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The Jeep Pick-Up Takes A Cruise With Jay Leno

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On: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 10:50AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Jeep Pick-Up Takes A Cruise With Jay Leno

Ahhhh....Jay Leno. We may not love your late-night comedy, but we love your garage and videos thereof. Not only do you bring us up close and personal with the most awesome supercars and concept cars, but you switch gears and give us a look at what's probably the coolest Jeep of the year. Hat tip to you. In the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage, we get a look at a shiny red Jeep Wrangler Unlimited all decked out in Mopar's JK-8 pickup kit.

The JK-8 featured in the video is a model that was assembled by VWerks, a third-party company that assembles JK-8 kits for Chrysler/Mopar, for Red Jacket Firearms, the Louisiana gun company featured on Discovery's Sons of Guns. More extensive than the average JK-8, the Red Jacket model features a lift kit, rock rails, fenders, a winch and other upgrades over the base kit.

Mopar launched the JK-8 Independence kit last year. The kit is designed as a sort of compromise for Jeep enthusiasts that really want to see the return of the CJ8 Scrambler, a production Jeep pickup built in the 80s. Jeep has been teasing the possibility of a pickup model for years, first with the 2005 Gladiator concept, named after the original Gladiator pickup from the 60s, then with the 2010 Nukizer 715 Mopar concept.

For now, Jeep fans will have to be content with the conversion kit, though we think that the kit might be a sort of market test for a possible production model. Vwerks chief and former Mopar head of engineering Pat Muldoon alludes to this in the video. He responds to Leno's question about a production version: "I wish they [Chrysler] could come for a ride with me. The amount of people - just coming over here this morning - that stopped us and asked us for a brochure and talked about the fact that they've had a Scrambler when they were younger."

The JK-8 kit costs $5,499 and can be installed on your own. It can also be installed by a Chrysler or Mopar dealer or third-party like VWerks.

After a thorough look in his garage, Leno takes the JK-8 out for a spin. Unfortunately, he doesn't hit any southern California desert dirt, but stays on the pavement. He seems pretty impressed from his short test drive.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



dwalter | 11:07AM (Fri, Feb 17, 2012)

If people are willing to chop up their new $30k Jeeps, you know they'll be willing to buy a real JK-8!


Stephy21 | 11:44AM (Mon, Feb 20, 2012)

Its crazy that people would want to cut their brand new jeep in half. If you wanted a pick up you should buy one.


Sami18 | 4:04PM (Mon, Feb 20, 2012)

I have always wondered why people would want to cut their jeep in half but then i look at this and it does look worth it if you have the money.

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