Damaged Toyota Prii [plural of Prius] bound for the junkyard are literally being turned into something bigger.
The Prius Limo, or Primo is something of a side project for Steve Woodruff. He owns a salvage and rebuilding garage for hybrid cars in Scottsburg.
“When we’re finished it has seating for seven and gets as much as 44 mpg,” Woodruff says.
Woodruff says the idea was born out of necessity.
My wife asked me to build one for her. We have three teenage daughters and there’s always a crowd going – band practice, basketball, you name it.
It takes about 90 days to build one from start to finish. Most of that is time is spent fabricating the middle doors.
They’re made with two wrecked Prius’, one with frontal damage and the other with rear damage. He welds the halves of two doors together to make the doors in the middle row.
There’s no machinery to help with this process, so it’s all done by hand.
“I absolutely love it,” says Joshua Anderson, who lives in Madison and bought the second primo Woodruff made.
“I bought it for the fuel consumption savings,” Anderson says. “We have four kids and we do a lot of traveling with sporting events. We’ve saved over $2,000 in fuel over the last 12 months.”
Despite owning a regular sized Prius, Anderson had some concerns about buying the Primo.
First, whether he could fit into a parking space. He can. The Primo is about the size of a medium SUV.
Second, would the car have enough power?
“What I found is that, I own a small Prius and this Prius, and there’s no difference in the way it performs,” Anderson says. “When I want to pass, I hit the gas pedal and I go.”
While Woodruff’s main income comes from selling repaired Priuses, manufacturing these Primos are more of a hobby for him right now.
However, a limo company out of Las Vegas just recently called and ordered two from him, leaving Woodruff with high hopes that the idea will soon catch on.