Mopar Offers Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Owners a Pickup Conversion Kit
If you were asked to name some of the most quintessentially American new cars sold today, there would be a couple of obvious choices like the Mustang and the Corvette. Another one, of course, should be the Jeep Wrangler. The simple, capable descendent of the segment-creating WWII runabout epitomizes the American ideals of freedom, mobility, and the ability to explore the vast and diverse beauty of the nation’s terrain.
Pickup trucks are also distinctly American vehicles, but Jeep hasn’t made one since the last Comanche rolled off the line in 1992. Before that, Jeep produced many trucks. Some were large. Some were small. Some even utilized a forward-control layout. And some, like the Scrambler, were based on the Wrangler’s forbears. Now, after a long hiatus (due in large part to parent company Chrysler’s desire to prevent the cannibalization of Dodge truck sales, something that was a non-issue for Jeep under Willys, Kaiser and AMC ownership), you can once again buy a new Jeep pickup…but there’s a catch.
It’s called the JK-8, but you won’t find it in the Jeep full-line brochure, or on most dealer lots. That’s because the JK-8 isn’t a production model, per se; it’s actually a kit that will be offered by Mopar (Chrysler’s accessory and performance parts arm) and turns the four-door Wrangler Unlimited into a two-door pickup. The kit will retail for $5,499, and can be installed by your dealer or, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you.
So what’s included? New quarter panels, a bed floor, inside bed panels and a few other small components are made of sheet steel, while the removable hardtop (with t-top-esque “Freedom Panels” that are removable from it) and rear bulkhead are made of fiberglass. You also get an assemblage of tubing that allows the roll cage behind the rear seats to be removed while still maintaining the portion over the front seats.
While we don’t have a specific need for a Jeep Wrangler or a pickup truck, we do find ourselves drawn to this muscular mutt of a motorcar. And many Jeep nuts have been clamoring for a pickup for years, particularly after the company showed the Gladiator concept a few years ago. As a result, we’re betting Mopar won’t have any trouble selling every JK-8 kit it can box up and ship to destinations from sea to shining sea.