The Jeepster concept is a throwback to Jeep’s storied history, but will it survive in the Utah desert?
The 52 Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari is coming up, and it wouldn’t be a Jeep Safari without a bunch of weird and wonderful concept Jeeps from whoever owns Jeep these days. Back in the 60s when this off-road contest started it was with Kaiser-Jeep, and current owners Fiat Chrysler are paying homage to Jeep’s heritage with a septuplet of concepts inspired by Jeeps throughout the ages.
To start, there’s the Jeep 4SPEED, a Wrangler that’s been torn down to the bare minimum in its pursuit of speed. The only thing big about this Jeep is the tires, as everything else is designed for lightness. There’s no doors, no roof, and not even the Jeep signature spare tired at the back. If you were to bet on any Jeep concept to win this rally, it’d be the 4SPEED.
Next is the Sandstorm, conceptually the same as a Baja buggy but with a massive 6.4-L V8 engine. Remember, power isn’t everything out in the dirt, so the Sandstorm isn’t necessarily a winner. Then there’s the B-Ute, a Jeep Renegade that’s been upgraded so it has a hope in hell of surviving in the desert.
The Nacho Jeep is a mildly offensive Wrangler painted yellow, and the J-Wagon is a Wrangler Sahara with a snorkel. The Wagoneer Roadtrip is a real page out of Jeep history--an actual heritage vehicle, a 1965 Jeep Wagoneer restored and upgraded so it can climb up a dirt hill. It’s almost a crime to drive it out in Utah.
Finally we come to the Jeepster concept, so called because it pays respects to the 1966 Jeepster Commando. The original Jeepster was a low, long, and sleek (for a jeep) convertible pickup truck. The Jeepster concept tries to emulate the look by taking a Wrangler and making the roof 2-inches lower, sloped a little more at the back, and painting it white to resemble detachable roof of the original.
But it doesn’t even try and get as low as the original. In fact, the Jeepster Concept is 2 inches lifted, with 37-inch BF Goodrich KO2 Tires to boot.
Whether or not you think it captures the feel of a Commando is up for debate, but it should make a good showing of itself in Moab, Utah.