Turning a Tesla Model 3 Into a Pickup Truck Takes More Than a Sawzall

Tesla is working on a new pickup truck, but engineer/YouTuber Simone Giertz wanted one sooner, so she bought a Model 3 and got to work. The resulting creation, dubbed the “Truckla,” is one of the coolest builds we’ve seen recently, and it’s worth digging deeper into its creation.

Giertz and the team she assembled to make the Truckla didn’t do a hack job. Well, yes, creating a Model 3 pickup did involve taking a Sawzall to the car, but it also required careful and thorough planning. And first, the Model 3 had to be almost totally disassembled, which proved to be time consuming in itself.

The simple solution to the (admittedly odd) problem of turning a Tesla into a truck would’ve involved cutting the Model 3’s bodywork from the B-pillar back and mating a flat-bed to the front half of the car. But Giertz wanted to preserve and repurpose as much of the original bodywork as possible. She and her team cut off the roof section from the B-pillar back, but saved much of the rear doors and repurposed part of the trunk lid as a tailgate.

Cutting even part of the roof off a unibody car, like a Model 3, compromises structural rigidity significantly. Rather than leave the Truckla to be a floppy nightmare, Giertz and her team welded in lots of support to compensate. Cleverly, the roof rack/roll-bar is used as structural support here. The rear window and bulkhead came off a last-gen GMC Canyon, while the bed itself was cut out of an older Ford F-150.

With the Truckla mostly finished, Giertz filmed a fake commercial filled with all your favorite truck-ad hallmarks.

The Truckla isn’t quite done yet, in the same way that no project car is ever really done. Giertz plans on cleaning up the interior, doing some bodywork and making sure the thing is weatherproof.

The Truckla clearly took a lot of work to create, but the El Camino-esque end result is rad. And given that we might have to wait for the real Tesla pickup for some time, the effort seems worth it.

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