Sunday, June 10, 2007

El Benzo

This beautiful ride was spotted by my brother at the Thirteenth Annual German Carfest in downtown St. Paul.

Its license plate reads: "EL BENZO" -- an obvious homage to the Chevy El Camino. What's so striking about this car, after you recover from the fact that you're looking at a vintage Mercedes Benz that has been turned into a pick-up truck, is that it was done so well.

For a history of El Benzo's predecessor, Benzomino, visit Karl H. Middelhauve's MB GRand 600 Restoration website. Here's what Middelhauve wrote about the birth of the Benzomino:
The concept to build a car like this had been born during the 2004 M-100 Group Meet in St. Louis, while talking to Paul Bracq, designer of the Mercedes Benz Grand 600.

The seed germinated in the liking of a Chevy El Camino, 1969, SS 396 big block V-8 with high lift cams, racing exhaust headers, 440 transmission, and posi-traction rear.
The sick beauty of these pick-up bed Benzes, then, is that the man who designed them is the one of the men who designed the original Mercedes Benz that the Benzomino and El Benzo is based on, the 600. Paul Bracq went on to work for BMW in the 1970s.

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