Nissan Engineers Build Leaf Pickup
Team-Building Exercise Turns Into Conversation Piece
Wherever there are enthusiasts, it seems, invariably, that one of the projects that eventually pop up is a pickup conversion of a car. We’ve seen some pretty unlikely candidates, including a BMW M3, Volkswagen Jetta, and now, a Nissan Leaf. Although the Leaf may seem like the most unlikely of candidates for the pickup treatment, necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention.
The pickup, known around Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona, technical center as “Sparky,” started as a team-building project for Roland Schellenberg, a durability and reliability engineer at the tech center. The center needed a utilitarian vehicle for running errands around the tech center and looked around for what parts they had handy. Being a proving ground for durability and reliability, the facility had plenty of spare parts from worn-out vehicles that were still usable. Obviously, a lot of the hardware for the Leaf pickup was donated from a Frontier, but there’s actually a little Titan thrown into the mix as well. The rear cab wall is out of a Titan, including its vertical center sliding rear window.
To add a personal touch to the project, Arnold Moulinet took some surplus wood strips he had in his garage and put them in the center of the bed, to give it a classic, retro flavor. “It kind of looks like a beach truck, so I said what would be better than turning it into a woody?” said Moulinet. He finished the strips at home with his router and added a sealer. Check out the video of the making of this unique project below!