The Easter Jeep Safari is an annual nine-day gathering of off-roaders in Moab, Utah, that draws in 4x4 fans from across the country, most of them driving vehicles from the event’s namesake brand.
Knowing a captive audience when it sees one, Jeep itself always shows up with a few working concept vehicles to build buzz and promote parts and accessories from the Mopar catalog. This year, it’s bringing a fleet of seven rides that run the gamut from mildly modified to extreme builds, but there are three that stand out from the pack.
Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip (above)
Jeep’s next big model introduction in a year or so will be the resurrected Wagoneer, so it’s cranking up the hype machine with a resto-mod version of the original. It stretched the body of a Craigslist-purchased Wagoneer five inches to fit on a fully-boxed frame, added fender flares and integrated rock rails, and swapped in green architectural glass to complement its “Mintage Green” paint job. Oxblood leather upholstery and a wicker headliner complete the old-school look on the inside. It’s powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 connected to a four-speed automatic transmission, has Dana 44 axles front and rear, coil springs and a sweet set of steelies with 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires. Sadly, there’s no wood paneling on the sides, but this rig looks like it can take you very far into the woods.
The Jeepster is a custom Wrangler that hearkens back to its predecessors with a chop-top, raked-back windshield and half-doors but rides high on a two-inch lift kit and beefed up suspension. It’s been weighed down with a bevy of Jeep Performance Parts that includes LED lights, a steel Rubocon bumper and beadlock wheels with 37-inch tires. There is also a custom concept roll cage and a trunk-mounted spare tire carrier aim to make it that much more indestructible on the trail, even if it’s forebears were more for the street.
The most hardcore Jeep Wranglers come from the factory as rock crawlers, but the Sandstorm was built to fly. The four-door Wrangler Unlimited-based truck has a stretched wheelbase and a modified suspension with bypass shocks and 14 inches of wheel travel in front, 18-inches in the rear. A built-in air compressor can adjust the air in its 39.5-inch tires, and tubular bumpers and chassis-integrated cage offer protection if its driver manages to take it beyond its very extreme limits.