Jeeps have been an American classic since the early days of America’s entry into World War Two. They were initially designed by the U.S. Army to serve as a multipurpose vehicle on the terrible roads of Europe and the Pacific but quickly gained a reputation for being supreme off-roaders. In fact, since the Jeep went into full production in early 1941, it's been universally recognized as the first-ever mass-produced SUV, even if nobody was modding it out for any dune running quite yet.
Actually, the original Jeep used by the armed forces was small enough to probably qualify as just another ATV nowadays. In any case, the vehicle was so useful, so tough, and ultimately so popular with soldiers that General George Marshall, who commanded all U.S. armed forces during World War Two, was quoted as saying the Jeep was “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare.” More recently, a modern historian has said of it, "The Spartan, cramped and [an] unstintingly functional jeep, became the ubiquitous World War II four-wheeled personification of Yankee ingenuity and cocky, can-do determination."
Fast forward to now, and the Jeep is still ubiquitous, with almost one and a half million models sold last year alone. But as Bob Dylan once said, things have changed. The Jeep isn’t an instrument of war anymore—not really—but rather, a badass SUV designed to look tough, perform even tougher, and inspire its owners to new heights in awesome modding. This is definitely something many, many of them do with plenty of success. Unfortunately, some of those owners go just a little bit too far with their mods. OK, the truth is, some of those owners went way too far on their Jeeps. Let’s take a look at those disasters that went too far, along with some truly stunning Jeep masterpieces that will make you smile after all of those cringe-worthy ones you’re about to see.
17 A Rim Too Far (Too Far)
If you’ve ever read any of my work regarding mods, then I’m sure you’ll see right away why the word “overdone” comes immediately to my mind when I see a Jeep like this. First of all, that thing has enough lift to drive another Jeep or two underneath it. A little lift goes a long way, guy! Second, can we just stop with the thin rims? Please??? A jeep is supposed to be a rugged kind of vehicle, not a fragile-looking thing that uses Reynold’s aluminum wrap for its rims. Seriously, those rims would look like they came off a stagecoach on the Pony Express if it weren’t for all of that chrome. Oh right—“all of that chrome.” Have I ever mentioned what an overload of chrome does to my brain?
16 Pink & White Tailpipe Factory (Too Far)
Let’s talk about chrome a little bit more, why don’t we? After all, it is my favorite mod subject. So… what do we have here? It appears to be an awesomely pink and white (yes, pink and white on a Jeep) chrome machine. Seriously, look at that spare. That's one awesome piece of "chromery" right there. Yeah, I don’t know either if “chromery” is a word, but it should be for instances like this. The best part of that magnificent chrome spare wheel is that it appears to be lacking one little thing—do you know what it is? Yup, there's a spare wheel but no spare tire. OK then… At least the five—count ‘em—five tailpipes distract the eye a little bit from that monstrosity. Talk about going too far. It’s hard to tell, too, but it appears the dude driving this thing is wearing a pink shirt—perhaps in solidarity with his pastel ride? But if that’s the case, why the blood-red interiors? Weird.
15 Insane Blue Flame (Too Far)
This is what happens when some dude gets a little bit too into the Transformers and tries to build one himself. This thing has some serious mods, ones that could've made it a very sweet ride. You can see underneath all of the gaudiness that there’s some cool stuff going on. But… back to that gaudiness. There's just entirely too much of the crazy blue scheme going on here. Those rims look like something you would see on a car called "Megableu" or "Optimus Blind" or something like that. Then, you’ve got that weird blue camouflage paint job going on—what the hell is this thing supposed to be camouflaged as? A Crayola swirl marker? You just know those blue HID lights are gonna be super annoying, too. Finally, if you look closely, those blue tow points on the front of this behemoth very closely represent the Indianapolis Colts horseshoe logo. So, I’m gonna have to hate on that one, just on general principles.
14 NOT Movie Magic (Too Far)
Alright, I don’t know what it is about people wanting to turn their Jeeps into Jurassic Park models, but it’s got to stop. This sh*t has been going on ever since the original movie came out like 30 years ago. People, it has to stop. It’s not cool; it’s flat-out silly. I actually saw a Ford F-150 decked out in the green, orange, and black Jurassic Park scheme a few months ago on a state highway by my house. This Jeep design might be even worse, simply because it’s so spot-on. Modding out your Jeep to be an exact replica of a movie vehicle that wasn’t that cool, to begin with, sure seems like someone has taken it a bridge too far, as the old saying goes. Oh, and by the way, all of you Jurassic Park fanboys—did you ever stop to think about how many people who ride around in these Jeeps die in those movies? Yeah, that’s what I thought. No way am I getting into a vehicle known for being a Dino death trap.
13 Classic Disaster (Too Far)
Oh geez... I don’t even know where to start with this one. I suppose the nicest thing I could say about it is that whoever did the mods did a really nice job melding that front end together. But who would want to combine a Jeep Wrangler and a Chevy Silverado in the first place? That seems a little twisted to me. The only legitimate reason I could think of to combine those two vehicles into this Frankenstein-like monstrosity is that some guy owned both of them and managed to wreck both front ends of the two a few days apart and came up with this. Seriously, is this thing even remotely road-legal? I wish I had more space for pics so that you could see the cabin of the Jeep turn into the extended bed of the truck; it’s even uglier than you'd think it might be from this angle. But hey, at least the color scheme is classy.
12 Meme On A Jeep (Too Far)
I so want to love this one. I'm a huge Boston Celtics fan after all, and LeBron has given us our fair share of sporting grief over the years. But I just can’t do it. Taking an incredibly overused social media meme and slapping it on the back of your spare is totally, completely, and utterly silly. I mean, I get that the sh*t is funny in its own way, but is it deserving of a permanent memorial on a spare-tire cover? I think not. The other thing about this is that if you look closely, every other part of the car, including the license plate, celebrates those self-same Boston Celtics. Guy, if you’re such a huge Celtics fan, why would you ever make LeBron the centerpiece of your ride? Why wouldn’t you go with a spare tire cover that had Larry Bird shooting a three or something like that? It boggles the mind. Also, shouldn’t this Jeep be painted Kelly Green? I’m just sayin’.
11 The Devil’s Work (Too Far)
I don’t even know where to begin with this one, but I can definitely inform you that it's a serious case of “too much, too far” for Jeep mods. I mean, a grinning skull’s head here or there is one thing, but to deck your vehicle out with skull heads on pretty much every surface or angle you can find seems just a wee bit excessive. Actually, it seems like this guy might actually be messing with stuff he shouldn’t, if you know what I mean. This is some serious Voodoo heebie-jeebie stuff he’s got going on, stuff you don’t want to screw around with. It’s also ugly as sin. Hey, sometimes the truth hurts—what can I say? The other deal with this one is the slight problem of all of those lights. What the hell, dude? Maybe he’s afraid some actual grinning death’s head is gonna try to sneak up on him and he wants to see it coming. It’s not gonna save you, buddy.
10 It’s Not Rose And It’s Not Gold (Too Far)
What do you get when you pimp out your Jeep ride with a pink chrome paint job? Well, you don’t get something that looks like gold, which I think might be what this guy (or gal, most likely) was going for. You also don’t get something that looks like a Rose sparkling wine, which might've been another look that this owner was going for. No, what you get is an unlovely mess. It’s interesting how that chrome look also makes the vehicle seem a little bit too stretched out. Jeeps are supposed to be compact—tough and rugged—not vaguely “wavy” and “ripply.” The full-on wheel-rims effect is nice, too, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s sarcasm. Oh, and by the way, if I customized my ride like this, I, too, would tint out every darn window so nobody would know it was me driving it.
9 No More Fantasies, Please (Too Far)
OK, seriously, who does this? Who takes a picture that they probably saw in the black-light poster section of their local Spenser’s and asks a body paint artist to recreate it? Well, I guess the natural answer to that question is someone who would hang out at their local Spencer’s… That narrows it down to 50-year-old hippie dudes who think Jerry Garcia is God and 16-year-old boys who play Fortnite six hours a day have never had a girlfriend and can’t wait to move back into their mom’s basement after college. In either case, that's most decidedly not a guy you want to see on the road with you, especially driving this nightmare. I suppose it could be a teenage girl’s Jeep, but they usually go for the horses and rainbows, not the howling wolf pack, so I’m putting my money on the first two contenders.
8 Just Wow (Stunning)
And now, we finally get to some truly awesome Jeep mods. I’m willing to bet that seeing these next few entries will make you forget all about the horror show you just witnessed. So, here we have what almost certainly has to be a rehabbed (or extremely good “heritage” kit) US Army Jeep. The model looks like it might be from a mid-1960s Jeep Willys XM443, but that’s not as important as the feel you get from this vehicle. This is one badass of a modded-out Jeep, right down to the perfectly rugged-looking tow points and cable and the mounted spotlights. If you were to tell me that you wouldn’t want to tool around the beaches or mountain trails of your town in this baby, I would tell you that you were lying. This is how you do lift properly, this is how you do a wheel package properly, and this is how you do the rack properly. Everything about this Jeep just screams “perfection.” You’re welcome.
7 Snow Runner (Stunning)
Alright, so we just saw the perfect Jeep for a little light beach or desert work—am I right or am I right? Now, we’ve got the perfect example of how to mod out a winter warrior for those far northern (or eastern, for all of you being pummeled by Nor’easters) climes. Check out the wheel and tire package for this puppy—it absolutely proves that you don’t need to get into a crazy lift obsession if you just do right by your wheels. Those guys could climb the frozen tundra all day, I’m sure. Then you’ve got great tow points and a perfectly awesome Bull Bar on that reinforced front bumper. Combine that with the really nicely understated but I’m betting oh-so-powerful HID light add-ons, and you could take this beauty out Caribou hunting or Abominable Snowman chasing all day and night. Or whatever it is that you guys up in the North do with your Jeeps in your spare time…
6 Rock Rider (Stunning)
So, perhaps you’re tired of our beach masterpiece of modding or our winter off-roader. Perhaps you’re just longing for a Jeep to take you where those chilly winds don’t blow. I’m talking about heading into the forests for a little rock climbing, of course. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Well, here’s the perfect little ride for doing just that. Just look at this chopped-down Wrangler to see what I mean. It’s totally got the right look. Reinforced suspension mods are nice and visible, which is a good place to start in a vehicle you want to take across boulders. The wheel package is perfect for what this Jeep needs to accomplish, which is to take down those rocks, dammit! The reinforced bumpers with the bullbars look really well done, too—I’m pretty sure nothing is gonna get past those and crack an axle, which is kind of the whole point.
5 Running Lights Are Alright (Stunning)
So, if you really want to go all out and make a statement on the street, then this is how you do both running lights and your LED package. I mean, look at this bad boy—that’s a pretty awesome sight, and we’re seeing it in the daytime. Can you imagine what this thing looks like lit up at night? I actually think it might blind any onlookers who get too close, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in an urban situation. The body paint job is pretty sweet, too. Too many times, guys take a great Jeep and slap on a horrible paint package that doesn’t match what they're looking for, but not this time around. The black and blue flame tracery goes perfectly with that modded-out light package. I’ll admit it—I’m suffering from Jeep envy right now.
4 Backwoods (Stunning)
Remember that chrome-pink nightmare earlier in this article? Remember how its spokes were also done up in that horrible color? If you don’t, that’s OK—I’ve tried to put it out of my mind as well. But here, we have the perfect example of how that sort of thing is supposed to be done. The spokes here accentuate the whole feel of the vehicle, not take away from it. There are also only a few cars that can pull of that whole orange-yellow look. One is a Lamborghini Countach; another is a Corvette Stingray. Here’s a third for you. This Jeep kicks ass—I don’t care what anyone says. That bullbar is just awesome on the front, and the raised wheel wells are pretty cool, too—you don’t need lift as much as you might think, but you do need clearance for the wheels to do their job, and this baby has got that in spades.
3 Jumps Like A Willys In 4-Wheel Drive (Stunning)
If my last entry referenced one of our truly bad Jeep mods, then I guess this one does, too. Specifically, this time, I’m talking about that horrible silver Jeep/Chevy Silverado hybrid we saw a while back. That was one of the worst mods I’ve ever seen on any vehicle. Fortunately, we have another Jeep owner who knew how to fully embrace the awesomeness of modding out a pickup truck look with his ride. This time, it’s a fire-engine-red Willys that’s been modified into a chopped-down winter work truck. This thing was built to haul a cord of firewood and a Siberian Husky or two, wasn’t it? The best part of this whole setup is that this dude knows you don’t want to waste money on an upgraded spare. If you need the spare, just go ahead and throw a real one on so that you can get to where you need to go—you can always worry about re-modding later after you’re safe inside with your Irish coffee, enjoying the snow from afar.
2 Stormtrooper Heaven (Stunning)
I love this one. Love, love, love it! It's not necessarily because I’m the world’s biggest Star Wars fan; I’m not. But if you’re going to go with a “theme” mod, you might as well make it as good as you possibly can, and this ride sure fits that particular bill. It’s menacing while also looking super sophisticated. Note that awesome light package; I’m willing to bet it looks way better on the move with those HIDs than any Tie Fighter you’ve ever seen, including Vader’s personal vehicle. Also note how that grille replicates a Stormtrooper’s helmet, right down to the side flares. This is some serious artwork, not just a slap-on mod, and I for one am totally sold. The Empire Strikes Back indeed. I would love to see the back end and interior of this superior mod job to see what else this guy did.
1 Light Up The Ranch! (Stunning)
And here, we have our final awesome upgrade to a Jeep. This guy was built for investigating crop circles and hunting down missing cattle, wasn’t he? That light package is as impressive as they come before going off the deep end, and the reinforced bumpers and bull bar are perfect for muscling your way through a mass of bison (or whatever ranchers do out on the Back 40). Even better, the wheel package is perfect for fording muddy aqueducts and rough grassland—this guy was smart enough not to put a rough terrain-, winter-, or mountain-incline package on his ride, and I respect that. I’m also pretty sure that, just like our yellow backwoods rambler, this one doesn’t have any doors. That’s actually a great reverse mod if this is indeed a working farm/ranch vehicle as it totally appears to be.
Sources: jeepz.com, pinterest.com, fourwheeler.com, quadratec.com