Back in April, GM Authority covered a custom fifth-gen Chevy Camaro set to receive a full pickup / ute conversion from Casados Design in Birmingham, Alabama. When we left off, the Camaro was coming together nicely, with a new rear bed section that gave the muscle car some distinct El Camino vibes. Now, GM Authority has an exclusive update on this “El Camaro” build.
In an recent interview with GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft, Casados Design boss Adrian Casados outlined some of the details of the El Camaro build, as well as the shop itself.
Casados Design specializes in one-off high-end coachwork and custom metal shaping, exclusively serving customers looking for top-shelf builds. Think a quarter million dollars and above. In addition to body work, the shop also works on engines and drivetrains, with interior work being the only facet left out of the Casados Design wheelhouse.
This particular Chevy Camaro build is based on a fifth-gen model from the 2010 model year. The customer approached Casados looking for a tough, muscle-car aesthetic, but with a Holden-esque ute body in back. The customer also insisted on creating something GM might build today, rather than settle for something that “looked” like a custom build.
Although Casados suggested that the customer go with something else for the platform, such as a Dodge Charger, the customer insisted that the build be based on the Chevy Camaro, while also stating that the wheelbase should remain unaltered. As such, turning the coupe into a ute would result in significant rear overhang, challenging Casados to make the final product look cohesive.
To that end, the build incorporates traditional metal-shaping techniques using an English wheel. As it just so happens, Casados previously apprenticed for Aston Martin, and incorporated the same techniques in creating the new El Camaro.
The starter car was an SS model with the LS3 V8 engine and manual transmission. The fuel tank was left in the factory position, while the bed is a relatively short 4-feet by 5-feet. The trunk and backseat of the Chevy Camaro were tied into the new bed substructure. The bed itself extends past the original crash bumper by about 18 inches.
The tailgate is also completely functional. Casados sourced components from the 2007 and 2008 Chevy Silverado, including the handle, latch assembly, and hinges.
The quarter panels were all built by hand using an English wheel without a buck, extending out 8 feet and keeping the shape of the factory originals (albeit extended).
Now, the El Camaro is set for painting, slated to receive a shade of factory silver, while riding on the factory wheels. We can’t wait to see it when it’s all done.