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1988 Jeep Wrangler - Rhapsody In Maroon

Posted in Features on January 1, 2000
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Photographers: Tom Weaver

All too often magazines either feature really pretty rigs that hardly ever get dirty, or really thrashed rigs that work exceptionally well, but are just plain coyote-ugly. Anthony Montoya's '88 Wrangler blends the best from these two categories in a very trail-capable package that looks great inside and out.

The buildup involved stripping the Wrangler down to the frame and building from the ground up. After the frame was reinforced and gusseted, 4-inch Currie springs were slung under a pair of high-pinion Currie axles holding ARBs and 4.56s. An NP231 with a Currie output-shaft Conversion was tucked in behind the GM TH700R4 transmission, and a '94 LT1 engine was wedged in between the framerails.

The body was cherried out, fitted with Xenon flares, slathered in maroon paint, and mounted on a 2-inch body lift. Anthony made sure the interior wouldn't be the low point by custom-building an upholstered center console that doubles as a storage unit and a home for the ARB controls and an assortment of gauges. Full carpeting muffles the noises from down under so the Uniden CB and phone can be heard when the Alpine isn't thumping. A Bestop soft top not only keeps the upholstery dry and relatively dust-free but helps keep in the chill provided by the air conditioning.

Don't let all the goodies mislead you into thinking that this Jeep is more show than go. As the wheels-up action on the cover proves, Anthony isn't afraid to wheel this thing hard. More proof that ugly and capable don't always have to go hand in hand.

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