Restomod done right!

Rumored to return to the market after nearly 30 years, the Wagoneer is not yet visible on the horizon, and a precise date for its unveiling is not yet known. But, Jeep is doing its best to keep the flame burning using the original model, which joins this year’s Moab Easter Safari with modern updates. Specifically, Jeep took a first-generation Wagoneer and gave it the restomod treatment for the annual, Utah-based event, which seems to be the place where the SUV manufacturer likes to bring more and more vehicles of this type. While it doesn’t signal anything related to the modern, upcoming Wagoneer, it’s a strong hint that Jeep doesn’t want to leave this nameplate in the dust.

Called the Wagoneer Roadtrip, this SUV is described as one that "stirs up nostalgic memories of going to Yellowstone National Park on a summer family vacation." Yup, it sure sounds like the 1960s. But don’t let the SUV’s looks fool you. While the exterior is as old-school as it gets, the cabin and the chassis hide plenty of modern upgrades. Jeep has already proven that it has the ability to built solid restomods and the Wagoneer Roadtrip is one of its best examples. Let’s have a closer look at it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip.

What Exterior Modifications Does the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip have?

  • Steel body from the original
  • Wider fenders
  • 17-inch wheels
  • Revised bumper
  • Bottle Green windows
  • Light green paint
2018 Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Exterior
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While not visible to the untrained eye, Jeep actually made quite a few modifications

The Wagoneer Roadtrip looks nothing like the kind of SUV that Jeep would build for the Moab Easter Safari. At least not at first glance. This thing looks like a perfectly restored Wagoneer with bigger wheels and thicker tires. But while not visible to the untrained eye, Jeep actually made a few modifications. Although it kept the original steel body of the Wagoneer, it updated it to accept the longer wheelbase of the revised chassis. It’s also slightly wider due to the wider track and the customer fender flares. The wheel wells were also reshaped in order to accommodate the bigger, 17-inch wheels and large off-road tires.

Take a closer look at the SUV’s front end and you’ll notice that the bumpers are also different. Besides being finished in a cream paint that matches the rims, they also have a smoother surface compared to the original chrome pieces, which are more prominent on certain areas. Other additions include integrated rock rails, a polished "razor" grille, and Bottle Green windows. The Wagoneer is also finished in a vintage shade of light green that helps retain the vehicle’s vintage look.

What Interior Modifications Does the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Have?

  • Bench seats
  • Oxblood-colored leather
  • Wicker headliner
2018 Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Interior
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The interior was finished in a similar fashion, by combining the vehicle’s old-school features with modern modifications

The interior was finished in a similar fashion, by combining the vehicle’s old-school features with modern modifications. The original front and rear bench seats were retained, which is cool given the purpose of this SUV. Door panels are also original, while the Oxblood-colored leather upholstery reminds of the late 1960s. Jeep swapped the old headliner for a wicker one, which provides an open, lighter feel. The floor was bedlined, while a custom cooler was built based on period-correct luggage. Finally, a toolbox was made from the valve cover of the SUV’s original 3.8-liter inline-six engine. Also called Tornado, this mill powered the base models and delivered 140 horsepower in its original iteration.

What Performance Modifications does the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip have

  • 5.7-liter V-8 engine
  • Reinforced chassis
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Dana 44 axles
  • Four-link suspension
2018 Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Exterior
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The old inline-six engine was replaced by a modern 5.7-liter Hemi V-8

Speaking of which, Jeep added a 5.7-liter V-8 mill instead. The unit mates to a four-speed automatic transmission, but there’s no additional information or output figures available. Most likely the engine is the same 5.7-liter Hemi used in the modern Jeep Grand Cherokee, which comes with 360 horsepower on tap. But the engine is not the only thing that Jeep changed under the skin. The boxed chassis has a reinforced frame, while the wheelbase has been stretched by five inches. The SUV now rides on Dana 44 front and rear axles with lockers and a four-link suspension system with coilover springs. The 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires provide extra off-road prowess.

Is the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip a True Restomod?

2018 Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Exterior
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All told, the Wagoneer Roadtrip is a great example of modern restomod mastery. Without the cheesy exterior upgrades, but with all the modern underpinnings you need.


2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

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The Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip stirs up nostalgic memories of going to Yellowstone National Park on a summer family vacation. This particular Wagoneer retains its heritage and charm as it continues to utilize its original steel body, while the chassis and drivetrain have been updated.

The wheelbase has been stretched five inches, and the body has been updated to accept the additional length, a wider track and custom fender flares. Other subtle exterior styling tweaks include reshaped wheel wells, bumpers and integrated rock rails. A razor grille freshens the look up front, while Bottle Green architectural glass replaces the original pieces.

The Wagoneer’s off-road capability has been bolstered courtesy of a boxed and reinforced frame, Dana 44 front and rear axles with lockers, four-link suspension with coilover springs, and 17-inch steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires.

Inside, the Wagoneer features original front and rear bench seats, door panels, kick and rear panels, all trimmed in Oxblood-colored leather. A wicker headliner gives the Wagoneer an open, lighter feel and the floor has been bedlined. Additional interior details include a custom cooler fashioned from period-correct luggage, and a tool box created from the valve cover of this Wagoneer’s original 230 Tornado OHC-6 engine.

Known as the original luxury 4x4, this 1965 Jeep Wagoneer is rich with heritage and is built to scale the trails of Moab or cruise the vast highways of the western states. Built from 1963 to 1991, the Wagoneer was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle mated to an automatic transmission, pioneering the first modern SUV. The classic Jeep Wagoneer is a beloved icon and continues to enjoy a robust following of enthusiasts worldwide.

The Jeep Wagoneer heritage vehicle is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

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