There are going to be a lot of giant trucks at this year’s SEMA show. But the best truck in the entire show might be the opposite: this 1987 Nissan Sunny. Why? I mean, first of all, just look at it. How many other trucks at SEMA will have fender-mounted mirrors? Probably none. But also, it’s electric.
Using the powertrain from a Nissan Leaf to electric-swap a pickup truck might not sound very exciting, but remember, small trucks from that era weren’t exactly posting big numbers. According to the press release, “the LEAF motor has around twice the power and more than three times the torque of the gasoline four-cylinder engine originally equipped in the Sunny.”
You have to assume the battery adds some weight, but the Leaf motor’s 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque probably really wakes this thing up. Plus, builder Tommy Pike left the Sunny’s manual transmission in place. It may have been unnecessary since Leafs cruise along at highway speeds just fine, but it does add to the cool factor. Especially considering the amount of work it probably took to make it possible.
Other modifications include a “Hakosuka” Skyline widebody kit, LED lights, an upgraded rear suspension, the front suspension setup out out of an S13 240SX, disc brakes, a custom interior, and 17-inch Rotiform wheels. Even if the Brock Racing paint scheme isn’t your thing, you have to admit this truck looks really well done.
“I bought the Sunny Truck because I thought it was such a cool piece of Nissan history and heritage — especially when I saw it was a right-hand-drive model,” said Pike. “Taking the unexpected step of converting the Sunny to electric power while wrapping it with the Brock Racing Enterprises livery felt like the perfect way to pay homage to Nissan’s heritage and modern innovation.”
Nissan will also have a V8-swapped Frontier at the show, but the electric Sunny is infinitely weirder and therefore cooler.