevy El Camino.

With a production run rivaling the Rampage and the Scamp, it was only offered from 1981-1983.

The Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup got many treatments form the GTI including gauge clusters and bucket seats.

The 3 spoke steering wheel is from the Mk1 Scirocco. It shared the same chassis with, you guessed it, the Volkswagen Rabbit.

8. Datsun Sunny Truck

Datsun Sunny Truck

image source: Pinterest

We love this thing. The B120 was a commercial truck that debuted in 1971.

It’s fun to drive. Based on the B110 car passenger car chassis, the Sunny truck used the same running gear from the Datsun 1200 cars.

It’s very basic with a strong following for drifters. There have been very few changes made to it during its production run which ended in 1994.

Find out more about this Hakosuka treated Nissan Sunny Truck.

9. Toyota pB Open Deck

Toyota pB Open Deck

image source: Pinterest

The Toyota pB is based on the Scion xB, which itself is based on the Toyota Yaris platform.

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Scion was Toyota’s failed branding exercise with designs and pricing meant to appeal to the youth of the day.


The youth of the day couldn’t afford Scion’s offerings. I remember because I was one of those the brand was meant to appeal to.

I wanted a Scion TC but couldn’t make it work with my budget.

The Scion brand was summarily scuttled. The pB was only offered in Japan.

It stuck around for just two model years before it was discontinued two years before we got the Scion xB in America.