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Jeep's Jeeps - The Chrysler Customs

Posted in Features on August 22, 2014 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Chrysler

Every year we head to the Moab Easter Jeep Safari to see all the cool 4x4s and well-built Jeeps brought there by off-roaders from across the country. The folks from Jeep Corporation and Mopar often bring some really wild Jeeps of their own to display, which we always look forward to seeing. These vehicles are not exactly prototypes of future vehicles, or even what would be called concepts. Often they are really outside-thebox, no-holds-barred builds. These are defnitely customs. We’re sure if you’re a Jeep fan then you remember vehicles like the low-slung JK on 40s known as the Lower 40, the big green Jeep on portal axles known as the Immortal, the lightweight Wrangler with a fabric body called Stitch, and the wild modern-day forward-control Jeep with the name Mighty FC. All were revealed at prior Moab Easter Jeep Safaris.

After so many years of wild and unusual builds from the folks in Detroit, we have been wondering how they were going to top themselves. Well, 2014 is what we might call a building year. Jeep came to Moab with some less-than-dramatic 4x4s for 2014 compared to prior years. We are not sure if we are the problem (are we jaded and expect too much?) or if the prior wild rides were too wild for the people in charge. Or maybe personnel were moved around and the new guys don’t understand the gist of what Moab is just yet. But the fact is this year’s Jeep OEM offerings were pretty mediocre (save one cool cute ute, but more on that later).

Jeeps have been modifed for hundreds of years (or at least since 1941), and in recent years Jeep Corporation and Mopar have brought some of the coolest rides to Moab for us to drool over since they realize that modifed 4x4s are just plain cool! We fully respect the stuff they brought this year (it’s not bad, just kinda boring compared to prior offerings), and Mopar did reveal some cool new gear for Jeep owners, but we hope the varsity team gets put back on the job for 2015.

Mopar was also showcasing new 2- and 4-inch lift kits and modular bumpers for Wranglers, along with Mopar’s variety of storage options for both Cherokees and Grand Cherokees. All components will be available through local Jeep brand dealerships. Mopar was also showcasing new 2- and 4-inch lift kits and modular bumpers for Wranglers, along with Mopar’s variety of storage options for both Cherokees and Grand Cherokees. All components will be available through local Jeep brand dealerships.
The Jeep Maximum Performance Wrangler is pretty normal for what wheelers are doing with Wranglers these days. The cool stuff is underneath: new Mopar Dana 60 axles. Yes, Mopar will soon be offering high-clearance Dana 60s with massive steering joints on par with a 1550 U-joint, and selectable electric lockers, and for a price rumored around $10K. Oddly enough, the Max Perf JK was only running 37s, kinda puny for such big axles. The Jeep Maximum Performance Wrangler is pretty normal for what wheelers are doing with Wranglers these days. The cool stuff is underneath: new Mopar Dana 60 axles. Yes, Mopar will soon be offering high-clearance Dana 60s with massive steering joints on par with a 1550 U-joint, and selectable electric lockers, and for a price rumored around $10K. Oddly enough, the Max Perf JK was only running 37s, kinda puny for such big axles.
As a magazine that caters to 4x4 owners who like to modify and use their 4x4s off-road, we’re not really sure that the new Jeep Cherokee even needs to be on our radar. However, when we got behind the wheel of this modifed Cherokee Trail Hawk, known as the Dakar, we actually considered building one. This Cherokee has the makings of a high-speed rally Jeep in the recipe. It is small and nimble and a perfect use of a full independent-suspension 4x4. Outftted with custom fares, RCV IFS axleshafts, coilover shocks, and 33-inch BF Goodrich tires, this is one Cherokee we wouldn’t mind borrowing or duplicating in our own shop. It’s cute but a brute! As a magazine that caters to 4x4 owners who like to modify and use their 4x4s off-road, we’re not really sure that the new Jeep Cherokee even needs to be on our radar. However, when we got behind the wheel of this modifed Cherokee Trail Hawk, known as the Dakar, we actually considered building one. This Cherokee has the makings of a high-speed rally Jeep in the recipe. It is small and nimble and a perfect use of a full independent-suspension 4x4. Outftted with custom fares, RCV IFS axleshafts, coilover shocks, and 33-inch BF Goodrich tires, this is one Cherokee we wouldn’t mind borrowing or duplicating in our own shop. It’s cute but a brute!

Sources

Mopar
Auburn Hills, MI 48321
800-992-1997
www.mopar.com
Jeep
877-426-5337
www.jeep.com

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