This Junkyard-Found 1975 Chevrolet El Camino Is a One-of-None Laguna Pickup

1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find 8 photos
Photo: Classic Ride Society/YouTube
1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find1975 Chevrolet El Camino junkyard find
Introduced as a competitor to the Ford Ranchero, the Chevrolet El Camino arrived in 1959, was discontinued in 1960, and returned to showrooms from 1964 to 1987. It's been more than 30 years since the nameplate went into the history books, and I'm still hoping it will return at some point. I know it won't happen, but I can't help myself - the El Camino was a really cool rig.
The first-gen model, based on the full-size Brookwood wagon, was particularly pretty. Then things got hot when the badge returned in 1964 as part of the Chevelle lineup. Who can forget the mean and fast 1970 SS 454 LS6, right?

The fourth- and fifth-gen El Camino aren't as appealing in terms of performance, but they're also great options if you're into classics from the Malaise Era. But while I'm a fan of the G-body version and its boxy appearance, I can't even look at the fourth-gen version of 1973 to 1977. The frog-eyed front fascia is downright ugly.

That's one El Camino I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. Or if I have no choice but to drive one, I'd do a front-end swamp. As one owner did with the 1975 El Camino you see here. Confused? Well, what you're looking at is a fourth-gen ute that got a Chevy Laguna face transplant.

A short-lived nameplate, the Laguna was introduced in 1972 as a top-of-the-line trim to the Chevelle series. It slotted above the Malibu, and it came with quite a few extras inside and out. More importantly, it looked notably different than the Chevelle.

Not only did it not have the frog-eye-style front fascia when it debuted for the 1973 model year, but Chevrolet gave it a big makeover in 1975. The redesign included a slanted, aero-style front end. Developed with NASCAR racing in mind, the aerodynamic fascia turned the Laguna into one of the sleekest automobiles in showrooms at the time. And I think it's quite pretty compared to most US vehicles from the era.

This junkyard-found El Camino proves the car-based pickup would have looked much better with a Laguna S3 front clip. Sure, the transplant we see here is a terrible hack job, but a seamless conversion is totally doable. And I've seen quite a few flawless modifications over the years, so I'm not the only one rooting for Laguna pickups.

This car is in pretty bad shape and not worth saving (unless you're willing to pour a considerable amount of cash into it), but there's a big pool of 1970s Lagunas and El Caminos to choose from out there. Specifically, Chevy made nearly 250,0qw00 fourth-gen utes and about 109,000 Lagunas.

Would you drive a Laguna-faced El Camino? Hit the play button below and let me know in the comments.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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