The quirky Chrysler PT Cruiser was an amazingly popular car when it launched back at the beginning of the millennium, but then when the fad faded it became the silly laughing stock of the auto world. That’s why seeing a blacked-out, matte-black variant of it is so bizarre. A fun and weird car has become downright frightening.
I found this thing on Facebook Marketplace and eBay, listed with a price of $5,000 or best offer on the former. The seller—Graham, Washington-based Lloyd Ulysses—built the machine over the span of six months in his garage, completing the project last year.
The vehicle began life as a purple 2001 PT Cruiser, but thanks to a Sawzall, some cutoff wheels, and lots of talent, the odd ‘30s hot rod-inspired hatchback-y, crossover-y machine began a transformation into the more utilitarian, more menacing ute you see above.
There’s actually quite a bit of clever fab work here that’s worth looking at. The floor of the bed, for example, isn’t just the floor that you’d find in the standard PT Cruiser. No, Ulysses actually welded in the floor from an old Ford Ranger over top of the original floor, figuring that “an actual truck bed instead of flat sheet metal...will stand up better to being damaged.”
Unfortunately, there is no functional tailgate, since—per Ulysses—“the whole project started taking too long.” But the good news is that there are some nice little organizers in the bed:
The back of the “cab,” Ulysses told me, actually comes from a Toyota Tacoma, and yes, the power window works:
The listing on eBay indicates that the owner has had this car for four years, and that the machine is functional and used “mainly used for weekend drives.”
“The air bag light comes and goes randomly, the code is for Left SIACM,” the listing continues. It also mentions that the car has a widebody kit in the front and out back, an aftermarket exhaust, an Eibach lowering kit for the suspension, and nearly new Pirelli tires on 17-inch wheels.
Ulysses told me the inspiration came after he saw a video of some folks turning a Honda Civic into a pickup. “I always wanted a UTE or Chevy SSR,” he said over Facebook Messenger.
The fabricator is quite well-versed when it comes to custom cars. He converted the 1967 C10 Chevy Suburban you see above to four-door guise, and he’s currently turning this once-four-door 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood into a two-door:
It’s all just absurd, and I love it—even if the PT Cruiser is definitely going to haunt my nightmares.