Now THIS is cool. Coming in a couple of weeks, the Leake Auction Company will be holding their Oklahoma City Auction and with it are some really interesting cars, none more so than the one you are looking at now. This is the one and only 1968 Pontiac LeMans Safari pickup ever built and it was not assembled on a factory line but instead by a New York car dealer who was trying to convince the brand that they needed something to compete with the El Camino.
The story is interesting and it is kind of a neat display of how much the world of car dealerships have changed over the years. There are many stories of manufacturers “getting the message” from their dealers building the cars they already should have been. Tasca’s creation of the Cobra Jet is but one of the most famous. In this case though, the work and the yells fell on deaf ears as the Pontiac division had no interest in pursing this project. Looking at this car, that’s a damned shame because we’re digging this hard!
Adirondack Auto Sales in Potsdam, New York built the car. They bought a new El Camino and then they bought a new four door LeMans. The only Chevrolet parts are the cab and bed assembly. Everything else is Pontiac. Engine, interior, front sheet metal, etc. We think it looks awesome. The car has a 280hp 350ci engine (the 2bbl version) and was designed to show what a mass production model could look like.
Imagine one with a Ram Air engine and a four speed and now you’ve really got our crank spinning! Perhaps GM figured as soon as Pontiac got one Olds and Buick would need one too and that there was not enough market to support all of them? What’s your take?