2016 Jeep CJ66
Frankenstein creation combines three Jeeps into one
What happens when Jeep engineers are given free reign to build something and there are three Jeeps lying around? This – the “CJ66.” It combines the best of a Jeep TJ, Jeep JK, and a 1966 Jeep CJ into one, go-anywhere vehicle. Sadly this is just a one-off concept, but it does showcase the dept of parts available through Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts (JPP). And that’s what SEMA is all about, right?
Jeep engineers started with the Jeep TJ’s fame. They then added the CJ’s body, and then sprinkled in some Jeep JK parts, tons of JPP items, and the seats from a Dodge Viper. All told, this beast is ready for the trail and for a cruise down Woodward Avenue.
Still, several parts were custom made for this Jeep. The hood is similar to the JK’s Heat Reduction hood, but it has been form-fitted over the CJ’s grille and to meet its flat fenders. The interior is custom as well, using parts and pieces from both the Jeep catalog and around the aftermarket industry.
Let’s jump in and dissect what the Jeep CJ66 is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep CJ66.
This Jeep certainly has a unique look like nothing we’ve seen before. Up front, the CJ66 wears a steel bumper from the current JK Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock, complete with a Warn winch with synthetic line. The CJ grille gets a blacked-out treatment with LED headlights that might find their way onto the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The front fenders are original CJ, but they have black flares to help cover the large BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires. The hood takes a wild approach, being a highly modified version of the Jeep Wrangler JK’s Heat Reduction hood.
The windshield is CJ material, but has been shortened by two inches for a meaner look. The Jeep’s tub is also CJ, using the original door openings, dash, and rear cargo area. A roll cage has been added for occupant protection and a sun screen shade keep the pair from getting baked by the scorching sun. The rear fenders wear similar flares as the front, keeping mud and rocks from flying onto the custom Copper Canyon paint job.
Around back, the rear bumper is also from the current Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock. It features two tow hooks for recovering lesser vehicles from rough terrain. A CJ tailgate and old-school taillights finish off the look. Protecting the long rocker panels is a JPP rock slider with an integrated step. Also from JPP are the 17-inch beadlock wheels. The beadlock ring is also color-keyed to the Copper Canyon color of the body.
Over small touches include the 1966 period-correct V-8 badges, the CJ-style side mirrors, and the matt black graphics on the hood. All told, this is an awesome looking build.
There’s not much to say about the interior – mostly because this Jeep is permanently open to the elements, making the inside just a place to sit. The two lucky people who do get to sit will find racing seats and five-point harnesses from a Viper. The black leather has subtle orange contrast stitching that matches the exterior. The hard seatbacks are also sprayed in the same orange. The center console armrest gets the same treatment as well. Speaking of the center console, it comes courtesy of a Wrangler JK, including the gear shifter and transfer case lever.
The steering wheel is a combination of aluminum and leather, with its center cap featuring the Moab 2016 Easter Jeep Safari logo. This year’s EJS was the 50th anniversary, so it’s a big deal to Jeep enthusiasts.
The gauge cluster isn’t much to speak of. It consists of a large center speedometer with a small tachometer and digital odometer and tripometer read-outs. Two smaller gauges likely show fuel and coolant temperature.
Those V-8 badges on the fender don’t lie, even despite Jeep not revealing the powerplant residing under the hood. Autoblog reports, however, that a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 383 horsepower was the engine of choice by those who assembled this rig. Interestingly enough, Jeep’s press material does say the engine has a Mopar engine cover and a Mopar cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust system. The engine is backed by a six-speed manual transmission, likely borrowed from a Dodge Challenger, along with a two-speed transfer case for the 4WD.
The Jeep rides on two Dana 44 Crate axles separated from the frame by a two-inch lift kit. The heavy duty axles give the Jeep outstanding strength to turn the 35-inch-tall tires over rocky or through muddy terrain.
Other underbody add-ons include JPP skid plates and front bumper plates that protect sensitive components. The Jeep also has a prototype two-way air system that allows for filling up tires after airing down for off-roading.
This one-off Jeep is a testament to the passion and dedication found in the Jeep division. No other automaker creates so many and such detailed concept vehicles as Jeep. It’s evidence as to how many people have interest for the 4WD brand. Otherwise, Jeep wouldn’t spend its time or resources on such projects.
We look forward to seeing the Jeep CJ66 on the trails and future Jeep events. We’re also looking forward to seeing several of the concept aftermarket parts make their way into the JPP catalog. Let us know your favorite part of this Jeep in the comments below.