Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Concept At The 2018 Easter Jeep Safari: Photos, Exclusive Video, OpinionsPosted in Moab Experience: 2018 on March 27, 2018
This incredible ’65 Jeep Wagoneer is quite possibly one of the top Jeep concept builds of all time based on the positive reaction of those who have seen it. This restored Waggy is a nod to family vacations in a bygone era. The rig (found on a California Craigslist ad) actually still utilizes its original steel body. However, the wheelbase has been stretched 5 inches, the body has been updated to accept the additional length, there’s a wider track, and custom flares. Sharp eyes will also note the reshaped wheelwells, bumpers, and integrated rock rails. The frame has been boxed and reinforced, there’s a pair of locked Dana 44s, a four-link suspension with coilovers, 17-inch wheels, and 33-inch BFG Mud-Terrain tires. The Wagoneer’s original 230ci Tornado OHC-6 engine has been replaced with a 5.7L Hemi V-8 that sends power to a four-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the interior has been restored and there are a number of period-correct items and stickers to set the tone.
Here you can see a collection of detailed photos, exclusive video, and our opinions on the Wagoneer Roadtrip. Make sure to check out the other concepts that Jeep and Mopar brought to the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari here at fourwheeler.com!
Ken Brubaker, editor, Four Wheeler: Yes, please. Jeep could’ve simply restored the Wagoneer and threw a modern engine in it, but the company took the build far beyond that. This was one of my favorite Moab concepts of all time. It’s pleasing to the eye; has a clean, simple appearance; and has modern reliability. Yeah, it has the rattles and squeaks you’d expect from a vehicle this old, and that adds to its charm. There are so many incredible details and surprises on this Jeep. A lot of thought went into this build, and it shows.
Christian Hazel, editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road: I absolutely love it when the Underground takes a vintage Jeep that has such a strong connection with the brand’s heritage and does a modern take on the design. They’re masters of this. You look at the Wagoneer Roadtrip, and for the untrained eye you might just think it’s a nicely restored Wagoneer that somehow looks way more pleasing to the eye than any restored Wagoneer you’ve seen before—until you realize that the wheelbase was pushed back 5 inches in the rear, both improving the rear wheelwell opening and reducing the factory badonkadonk overhang. The contour of the fender flares was reconfigured; the rocker shape tweaked; several Ford replica bumpers were flipped upside down, cut, and rewelded to achieve the classic one-piece front bumper look instead of the traditional FSJ three-piece bumper; and the boxed factory Wagoneer frame was treated to a front and rear coilover suspension. There are so many over-the-top design “fixes” to the classic FSJ styling that we can’t cover them, and the same holds true for the rest of the build. There’s a 5.7L Mopar crate Hemi and a four-speed auto that’s toggled by the vague factory column-shift transmission; Dana 44 crate axles with electric lockers actuated by extra light switches mounted in the dash; Oxblood-vinyl bench seating for six; headliner; campy road trip maps; leather luggage cooler; and a Tornado valve-cover toolbox. This build is just too damn cool for Jeep school. For me, without a doubt, this is one of the coolest vehicles to come out of any Jeep plant in several decades and underscores in screaming avocado-colored letters that the connection to Jeep’s heritage, which made the brand what it is today, is still alive and well within the halls of its corporate headquarters.
Sean Holman, content director of Truck & Off-Road Group, The Enthusiast Network: FSJs are a special breed. There is something that is just right about them, and this one mixes and matches the best elements of each of the generations, with lots of hidden details that leave you wanting to delve further into the beautiful mind of the person who concocted this masterpiece. While the feel is very stock, the beauty is in the way it pulls off a modern undercarriage and drivetrain without becoming a caricature of itself. The Waggy is uber-functional on the trail and despite a full frame-off with new paint and rubbers, it squeaks and groans just like it did the day it drove off the showroom floor. It’s a time machine that takes you back to a special moment that leaves you longing for your grandpa to share the front bench with.
Rick Péwé, editor, Jp Magazine: Any fullsize Jeep aficionado that sees the Wagoneer Roadtrip will immediately jump to attention and salivate over just the look and stance alone of the mint-green road warrior. Set in the ’60s-themed style, this early wagon with a later grille oozes style, and comfort. While retaining all of the charm of the era, it’s been updated and restomodded with a full coil-link suspension, the requisite Hemi powerplant, and an automatic tranny with more gears than the column shifter can indicate. Punch the throttle on a backroad and the beast erupts into a massive family dominator wagon, while settling down to a rumble through the national parks it’s designed to roam. Combining comfort and style with power and performance is a Jeep hallmark, and this combo of old and new makes it a favorite with everyone.