A few weeks ago, I was walking around Nantucket Island in Massachusetts — which is a veritable haven for amazing SUVs, 4x4s and off-roaders, both new and old — and I stumbled across this. The vehicle you see above is a Jeep Wrangler with … a backpack? It’s a very, very odd thing, and I spent many minutes inspecting it.
First, let’s cover the obvious: this is a red Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that’s been, er, extended. According to the Carfax report, it’s a 2011 Wrangler Unlimited Sport, which makes it the outgoing "JK" Wrangler, rather than the new JL model. This Wrangler is registered in Florida, and the Carfax report is shockingly normal — no accidents, no weird stuff.
But, of course, it’s actually loaded with weird stuff, because it’s an extra-long Wrangler. I forgot to take photos of the underside of the rear area, but it looked to me like frame extensions had been welded on to the original frame in order to support this additional rear area. Then the owners added an additional cloth roof with windows, plus painted bodywork all around. The conversion actually looked quite competent, and it would’ve passed for factory if not for, well, the look.
On the inside, as you can see, there are a few coolers that double as seats — and if you fill the rear with people, my guess is that this Wrangler can transport nine human beings, with five in the normal seats up front, and four in the newfound rear. It makes sense why someone would want to do this, as my own group during this vacation included nine people, and we had to take two cars everywhere we went. Sure, you could take a minivan to fit everybody, but then you can’t drive on the beach or through Nantucket’s many unpaved and heavily rutted roads — and I suspect, faced with this reality, the owner of this Jeep found a good customization shop, explained the parameters, and this is the result.
Unfortunately for this Jeep’s owner, Jeep then decided to upstage this conversion by coming out with the Gladiator — undoubtedly several years after this conversion was completed. The Gladiator serves the very same purpose as this long Wrangler, as you can put people in the truck bed of the Gladiator and enjoy the world of Jeeping. A new Gladiator is also surely far cheaper than the cost of this conversion, and far more attractive, as this Wrangler isn’t the most handsome vehicle you’ll find.
Still, this Wrangler is certainly an interesting vehicle, and I’m thrilled I had the chance to check it out up close. Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale