As we're a division of High Country 4x4 we see all sorts of four-wheel drive vehicles, both modern and classic. Every once-in-awhile we'll see a unique build, rare vehicle, or classic car roll through, and sometimes, we manage to grab a few pictures! Here's a few of these unique vehicles from the RubiTrux archives, some of which were mentioned during previous blog posts, while others are making a first appearance below. You may be used to seeing our standard Jeep JK Unlimited builds and Brute Double Cabs, and while special and unique in their own right, these 4x4's are commonplace around the shop. For that reason, we're looking at other vehicles that either stray from the common build style, or are unique in stock forms, such as a classic car or special OEM trim package. For the purpose of these posts, we'll be dividing vehicles into two categories - “classic” which defines roughly anything designed or built up to and through 1999, and “modern”, which is anything designed or built after the year 2000.Classic – 1966-71 Jeepster Commando
First up, we've got a red 1966-1971 Jeepster Commando pickup truck. The Jeepster Commando was a larger alternative to the CJ-5 at the time, with the CJ-7 not yet in production (1976) and the Scrambler more than a decade away (1981). With a longer wheelbase, the Jeepster could haul more cargo and provide a more stable ride than the CJ-5. The Commando was offered in pickup, convertible (soft top similar to a CJ), and wagon (hard top) platforms. The C101 Commando (produced by Kaiser-Jeep) featured a front end resembling the CJ, and came with either an Inline-4 or V6 engine. With AMC's (American Motors Corporation) purchase of the Jeep line in 1970, the Jeepster Commando was partially redesigned as the Jeep Commando. The CJ-like grille was replaced with an updated front end, and this Jeep was produced through 1973. This early version is decently kept, considering the age of the vehicle and the local climate, and comes complete with the original red paint and badging.Classic – 1969 Dodge Charger DaytonaWe had this classic car stop by the shop awhile back, and grabbed a few quick pictures as this unique vehicle was only produced for the 1969 model year! The Dodge Charger Daytona featured a special aerodynamic nose cone and a rear mounted wing, to help stabilize the vehicle at high speeds. Designed as a high performance car, the Daytona rose to NASCAR fame in the late 1960's. However, NASCAR rules changed soon after the car's introduction, removing the Charger Daytona and other “aero-cars” from racing, and this collector's item was pushed into the history books. With a little over 500 made, the Dodge Charger Daytona cars are highly collectible, and this version is in excellent condition!Classic – 1979 Jeep CJ-7Along with the CJ-5, the Jeep CJ-7 is one of the most recognizable Jeep 4x4s to date; oftentimes, early model YJ and TJ Wranglers are mistaken for CJ's by the unknowing public, as they share roughly the same dimensions and wheelbase as the '7, and even some of the same parts and engines too! This beautifully restored 1979 CJ-7 was on consignment last Fall, and as we predicted, didn't last very long before a lucky buyer scooped it up! This CJ-7 was meticulously restored, complete with a factory red paintjob, classic 15” “wagon wheels”, 31” tires, and AMC/CJ-7 badges. The interior even features a rare factory Cobra 47XLR, which is an AM/FM and CB radio, all in one!This CJ-7 does have an aftermarket radio, complete with CD player, but this has been mounted carefully below the dash; the previous owner left the OEM dash unmolested (oftentimes, the dashboards on these old CJ's will be cut to make room for a larger, more modern headunit). This '7 features early-model doors without the AMC paddle handles found on late model CJ's, YJ's, and TJ Wranglers, a factory swing out tire carrier and fold-down tailgate (replaced with a swing out unit on the Wrangler starting in late 1986), and aftermarket roll-bar padding and front seats. This CJ is powered by a 4.2L Inline-6 with a Weber 2-Barrel carburetor and Motorcraft ignition system mated to a 3-speed manual transmission. Being a 1979 model, this CJ came with narrow-track axles, the Dana-30 (front), and AMC-20 (rear). For more pictures, check the above link to the blog post!Classic – 1991 Jeep Wrangler YJ RenegadeThe Jeep Wrangler YJ is often given a hard time because of the square headlights. It is the only Wrangler model to feature square headlights, as the CJ, TJ, and JK all have the “classic” round headlight configuration. The YJ was designed in the early 1980's by AMC as a replacement for the Jeep CJ. The YJ featured a wider stance and new suspension components such as trackbars and swaybars to make the vehicle more stable on-road than the CJ. The YJ was sold beginning in the 1987 model year, with the CJ being discontinued in 1986. With each passing year, these original Wranglers are getting harder and harder to come by. This is especially true with certain special editions, like this 1991 Jeep Wrangler YJ Renegade.The Renegade was a unique trim package available for the Jeep Wrangler YJ during the early 1990's, and featured large fiberglass fenders, a unique interior and a special decal kit, among other accessories. This version is a nicely kept red 1991 YJ Renegade, and is currently having the original paint job touched up; as this is in such nice condition, it is slated to be kept in our showroom alongside a pristine CJ-7, Scrambler, and an early model TJ Sahara, completing the transition of Jeep history to the current model, the JK/U. As you can see, this version features the unique color-matched fenders, bumpers and integrated steps, along with the special decal package and fender mounted fog lights, similar to where the TJ's turn signals would be mounted in the mid/late-1990s.Classic – 1999 Jeep Wrangler TJ SaharaThe Jeep Wrangler TJ was the last Jeep to be built using AMC parts or the AMC designed 2.5L Inline-4 and 4.0L Inline-6 engines, and they also share several other key similarities and a few differences with the CJ-7 and YJ. We chose to slot the TJ platform in the “classic” category as it's the last Jeep to be modeled after the CJ-7, despite such changes as the coil spring suspension. These models are so similar that the TJ can accept CJ and YJ doors, tops, and other parts with minor modifications; the 2007+ JK by comparison, is much larger and features a Chrysler powerplant, no AMC parts, and cannot interchange elements with the CJ/YJ/TJ. The TJ Sahara was the top-of-the-line model for the late 1990's and early 2000's (the Rubicon would not make an appearance until 2003, and the LJ would be introduced in 2004).Early TJ Saharas were offered in the green color above, or a dark red, black, or white color scheme, and came with color-matched fender flares, special green and tan seats with map pouches, and a two-toned black and tan dash. Sahara TJ's are usually seen with a hard top and full doors, although it isn't uncommon to see one that was ordered with half doors or a soft top from the factory. All Sahara TJ's featured the bulletproof Inline-6 and A/C as standard, and like most early TJ Wranglers, chances are you'll find one with the AX-15 manual transmission, although the automatic was a popular option as well. This TJ is unique in that it received a Rubicon Express Lift kit, Warn bumpers, and Mickey Thompson wheels, period correct for a 1999 model. What really makes this TJ unique however, are the 34x9.50 Super Swamper TSL tires. We rarely have a request for “pizza-cutters”, which are geared towards the serious off-road crowd. These tires do great in mud, or any surface where the tire needs to dig down to get traction for the vehicle. Interesting to note, the owner in question already had a CJ-5 with Super Swamper “skinnys”, and wanted the same thing for his TJ, making both 'rigs perfect in the mountainous backcountry that surrounds Boone.Modern – 6.1L AEV BruteThe AEV Brute gets slotted to the “modern” category as the conversion was designed in the early 2000's. The Brute kit turns a Jeep TJ or LJ Wrangler into a pickup truck by lengthening the frame, adding a separate bed with fold down tailgate, and cab closeout/hard top. This allows the Brute to carry much more cargo than a standard Wrangler, while still retaining the ability to remove the doors/top for the classic open-air feel of the Wrangler. This Brute is unique in that it has both a 6.1L HEMI and 40” tires! We have had many Brutes come through the shop over the years, and you may have read about two of our current Brute builds, but this truck takes the cake.We've seen Inline-6 Brutes, Rubicon Brutes, and even a 5.7L HEMI Brute, but the 6.1L was a first. Coupled with the HD44 and 60 Dynatrac axles, 40” tires, and 4.5” long arm suspension, this 'rig took the unique category without question. The GM Inferno Orange Paint Job and custom parts such as bumpers, rock sliders, and skid plates would win awards at any car show. With attention given to every minute detail, this Brute is one-of-a-kind; currently for sale on our lot for $75k, this truck is worth every penny!
Modern – 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ LCOGWe chose the “modern” category for this Jeep because superchargers, Line-X'd exteriors, and LCOG (Low Center of Gravity) builds didn't rise in popularity on Jeep vehicles until the late 2000's and early 2010's. While there are some purists that still cringe at high clearance fenders, low or no suspension lift, and superchargers on an off-road vehicle, the LCOG build style has certainly gained a reputation as a more stable off-road platform, and superchargers are finding their way onto more and more current Jeep products. This TJ features a 2” suspension lift and Metalcloak fenders, allowing it to fit and flex out the 33x12.50r15lt Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires. The tires are mounted to a set of 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic IIIs, and the exterior of the vehicle has been given a complete Line-X protective coating. As previously mentioned, the AMC designed 4.0L Inline-6 features a RIPP Supercharger.
Modern – 2006 RubiTrux ConversionThis RubiTrux is the most extreme conversion we've done to date. Our usual build involves a Jeep LJ with the OEM wheels/tires/suspension setup, plus the AEV top and our 'trux conversion. Sometimes you'll see 33's, maybe even a set of 35's on occasion. However, this build features 37's! In order to fit these tires, this RubiTrux has about 7” of lift, accomplished by a Rubicon Express 5.5” lift and a 1.25” body lift. Fuel Octane 20x12 wheels give this Jeep a bit of a street look, but the ARB bumpers and Warn Zeon 8s Winch ensure that it's more than equipped to go off the beaten path. The OEM lighting was also replaced with JW Speaker Headlights, Smoked Turn Signals, ARB Bumper Lights, and IPF 900 XS Driving Lights replacing the OEM fogs.To get into this tall 'rig a set of Rock Slide Engineering Power Side Steps were added, and to help control the large 37” tires, an OME (Old Man Emu) steering stabilizer and Currie Enterprise Heavy Duty Steering were installed as well. The 4.0L engine was upgraded with a Banks Cold Air Intake, a Superchips Trail Dash Programmer, and an AFE Throttle Body Spacer. To see the complete build sheet for this monster 'trux, check out the link above!
Modern – 2008 Jeep CommanderJeep ran the Commander for a few years in the late 2000's as sort of a replacement for the classic XJ (discontinued after the 2001 model year), so this vehicle gets a solid “modern” classification. You don't see many lifted Commanders, and this build we completed about two years back included Line-X'd bumpers to boot!The bumpers are from a company called Tactical Armor Group, and feature a winch mount, hoop, and fog light/LED cube cutouts (front), and a swing out tire carrier (rear). A Warn winch, D-rings, and Rigid LED lights are mounted to the front bumper, and a 3-4” lift lets this SUV fit some 33” Toyo Open Country M/T tires with room to spare. As we've kept in touch with the owner over the last couple years, he's told us of the regular excursions off-road with his built Commander, and as seen by the last image, this SUV is certainly being put through it's paces!If you enjoyed this post stay tuned for Part 2, where we once again take a look at some modern and classic 'rides at RubiTrux!