St. Petersburg man transforms Prius car into his own truck, the Pruck

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 17:04:07-04

A St. Petersburg man who wanted a Prius for its low environment impact and a truck to move things around his city.

Ruud Hartog said it really started out as a bet with a Lutz Toyota car dealer.

"We got to talking about it, and he said, 'I don't think you could do it.' I said 'Yeah, I think I can do that.'"

Sure enough, after five and a half months of designing and transforming, he renamed his car the "Pruck." The engineer took the hatch back off and put in a truck bed.

Ruud helps veterans with a local nonprofit move furniture and appliances.

"You'd have a hard time getting a couch, a washer or a dryer in a regular hatch back," he said.

Hartog said he also wants to minimize his carbon foot print.

"I have no need for a gas guzzling machine," he said.

The Pruck does slow the retired Air Force pilot down quite a bit.

"I go to just get a hot dog or an iced tea, and it takes me a half an hour to get out of there and answer questions," he said.

Hartog said he knows he could never sell, so he plans to just use it. 

"It cost me $800 to buy this car," he said.