Daniel Susco
1 Comment

Revel in the Complex Simplicity of a Hybrid Classic Pickup Conversion

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Some of the coolest converted and customized vehicles on the road are classic cars which under the skin are outfitted with more modern drive components—the concept of “LS-swapping” (putting one of GM’s small block LS engines into another car) is so common that it is almost a punchline.

Personally, I give bonus points for unusual combinations.

With that in mind, check out this modified 1946 Chevrolet pickup.

If something sounds like it’s missing there, let me point it out for you—the missing element from that old, rusty pickup is its engine noise.

That is because this is in fact the Chevyota Priuck created by Joe Winter. To create it, Winter carefully preserved the look of the 1940s Chevy, but underneath it uses the hybrid powertrain of a Prius.

Chevyota Priuck

I doubt I would have guessed this was a hybrid

Apparently the idea just came to him partly from enjoying unusual car creations, and partly from already having the pickup and donated Prius on hand.

Chevy truck hybrid conversion Prius underbody

Like you do.
Photo: Joe Winter

This is certainly an unusual switch—in 1946, Chevy’s trucks used two engines: either a 216.5-cubic-inch “Thrift-Master” or a 235.5-cubic-inch “Load-Master.” Both were six-cylinder engines, and when new produced about 90 hp gross and between 174 lb-ft of torque and 192 lb-ft of torque.

On the bright side, that means that the pickup actually picked up some power, since the first-generation Prius that gave its parts for the project makes a net 114 hp.

Chevy truck hybrid conversion dashboard

Plus, Winters was able to keep the Prius’ digital dashboard, incorporated in with the trucks’.
Photo: Joe Winter

It also means that at low speeds, the truck can putter around in silence on a 44-hp electric motor, all while preserving the dimensions and look of the classic Chevy.

Color me impressed. Now could someone give this guy a Tesla sled and an old ’60s Impala and see if he could stick those together?

News Sources: Green Car ReportsHoopie’s Hot Rods via YouTube, GM Heritage Center, Car and Driver

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.