Since 2004, Jeep has had a very active involvement with one of the most famous off-road events in the country, the Easter Jeep Safari. Enthusiasts everywhere expect the 2016 EJS to be one for the history books, if for nothing else than for two very interesting reasons, which Jeep CEO Mike Manley recently touched on in a press release:
“Every year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback. This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari. We’re delighted to share seven of the most capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created at this year’s historic event.”
Here is Part One of our look at the new concept models coming to EJS. We’ll be looking at the “throwback” models, those vehicles that celebrate the past while using modern-day features. Tune in next week for Part Two, where we’ll cover the “modern” models. Let’s begin with the Jeep Crew Chief 715.
Jeep Crew Chief 715
First up is the Jeep Crew Chief 715, a nod to Jeep’s ties with the military and in particular the Kaiser era with its M715. Built upon a Wrangler Unlimited chassis, the Crew Chief 715 touts an open-air layout with seating for five and a five-foot pickup bed in the rear. Merging the forward-slanted front end styling of yesteryear with the trusty guts of a JK, this vehicle is one of our favorites and we think it will be for EJS attendees, too.
The Crew Chief 715 has steel front and rear bumpers, 20-inch beadlock wheels, and 40-inch NDT military tires to give it that armed forces feel and look. It also has an onboard air system, cold air intake, and redesigned exhaust system, as well as Dana 60 front and rear axles. Suspension is comprised of a four-inch lift kit and Jeep Performance Parts/Fox 2.0 remote reservoir shock absorbers.
Another throwback concept, the Jeep Shortcut takes its cues from the beloved CJ-5 that was produced for nearly four decades, from 1944 all the way to 1983. The Shortcut showcases a shortened body, trimming more than a foot off of overall length. There are also chrome bumpers, and distinctive wheel flares, hood, grille, and tailgate.
Ride height is increased by two inches thanks to JPP, who also provided Dana 44 axles in front and rear. Wheels and tires are made up of 17-inch steel units and 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2s. Passengers are kept safe and comfortable thanks to a four-point safety cage and leather seats.
Jeep FC 150
Throwbacks are always fun to see at EJS, and Jeep has its third one in the FC 150 concept. This one is actually built from an original Forward Control from 1960, but it’s been given a resto-mod touch that we find pretty interesting.
Jeep revamped the vehicle without touching too much of its 56-year-old “wear and tear” aesthetic. This was done by taking 2005 TJ chassis and putting in a Dana 44 front axle and Dana 60 rear axle, and all of it driven by the rugged 4.0-liter AMC straight-six and three-speed transmission. 17-inch steel wheels were installed and wrapped with BFG rubber, these being 33-inch KM2s.
Which of these throwback concepts is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.