Jeep Safari Concept is one of the vehicle concepts that the brand will show in Moab over Easter (Photo: FCA US LLC)AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Jeep enthusiasts just got an early Easter surprise — a basketful of cool concept offroad vehicles. The rides were stationary at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles headquarters here, but they are ready to hit the trails for the 51st annual Easter Jeep Safari on April 8 to 16 in Moab, Utah. “Go fast and look good … and if you’re not smiling, get out,” said Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, as walked around the hot rod Jeep Quicksand, which was “built for sand dunes.” A shiny black hot rod-inspired Wrangler, a Jeep Safari Wrangler with see-through doors and a Grand Cherokee with a “modernized spin” on the 1993 ZJ, the first generation for the storied SUV, all were on display. A Jeep Safari’s see-through “windoors” were made of aluminum and clear vinyl and had cabinet-style hinges and zipper openings to let in fresh air.
Jeep Customizes a Pair of Wranglers for Moab
This year’s Easter Jeep Safari will be the last for the current-generation Jeep Wrangler, as an all-new model is set to make its debut at the end of the year. Jeep SafariUnlike the Switchback, the Safari is a Wrangler Unlimited designed to appeal to modern techies. So the Wrangler-based Switchback and Safari concepts will serve as the swan songs for the decade-old SUV before it rides off to the big mud pit in the sky. Jeep SwitchbackThe purist’s choice among Jeep’s 2017 Easter Safari concepts, the Switchback includes a stepped “safari” top, painted white, that is reminiscent of the lid fitted to the original Land Rover Discovery. Additionally, Jeep tossed in a set of remote-reservoir Fox shocks, a winch, and a roof rack.
On Thursday, my friend Brandon and I hauled the spare spare transfer case and transmission to my indoor workshop that normal folks apparently call a “kitchen.” We unbolted the transfer case from the trans, and started scavenging for parts. Wednesday night, my friend Eric came over and helped me remove the transfer case from the transmission, which was lacking in the “second gear” department. Especially with the custom top in place, the Jeep feels like nothing else I’ve ever driven. But this Jeep is never going to make it to Moab. That’s what this feels like: I’m in a big cartoon Jeep, headed west for the Jeep promised land, worrying every second I’m behind the wheel, and yet somehow, enjoying every moment.
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collected by :John Max