Nissan Pulsar: When in Doubt, Turn It Into a Ute
At one point in time, the plucky “ute” (or “coupe utility”) was a common sight on U.S. roadways. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Americans had the great Ford Ranchero and Chevy El Camino. In the ‘80s, it was the turn of the Subaru Brat, followed much later by the Subaru Baja. But after the Baja left in 2006, nothing filled its place, and likely nothing will. That said, there are still lots of ute lovers out there, and Californian Ben Aguirre happens to be one of them. About two years ago, Ben—a realtor—encountered a problem, one that could have done with a little fixing. With house showings here and there, Ben constantly found himself lifting “Open House” signs into and out of his car’s trunk. Most people would have just dealt with it, but Ben isn’t “most people.” RELATED: The Best Way to Clear Snow is a Flame-Spitting Nissan GT-R
Instead, he got the idea to create a “mini truck” with an open bed, and when he came across a forlorn Nissan Pulsar, it all came together. It only took $500 to claim the keys to the sad Nissan, which didn’t run, but as projects go…this one would soon call on a few more dollars from Ben’s coffer.
A total of three thousand dollars, a few busted knuckles, and six months later—Ben had his chariot, and this is it.
From the confines of his garage, he first set to work on removing the Pulsar’s rear hatch. The back of the cab was then “squared off” and some bits were lifted from an ’87 Nissan hardbody pickup, from which the new rear bed emerged. “It took some thinking,” Ben said, “I certainly had never done anything like that before.”
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With the back end all squared away, next came the interior. Ben revamped the seats and added some storage area and a parcel shelf in the back. Then came the nitty gritty work—the engine and transmission. Both were rebuilt and appropriately shoehorned back into the car…er, “ute.” In fact, since the project was completed Ben has tallied over 5,000 miles on the road.
It certainly isn’t everyday that you see a ute zipping along U.S. roads, much less one built from a Nissan Pulsar. This one is certifiably unique, and if you fancy a Pulsar pickup of your own…well, you know where to look.
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