26-Ft. Long "Cadillac Pickup"

Once every five years or so, Brad Carrell likes to build something weird. His latest project: Adding 4 ft. to the frame of a Chevrolet 1-ton dually, 4-WD crew cab pickup, then replacing the cab with the body of a Cadillac Escalade SUV. The original 8-ft. pickup bed is still on back. The entire rig measures 26 ft. long.

"It makes an excellent traveling vehicle and is also a nice towing rig," says Carrell, of Redmond, Ore. "It has three rows of seats and about 4 ft. more cab space than a conventional crew cab pickup, with enough room to haul my six grand kids. The vehicle still has its original 454 cu. in., 360 hp Vortex gas engine and automatic transmission so it has a lot of pulling power and can handle heavy trailers."

He started with a 1997 Chevy 1-ton pickup and a 2002 Cadillac Escalade. He cut off the pickup cab and also cut through the frame, then used new material to lengthen the frame by 4 ft. Then he made new mounts and fastened the Escalade body to the frame.

"It was a difficult project but it turned out well and is fun to drive," says Carrell. "It looks factory made. In fact, a lot of people who see it for the first time ask me where they can buy one. Getting into it is like getting into a Ford Expedition or a Chevy Tahoe or Suburban. The longer wheelbase makes it drive really nice. With the extra length it takes a little more room to turn, but it doesn't take long to get used to it."

"It was hard to build because SUVs are narrower toward the rear, while late model Chevy pickup beds are wider up front than they are at the back. As a result, the two didn't match up too well. I had to do a lot of cutting to make everything nice and straight like it was from the factory," says Carrell.