Reviving a 45-year-old nameplate

The annual Moab Easter Safari is a cool event if you like to go off-roading, but it’s an equally important meeting if you’re a big fan of Jeep SUVs. The event is usually packed with cool concept cars from the FCA-owned automaker, with most of them time-based on the popular Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. But, Jeep also built numerous restomods in recent years, including older versions of the Wrangler, the CJ, and even the Grand Wagoneer. For 2018, Jeep prepared a tribute to the 1966 Jeepster using the brand-new Wrangler. And it’s an awesome two-door SUV which proves that Jeep should consider reviving the convertible pickup.

The Jeepster nameplate goes a long way back, having been introduced in 1948 by Willys-Overland Motors. Production ended in 1950, but the name was revived in 1966 by Kaiser-Jeep. The vehicle was actually known as the Jeepster Commando or C101; the Jeepster was turned into a small pickup truck aimed at the International Scout, Ford Bronco, Toyota Land Cruiser. Production ended in 1973, and a replacement wasn’t offered until 1981 when Jeep introduced the CJ-based Scrambler. The Jeepster concept is based on the latest Wrangler Rubicon and was put together using a range of Jeep Performance Parts. Let’s have a closer look below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Wrangler Jeepster.

What makes the Jeep Wrangler Jeepster special

  • Vintage two-tone color
  • Raked windscreen
  • Vented engine hood
  • LED off-road lights
  • 17-inch wheels
  • Black fuel door
  • Tubular roll cage
  • Katzkin leather seats
  • Custom storage packs
  • Two-inch lift kit
  • Aluminum body shocks
  • Massive BF Goodrich tires
2018 Jeep Wrangler Jeepster
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The windshield was raked back by 2.5 degrees to create a cropped and somewhat sportier stance

Despite the massive stance due to the big tires and the lift kit, the Wrangler Jeepster impersonates the original Jeepster model quite nicely. The two-tone paint is obviously the main reason for that, as it combined a vintage-inspired Firecracker Red body with a Bright White hard-top and windshield, and matching accents on the fender flares and the upper sections of the concept half doors. The windshield was raked back by 2.5 degrees to create a cropped and somewhat sportier look. The roof was also chopped off by two inches for a lower stance.

Beyond the color, which evokes the 1966 Jeepster, the modified Wrangler boasts a number of Jeep Performance Parts, starting with a vented, bulged engine hood and five- and seven-inch LED off-road lights. The latter is backed by the production LED foglamps in the steel bumper. Other additions include two-tone 17-inch wheels, tri-color Jeepster badges, and a black fuel door.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Jeepster Exterior
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Inside the cabin, Jeep replaced the standard sport bar with a conceptual, tubular roll cage

Inside the cabin, Jeep replaced the standard sport bar with a conceptual, tubular roll cage and added all-weather floor mats for enhanced practicality. For a premium touch, the Wrangler Jeepster received black Katzkin leather seats with red Jeep logos on the seatbacks and red stitching on the bolsters. More red accents similar to the exterior paint can be seen on the dashboard.

Finally, Jeep created concept storage packs mounted to the tailgate for transport of gear and supplies, including food, water, and tools. These packs feature a split design to accommodate the rearview camera.

While there’s no word of what’s under the hood (most likely a standard drivetrain), the Jeepster rides on a two-inch lift kit and aluminum body shocks. Of course, it’s the massive, 37-inch BF Goodrich K02 tires that stand out and make the concept a full-fledged off-road vehicle, especially when compared to the original Jeepster.

References

Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

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Press release

Available Jeep Performance Parts concept modifications combine to bring to life the Jeep Jeepster concept. Based on a Wrangler Rubicon, this concept evokes the color palette and speedy styling of the 1966 Jeepster.

The original’s classic two-tone graphic theme is mirrored on its modern-day counterpart with a Firecracker Red body, set off by a Bright White concept hardtop, chopped by two inches, and a Bright White custom windshield raked back 2.5 degrees to create a cropped, compact appearance. The customized windshield maintains the all-new Wrangler’s convenient fold-down feature. Bright White also accents the perimeter of the Rubicon fender flares, and an upper portion of the concept half doors. Jeep badging is replaced with a tri-color Jeepster hard badge.

The Jeepster deftly balances concept possibilities with a range of presently available Jeep Performance Parts, including a JPP hood and graphic, without the optional cold-air intake or snorkel. LED off-road lights in 5- and 7-inch applications illuminate the trail for the Jeepster, shining bright at up to 8,000 lumens. The LED lights are mounted to the A-pillar via light brackets. The Rubicon steel bumper features premium production LED fog lamps.

A 2-inch lift kit and 2.5-inch diameter aluminum body shocks work with oversized, 37-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires to raise the Jeepster above off-road obstacles. Beadlock-capable 17-inch wheels are accented by body-color matching Firecracker Red beadlock trim rings. Additional items from the JPP portfolio include a black fuel door, grab handles and all-weather floor mats.

Inside the Jeepster, a concept tubular roll cage replaces the sport bar and an additional 38-inch tire is secured with a custom in-cabin spare tire carrier. The interior meshes off-road functionality with premium features, including black Katzkin leather seats with Rubicon Red Jeep grille logos embroidered on the seatbacks, and Rubicon Red accent stitching on the seat bolsters. The instrument panel inserts are Firecracker Red to tie in with the exterior.

Relocation of the spare tire to the cabin provides an opportunity for another custom touch: concept storage packs mounted to the tailgate for transport of gear and supplies such as food, water and tools. The packs feature a split design to accommodate the rearview camera. A concept rock step — a unique combination of a rock rail/side step — completes the Jeepster.

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