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What Do You Make Of This Bullet-Nosed Studebaker…er…Wait, El Camino?!

What Do You Make Of This Bullet-Nosed Studebaker…er…Wait, El Camino?!

The email was simply titled, “I’ve got nothing.” All that was in there was a link to a Hemmings For Sale ad. Hemmings isn’t like Craigslist, there’s some standards to uphold, so I hadn’t properly braced myself for what I was going to see…I mean, c’mon, how bad can a 1978 Chevrolet El Camino be? You can imagine my stunned silence at the computer when the image flashed up…I was looking at a bullet-nosed Studebaker with a scallop paint job. What the…? This isn’t right.

el stude2

Since I’ve come under fire lately for being evil and mean-spirited about my Craigslist finds, let me say some nice things about…this. First off, whoever put the car together did a very nice job of integrating not only the Studebaker nose, but the side blister into the quarters as well. And they are done in fiberglass, not the heavy-gauge steel of a real bullet-nosed Studebaker, so the car hasn’t gained any weight. The colors aren’t offensive, though I will say that I’m not a fan of the red Rally wheels. The running gear is a great choice as well: a ZZ4 crate 350 hooked up to a 700R4, running to an 4.11-geared Posi-equipped rear. Plenty to like there.

el stude3


el stude5


There are a couple of downsides with the El Stude: the A/C is non-operative and the fuel gauge isn’t playing along, either. The paint is a couple of years old, the interior has been completely worked over, and the car is a driver. So, we have an honest seller, who is presenting an honest description of a car that we like most of. We aren’t too sure about the look, but it goes without saying that you won’t see another one at the car show…or anywhere else, for that matter. It’s up for sale for $17,500, if being different is your thing.

Hemmings Link: 1978 Chevrolet “El Stude”

el stude4


(Thanks to Tedly for the tip!)

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13 thoughts on “What Do You Make Of This Bullet-Nosed Studebaker…er…Wait, El Camino?!

  1. Lee

    I like the car, just don’t like the color combination. I can see a lot of work went into it. It is definitely unique.

  2. Nick D.

    This is actually pretty nice. I like how they blended the Stude’s quarter panels into the stock Elky sides.

  3. mooseface

    Yeah, the execution on this project is really well done. I’m also not fond of the paint, but this is no horrible hackwork monstrosity.

  4. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Well – that’s me entire digestive system vomited up – nice one Bang Shift!

    Yet another barf job executed on a Chevy – say no more!

  5. Tedly

    OK, I’ll give you guys that it’s done very well – with the exception of the dashboard. How the hell did it get that wrinkled up??? And the off color gauge pod on the A-pillar. And… Let’s just leave it at the interior is not the strong point of the car.

    OK, so the body is done well. Everything is blended together fairly seamlessly, obviously a lot of time and effort went into this. Except the fitment of the hood. Those are some pretty horrendous gaps. And even though the work was done well, the nose simply doesn’t flow with the rest of the car. The quarter panel bulges flow surprisingly well with the lines of the bed. It simply does not look right though.

    The body simply does not flow together in any way, shape, or form. It’s just as bad as those shoebox Ford/Thunderbird hybrids, or the 57 Chevy/Vette ones. It just doesn’t look right. At all.

    Another case of “That’s a lot of time and effort to end up with… That.”

    1. Tedly

      I can deal with the blood red color, I actually like that. It’s all the other things that make me twitch.

  6. Ted

    Seen one of these this weekend at a local car show. At first I just thought it was hack up, but then I realized what was going on. It wasn’t all that bad. I don’t like these mash ups though.

  7. elcaminogirl59

    Ummmm……… Looks like an Elco mated with a bullfrog. Although it has the same motor and trans as my Elco, 350 & 700R4, don’t know if I would be seen driving it.

  8. Steven Elkins

    Kits for these were apparently produced by someone. I have seen several of these over the years.

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