A few months back, Doug asked you all if you were OK with the trend of over-the-top LED bars. These are frequently found on large off-road vehicles — and, in particular, on Jeep Wranglers. But have you noticed that almost every heavily modified Wrangler these days also looks like it wants to kill you? Why is that? Where did this look come from, and how much does it cost to make your Jeep look this goofy? I went to the internet to find out more.
First, in case you aren’t familiar with the trend, here are a handful of Wrangler Unlimiteds I found right here on Autotrader that all have these furrowed-brow, post-apocalyptic modifications done to them.
The Wrangler is supposed to be fun! Drop the top and head out to the beach with friends or into the woods to get attacked by bugs. These aren’t fun. Of course, this is subjective, so many of you out there may enjoy this look — but when I picture my ideal off-road chariot, it doesn’t look like Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises.” So, I say … “Why so serious”?
I went in search of how much these mods cost, and the results are mixed. You can spend as little as $65 for something called an “Angry Bird” grille. I’m serious, that’s really what it’s called. How angry can you be if your grille mod is named after a kids app where you launch perturbed fowl at invading swine? But it makes sense — the price at least — since it’s just a piece of plastic. There are many variants, from ones simply dubbed the “Angry Grille” to the “Angry Monster Fury Bird” grille. OK. Prices can climb well into the $200 range, depending on how large and how angry you want your piece of matte black plastic to be. For even more anger, you can go full Mad Max and get something like this, the “Grumper Grille,” which will run you almost $1400 and add another couple feet of length to the front of your Wrangler.
One site even claims the angry grille can “also be functional when done properly, as it can add extra air flow to the radiator and condenser.” I’m not sure about that, but I can see that it could potentially help reduce the bricklike aerodynamic qualities. Personally, I think what’s happened here is we have a vehicle with almost unlimited aftermarket potential, and people have started running out of parts to change. If you have ever owned a Wrangler (I have — a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited), you know Jeep parts are super-cheap and plentiful. It’s a modifier’s dream — and even though there are thousands of Wranglers on the road (Jeep sells an average of almost 200,000 Wranglers a year) you can make yours look however you want. Maybe just dial back the aggro a bit?
What say ye, Oversteer, are you in favor of the angry grille? Or the vexed goblin grille, irate kidney-stone grille, cross Hades grille or even the indignant dragon grille? Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale
Based in Northern Virginia, William is professional writer and editor and acts as the Editor-in-Chief of Right Foot Down. He misspent most of his youth on tracks in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as killing cones in parking lots, and he once taught at a teen performance driving school.