One would think with all the media outlets we are bombarded with daily that nothing could get past us-what with the TV/video/digital cameras, satellites, and who knows what else tucked away into every nook and cranny on this Earth. I mean think about it: You can log on to the Internet on any given day and read up on current political sex scandals in subarctic Siberia if you wanted to. It really is as if nothing can get past us. But just like the Greek gods taught Prometheus hubris, we can fall victim into thinking we know it all. Because just when we think we have seen it all, something new, exciting, fresh, and often just plain strange appears from the woodwork.
Speaking of woodwork, it's now been a couple of days (at the time I'm writing this) since those aerial photos of a remote Amazon tribe in the Brazilian state of Acre have surfaced. For those unaware, here's the scoop: A helicopter was flying overhead when they noticed a series of huts and such tucked away in the forest. When they came back two hours later to check things out, the tribe had painted themselves red and began firing arrows with a bow at the helicopter. Proving once again that when we think there's nothing left out there to be discovered, someone pulls a Christopher Columbus and stumbles onto a totally isolated tribe probably still living the way their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Yet, with all that going on, it's a different discovery in Brazil that intrigued me.
A few days ago, Editor John Gilbert and I attended a media function sponsored by Holley. Seeing that it was a big event, members of all types of magazines, agencies, and such, were in attendance. While there, I began talking with Brandon Gillogy, the feature editor with Truckin' magazine, and he asked me if I had ever seen a Brazilian Veraneio. At first I thought he was speaking of some sort of Sasquatch or Skunk Ape that was native to Brazil. It turned out I was way off. What he was asking about turned out to be the Brazilian Chevrolet version of a C10 Suburban. Yet instead of looking like its American counterpart, this sucker was described to me as an amalgam between a '63 Nova, a Suburban, and an early '60s Buick/Chevy wagon. At this point, my mind was all over the place trying to form some sort of mental image. Trying to dig for more, we began asking around to others if they had ever seen one. To our surprise it was if we were speaking Swahili, because no one had heard of such a ride. To make things easy, Brandon said he would just shoot an e-mail of a picture of one.
When I opened my mailbox the next day, there it sat: a C10 Veraneio, and I could definitely say that I had never seen one of them before. One thing I was sure off was that this thing is funky. And I mean Funky. In fact, it's one of those vehicles that is just so damn ugly it's cool. That's the only way I know how to describe it. Upon seeing it I had to learn more. Yet once again, I couldn't find much on the thing. Here's what I did manage to find: The Veraneio, originally known as a Chevrolet C-1416, was an SUV manufactured in Brazil from '64-88. The truck is based on a C10 pickup chassis and is powered by an inline-six, based on the pre-'62 Stovebolt motors. The interior used the instrument cluster from a '60-66 Chevy truck, and for the most part mocked the interior scheme of that truck. As for the distinctive sheetmetal of the Vareneio, it was exclusive to the Brazilian-built machines. Another interesting fact is that the SUV utilized four passenger doors, unlike many of the three door American Suburbans-and they also made a standard truck version. And you thought you wouldn't learn anything new today? Don't worry, neither did I the day this came to my attention.-Dakota Wentz