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What Is This Weird Jeep Grand Cherokee?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2017

This year, I spent New Year's on Nantucket Island, which was cool for two major reasons. Number one: It's the first place in the 50 states where the sun rises on January 1, which means that I've experienced more of 2017 than all of you suckers. And number two: It's a paradise for some of the most ridiculous SUVs, trucks, and off-road vehicles you'll ever encounter.

Case in point is this Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was parked, forlornly, at the local high school throughout my entire stay on the island. I have seen a lot of Jeep Grand Cherokees in my life, in a lot of places and in a lot of conditions. But I can honestly say I've never seen one with a Land Rover Discovery-style pop-top before.

Seriously -- look at this thing! You have a fairly normal 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo, and then, on the roof, you have an additional top -- complete with windows -- that appears to have been hacksawed off a Land Rover Discovery or possibly a conversion van. There's also a rear-mounted spare tire, a huge exterior roof rack, oversize running boards and a big light bar. I would say that this thing looks like it's ready for exploring Jurassic Park, except that in every single other way it just looks like the kind of totally stock '97 Grand Cherokee you'd find at a used car lot for $1,500, or $1,550 if you want it washed.

Of course, I was curious about this, so I ran the Carfax report from the license plate number, and I got a shock: It's still owned by the original owner! Whoever modified this Grand Cherokee purchased it new in September 1997 in Connecticut, and they've had it ever since. As of its last service, roughly a year ago, it had covered just 84,600 miles.

But none of this answers the most important question, which is... WHAT IS THIS?! Is this some custom fabrication? Did this person traverse the world in a '97 Grand Cherokee? Does this have some sort of theater seating? Are those "adventure" windows on the roof even real? Sadly, I didn't glance inside to find out for myself.

Has anyone ever seen another Grand Cherokee like this?

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RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$2,500
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$6,500
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
What Is This Weird Jeep Grand Cherokee? - Autotrader