You know what makes a great utility vehicle? Something that came out of the factory designated as a ute.
You know what makes an interesting utility vehicle? Something that didn’t start out as one…
Enter the world of ute conversion!
There’s probably a proper term for the art of turning a non ute into a load hauling beast and a half but if there is, I’ve missed it (2019 edit: There is, it’s called a ute conversion) . So I’ll dub this form ‘Uterizing’ (which in all honesty sounds more medical than mechanical but still..)
Uterizing – Taking a non utility vehicle and through modification, fabrication and liberal use of cutting equipment, turning it into one with the sacrifice of back seats and or looks.
I’m also unsure of the popularity of such a practice worldwide having seen only one uterized experiment up close but due to the wonders of the world wide uterized index, there seems to be plenty of examples to share with the curious:
Hyundai Excel Ute Conversion
Amazingly the first (and only) uterized ride I’ve seen in the flesh was something I learnt to drive in, a Hyundai Excel. The one I saw (and it still rides around town to this day!) is actually half blue, half white and would probably carry a box of tissues in the back before the 4 banger would struggle getting up some hills. While that one used the converted back of the chassis to create a carry space, this one has opted for a tray in its place instead.
Mazda RX7 ute conversion
As a former FC3S owner I’ve always been curious to see what one would like like sans rear hatch glass. I’ve never wondered how it would look if you cut out the originally tiny back room and created a tray. Someone has though and created something completely mental:
BMW M5 ute conversion
Exactly how big are the golf clubs you’re carting around in this thing?
Mercedes C Class ute conversion
Of course you can’t have one refined luxury uterized project without pointing out that their rivals aren’t exempt from the ‘This needs a tray’ treatment:
Nissan Stagea ute conversion
As a currently Stagea owner I can attest to the incredibly usefulness of these things in hauling not only yourself but also the family, a whole menagerie of animals, half the house and still have enough room for some backpackers. For a reason that escapes me, people have figured that wasn’t enough space and the open air look was a much better choice:
The wagon version of the Skyline is the Stagea. The uterized version of the Skyline is….er…interesting.
Subaru WRX ute conversion
I suppose a good thing about this creation is that if you’re planning to rally it, you could fit a whole other EJ in the back and a full set of tires in case something goes bang..
If I had an Evolution I probably wouldn’t be moving house with it or using it to carry steel to my next building project but hey, that’s me!
Boy are Nissan’s popular for this kind of treatment!
Nissan 180SX ute conversion
Is there no Nissan safe?
VW Jetta ute conversion
I thought the Amarok was built for VW ute duties..
Citroen DS ute conversion
Now there’s probably a stack we’ve missed but feel free to drop a link to one in the comments and we’ll chuck it up!
Thinking of doing this yourself? Apparently these are a big help to the team at How-To-Build-Hotrods.com, who have cut away a lot of metal from various projects:Milwaukee 6519-30 Sawzall Reciprocating Saw