What would be your ultimate Toyota Prius hybrid?

Maybe a convertible version? One that brings fond memories of bygone performance to middle-aged friends and neighbors?

An Ohio man is now in the process of building what might become the ultimate Toyota Priusat least for muscle car enthusiasts.

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Or maybe it's the greenest Pontiac everand the sole hybrid on the road under that badge.

Think of this project as the opposite of the V8-powered Prius featured on Chevrolet engine forum LS1Tech. [Reader Caution: The thread contains rampant Prius loathing and contempt.]

The EcoModder forum member known as Bill the Engineer recently started taking apart a rusty 1967 Pontiac Firebird convertible.

The 1967 Pontiac Firebird... before

The 1967 Pontiac Firebird... before

He's replacing its underpinnings, including the Detroit iron engine, with the running gear and underbody, from a 2014 Toyota Prius V hybrid wagon.

The Firebird in question isn't just some car Bill picked up from a junkyard; it's been a member of his family since 1979.

He says on the forum that he parked the Firebird after years of driving it, but he eventually planned to restore it. 

The project, obviously, has turned into a different kind of restoration.

After some research, he decided that acquiring a salvaged Prius V made the most sense given the relatively similar wheelbase, track, and proportions. 

Salvaged 2014 Toyota Prius V [photo by Bill the Engineer, from EcoModder]

Salvaged 2014 Toyota Prius V [photo by Bill the Engineer, from EcoModder]

Of course, there are a few hurdles.

For one, the Firebird sent the power from its longitudinal internal-combustion engine to the rear wheels, while the Prius V has a transverse four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels.

There's also a bit of cutting and welding involved.

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Once he acquired a low-mile, wrecked Prius V, he began cutting it apart to remove its body from its floorpan.

Since the Prius v is a unibody, the transformation is all the more impressive. 

Bill kept some of the Firebird's floorpan and then, after measuring carefully--"Measure twice, cut once"--he jigsawed it into the chopped-up Prius V.

Pontiac Firebird Toyota Prius v

Pontiac Firebird Toyota Prius v

The fit is remarkably clean.

The project is still well underway, but we'll check in often to see how it progresses. 

Meanwhile, you can read the whole thread on EcoModder and marvel for yourself at the genius (or some other characteristic) behind Bill's ongoing project.


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