The Hollywood fame enjoyed by the Bandit Pontiac Trans Am means that the Poncho has lent its aura to machines that have little to do with muscle cars—this modern Chevy Silverado “Bandit” that fetched $286,000 during an auction held earlier this year is an example as good as any. And, speaking of quirky Pontiacs, trucks, and auction blocks, we missed this six-wheeled Trans Am pickup truck when it was seeking a new owner back in June. However, we feel that the machine, which is known as Trans Camino, is fully worthy of our attention.
The starting point for this build was a 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA. And while the gamers among you might instantly think of a little Rockstar title, that badge stood for a Gran Turismo Americano. Introduced for the said model year, the GTA rose to the highest spot in the range. It did that by incorporating all the top features many customers were buying separately into an overall package that would also add refinement to the car—remember, that was an era when oil crisis-fueled restrictions meant such vehicles couldn’t rely on big muscle anymore.
As stated in the Mecum auction listing from back in June, the Pontiac Trans Camino (this 1959 Bonneville UTE is another way of bringing the Chevy El Camino into the Pontiac realm) was cut and stretched to accommodate the extra wheels.
Please note the term “dually” seems to be incorrectly used to describe the vehicle. But, once again, we’re not sure what happened with the contraption during the auction, but we’re here to focus on the wacky project.
This is no redneck engineering product
One can easily dismiss this custom Pontiac, especially since we’re looking at a departed brand whose truck offerings were few and far between. Then again, the project has a special argument to fight naysayers, which would be the superior quality of the build.
It all starts with the styling, as the thick B-pillars and the upper lines of the custom bed were built to match the factory styling of the Trans Am GTA. Then there’s the execution, with the said parts appearing to perfectly fall in line with the factory panels.
As you can imagine, adding a bed also resulted in some other changes. So, while the interior, which has been redone, still packs four seats, there are two extra seats in the bed—hopefully, people will only use this when the vehicle is stationary. In addition, the back of the… coupe utility now houses the fuel tank.
What about the power?
There’s no mention of the engine, but the Vimeo video associated with the listing takes us under the hood. And this seems to be a 305 ci (5.0L) TPI (tuned port injection) mated to an automatic gearbox. For the record, it’s the kind of V8 that delivered 205 hp when stock—this is what we meant about the limitations of the era, which would be addressed thanks to the virtues of turbo power before the end of the decade.
However, there seems to be a custom Holley intake sitting atop the motor, which falls in line with our expectation for this example to make more power. After all, when you’re out there driving such an extrovert one-off, you may want to outrun your critics at times. Or perhaps you could seek a friend who embraces the same values, like this more modern Volvo XC60 six-wheeler truck that took people’s attention away from classic muscle during a recent car meet.