Just in time to kick off this spring’s off road events, Jeep has unveiled a truly unique concept car that has already attracted quite a following. Building on the platform of the Jeep Cherokee Chief that was popular in the 70’s, this new vehicle is not only high on style, but boasts some seriously gnarly truck parts as well. It hearkens back to the good old days when peace, love, and adventure were all around, and tugs a bit on our heartstrings in a nostalgic way.
Crafted just for the upcoming 49th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT, the Chief is already turning heads of the old and young alike with its massive tires, bold retro blue paint job, and classic grill pattern. It registers as the ideal beach car and calls out for you to grab your gear, roll the windows down, and feel the air whip through your hair as you fly down Highway 1. But even for the mountain dwellers (just ask your mechanic in Fort Collins), this new concept is hitting all the right buttons: it’s the perfect mix of practicality, the right aftermarket 4×4 parts, and deep soul-moving groove.
At first glance, you may be struck with the suave beefiness of this car. It almost feels like it should be wearing a safari hat and knocking back a cold one by the side of a country road. The wide and beefy base is imposing and definitely communicates with you that it can handle some off road action. But the body itself is nicely sculpted, strikingly minimalist, and definitely roomy for wherever the road of life takes you. It’s like the Chief doesn’t have to work too hard to prove itself to you: it knows it’s cool.
The off road community can’t help but be impressed with the guns hiding underneath the massive hood. A growling Pentastar V-6 is guided by a well-milled 6 speed manual transmission, and buoyed by a Mopar 2-inch lift kit and cushy Fox shocks. The ultra-wide 37-inch deep tread tires serve to not only decorate the classically slot-styled rims, but to conquer any terrain. From the beaches and deserts to the hot Saturday night bars, the Chief is a willing and able wingman.
Waiting to cut through the morning air with its chevron-shaped front end, the Chief is an ideal adventure rig for those with wanderlust, and those who aren’t afraid of standing out. Because people will absolutely turn their heads if this bad boy comes rolling down the road, even your mechanic in Fort Collins. You just can’t help but gaze at this sculpted iconic physique and marvel at its shiny new truck parts; a nostalgic vision in ocean blue. The minimalism of the painted metal and beach vibes of the teakwood slat cargo area may make you yearn for a different time- when life was easy and carefree and when cars served the primal purpose of providing adventures, not just hauling you between points A and B.
And you can savor those moments on the road in a fun and funky way: the interior has been outfitted with creamy leather and Magnum, P.I.-inspired Hawaiian print inserts, vintage stickers, and wood detailing. The show model even has a tiki shift knob and a dancing hula girl adorns the dash, appealing to those auto aficionados that yearn for all things kitschy. Thankfully, the kit of aftermarket 4×4 parts makes up for the slightly cheeky interior, assuring those who are looking to spin a little sand or fling a little mud that they still can. After all, the Chief is making its debut at one of the biggest off road events of the year, and will be testing out its components on the notorious Utah slick rock along with thousands of discerning drivers.
If you are a 4 wheeler with a penchant for vintage style and a good sense of humor, keep your eyes peeled for this new concept vehicle. Perhaps the old Scouts and “woodie wagons” have left their mark on your heart, and you’re looking for something to embody that West Coast vibe here in Colorado? Or maybe you’re just hoping for something Wrangler-esque without the boring boxy shape? If Jeep ever pushes this rig into production, then you should be first in line to snap one up. There is plenty of room for modifications and opportunities to tailor it to your unique style, without losing the heritage and cool factor of its original birthplace.
You can bet that even before its official unveiling in Moab, thousands of off road drivers, mechanics, and collectors already have their hearts taken back in time by the ever-charming Chief.