Families annually take to the nation’s highways for the traditional summer road trip when school is out and, for generations, a Jeep® vehicle has been their choice when looking to explore the country.
The Jeep brand paid tribute to this time-honored tradition this year with a Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip concept vehicle for the 52nd Moab Easter Jeep Safari.
The concept vehicle, based on a 1965 Wagoneer, harkens back to a summer family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. To make this concept a reality, designers from Jeep started by locating the Wagoneer in California on Craigslist.
“It was clean and rust free,” said Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design. “What we tried to do was modify it, but not look like we really touched it.”
To do this, great care was taken to keep the heritage and charm of the original steel body of the Wagoneer while most of the modernizing took place underneath the skin of the vehicle.
The chassis and drivetrain were updated with a boxed and reinforced frame, Dana 44 front and rear axles with lockers, four-link suspension with coilover springs and 17-inch steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires. It’s also powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
Subtle tweaks were made to the exterior of the classic SUV with reshaped wheel wells, bumpers and integrated rock rails along with a razor grille.
More noticeable on the exterior of the vehicle is the unique color scheme that was created for Wagoneer, mintage green. The original glass windows were replaced with Bottle Green architectural glass.
Inside the vehicle, the headliner was replaced with wicker-style material and the original front and rear bench seats, door panels, kick and rear panels, were trimmed in Oxblood-colored leather.
In addition to the enhancements, modifications and changes to the physical vehicle, there were smaller items to further personalize the Wagoneer, including:
- Stickers from various vacation destinations
- Wooden skis and fishing poles
- Classic suitcases
- The family dog (a stuffed German shepherd)
- A custom cooler fashioned from period-correct luggage
- A tool box created from the valve cover of this Wagoneer’s original 230 Tornado OHC-6 engine
“I wanted it to be the picture perfect road-trip car,” Allen said.
For information about the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip, visit our previous Moab Easter Jeep Safari blog posts.