This year we had the opportunity to team up with Alpine Electronics for the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Even though our normal route for an audio upgrade includes JL Audio speakers, we commonly feature the Alpine X009 9” restyle head unit as the source for a top-of-the-line audio upgrade. The Alpine unit completely redesigns the Jeep Wrangler JK dashboard. This upgrade goes well with our RubiTrux builds, which also feature accessories and upgrades by Alea Leather and AEV! This perfect blend of the Jeep aftermarket gives you not only a high-end and technologically advanced Jeep, but also one that performs well both on-road and off!For this show in particular, we opted to showcase two of our builds that had the Alpine 9 speaker upgrade and the Alpine X009 head unit. These two products replace the OEM speakers and head unit in the Jeep Wrangler JK platform. While the present-day OEM speakers for the JK are an upgrade from previous Wranglers, the Alpine upgrade takes sound quality a step further. If you want a large touch screen for navigation, monitoring vehicle functions, and more, the Apine head unit is for you! We specifically chose our show Jeeps to demonstrate just how much quality and craftsmanship are found in these Alpine units, as well as our builds themselves. Pictured above is our main build, the 2016 Rhino Rubicon. Our staff chose this Wrangler JKU because of its unique color and incredible interior. The combination of Alpine products, AEV bumpers and wheels, and Alea Nappa Leather really set it off as an attention grabber. This Jeep JK Unlimited is also equipped with the brand-new KIS Products custom Jeep JK sound bar enclosure with Alpine speakers. The combination speaker and sound bar enclosure produces a high quality listening experience that makes any Wrangler sound incredible!The KIS soundbar enclosure is perfect for the owner looking to get the best in sound quality. KIS Products designed this sound bar to look as good as it sounds. The plug-and-play system includes (4) 6.5" Alpine speakers and (4) 2" tweeters as well as pre-installed LED lights that change color via remote! The lights have a variety of standard colors, but can also flash, strobe, blend or randomly select colors at the press of a button.The other build featured was this beautiful 6.4L HEMI! We couldn’t attend a show without a HEMI conversion! Since the mid-1980's, the largest engine offered in most Jeep CJ or Wrangler platforms was an Inline-6 (updated to a V-6 in 2007). Six cylinders is just two cylinders short for most people, and if you want to get some serious power for your Jeep Wrangler, a V-8 swap is for you! We commonly swap both the 5.7L and 6.4L HEMI V-8 engines at our shop in Boone, NC, with awesome results. If you didn't get a chance to see this HEMI JKU at the Jeep Invasion, we've got a few on our lot, so stop by for a visit!We arrived early for load-in on Friday, and after a long day of unpacking gear and setting up our booth, we headed to attend the Vendor Party at Harpoon Harry’s Crab House. The AWESOME staff of the Invasion had the entire second floor rented out for vendors only, which meant no long lines or wait times for food, which was delicious! There was also an impromptu Jeep show going on outside the restaurant! Along with about 100 other Jeepers, some of our own brought personal vehicles for the meet-and-greet. Here's Caleb's 2007 JK Rubicon Unlimited!Saturday morning came early, and so did the fast approaching public opening. We did a final check to make sure everything was in working order; as soon as the doors opened, the Leconte Center quickly filled up to capacity. Spectators and enthusiasts alike poured into to the center to see everything from a Sunset Orange AEV Built 6.4L HEMI Double Cab conversion to JKU’s on 40” tall tires! We set up right next to Maximus-3 and ARB, which brought a ton of attention to the Alpine booth as well. Here's just a few of the builds at the show, shown below!
We quickly realized just as many people were interested in the Alea Nappa Leather in the 2016 Rhino as the Alpine Restyle head unit itself! Spectators found the color and tone of the Alea Leather fascinating. We heard comments ranging from “Don’t touch that honey, its expensive!” to “This is by far the nicest build in the entire show!”. We got a laugh out of both!
Overall, The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion was a very successful show, and it allowed us to showcase our attention to detail, as well as get our foot in the door for next year! Rumor has it next year’s show will be a 2 day event, and we may just have to build another over-the-top Jeep to really show what we can do! Could it be a 7.0 Supercharged HEMI? Another 448 Stroker? Hellcat? We'll have to wait until next year, but stay tuned. Hopefully we will see you at the 2017 Great Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion!