From its first appearance as a General Purpose 4x4 vehicle for the US Army in 1940, the Jeep has became as recognisable a symbol of the spirit and sacrifice of WWII as raising the flag on Iwo Jima, the liberation of Paris, or the D-Day landings at Omaha Beach. Today, original WWII Jeeps are in great demand, and while most have chosen to retain them in the original 'khaki' state, Jeep City have given this classic a modern twist that will fulfil just about any Jeep fancier's dreams. Reflecting how the war was won, this vehicle is truly a "league of nations", as it has been seriously modified with help from a number of sources. The body is a classic 1943 Ford GPW that has escaped the ravages of time, is rust free, with years of life left in it.
It embodies everything that is classic Jeep: the slotted grille; door cutouts; round headlights; folding windscreen and utilitarian nature of the original off-roader. Unlike the original, the running gear and mechanicals of this vehicle are far removed from anything that was available in 1943. First up, under the bonnet is a rebuilt Holden XU1 6-cylinder engine. If you're familiar with this powerplant, you'll know it's potent enough to satisfy all your performance needs. It's mated to a Toyota 40 Series 4-speed manual transmission and transfer case. Underpinning this Jeep is a Toyota 40 Series Rhyno Off Road 4-inch suspension kit with Rancho shocks and matching 40 Series axles with a fully floating rear. Steering is also a Toyota 40 Series conversion.
Inside, the upgrade includes VDO Classic Series gauges, and gone are the dreadful seats that the servicemen put up with, replaced with Super Jeep USA Renegade sports seats, which offer a great ride and full support. There is also full marine carpet trim and a USA Bestop bikini top. This vehicle not only performs exceptionally, but looks good too. It is finished in menacing black metallic paint with polyurethane clear top coat, plus colour coded wheel arches. There are rear arch flares and extra wide fibreglass front guards. Sitting under the guards are chrome 6 spoke rims with 32 x 11.5 x 15" BF?Goodrich All Terrains, plus a swing-away spare wheel carrier. This is a no-nonsense 4WD that combines plenty of history, off-road ability and top class street cred. Dubbed "Super Jeep", this month's feature 4x4 is one of many projects Jeep City have undertaken.
This one started as an exercise in just what can be done with a stock WWII Jeep. Judging by this example, you can do quite a lot! The asking price of $24,900 is an absolute steal considering the number of upgrades, plus all the hard work has been done for you. As we were compiling this article, Rob from Jeep City told us of another 'work in progress' that sounds even more impressive than the Super Jeep. Using a Chevy C20 - converted to 4x4 K20 spec - as a base, Jeep City have added a big lift kit, fibreglass flip front, blown big block Chevy motor and plenty more. Sounds like another '4x4?of the Month' in the making! Look out for it in a future issue.
At a glance
Engine: Rebuilt Holden XU1 high performance 6-cylinder engine
Transmission: Toyota 40 Series 4-speed transmission and transfer case
Suspension: Toyota 40 Series Rhyno Off Road 4" suspension lift kit with Rancho shocks
Axles: Toyota 40 Series with full floating rear
Fuel tank: Rhyno alloy drop tank
Wheels & tyres; Chrome 6 spoke rims with 32 x 11.5 x 15" BF Goodrich All Terrains, plus swing away spare wheel carrier.
Finish: New black metallic and polyurethane clear outer with colour coded wheel arches; flares and extra wide front guards.
Price: $24,900, incl QLD registration