Lockdown is easing and the weather has become suddenly warmer, spring blossom you didn’t notice the day before yesterday now suddenly seems to be everywhere. Yes, spring is here. It’s a time when we start to fantasise about owning something totally impractical in the UK – like the Jeepster Beach maybe. I still remember the first time I saw an original beach buggy idling in traffic by the sea on a hot day smelling of warm petrol, and I immediately wanted one. The Jeepster Beach ticks all those boxes – at least, for the summer…
As restomods go, this one looks pretty timeless; just like a beach buggy in fact. It is actually a Jeepster C-101 Commando body from 1968 sitting over the chassis and GME-T4 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, powered along by the use of an 8-speed auto transmission – the internal mating of the Rubicon and Commando sounds as exciting as it looks on the outside.
This Easter, Jeep hosts the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Utah. The event takes place from March 27 to April 4 in the challenging terrain of the Moab backcountry. The event dates back to 1967 when ice cream was actually dropped onto the trails for lunch from an airplane. The retro 4WD Jeepster Beach concept has been unveiled in time to promote the Easter Jeep Safari. It sits resplendently under several coats of a two-tone paint job – Zinc Oxide and Hazy IPA, the latter maybe a name more in tune with English rural pub gardens than the desert. The effect though is quite striking and very reminiscent of the Nissan 350Z Sunset Orange; a colour that superficially helped to elevate that little sports car far, far away from the likes of the steady but ever-so-dull Almera that Nissan was well known for.
There have been some well thought out tweaks to the Jeepster Beach of course. The colour way sits nicely alongside original chrome trim and the always on display interior, which is very red. The bucket seats are of the low-back variety and trimmed in red leather. The Beach is only a 2-seater, having had the rear seating replaced by a chromed 4-point anti-roll cage. No carpets allows for sand to be easily swept out (this is a concept after all). The angled rear has a nice retro touch too with ‘Jeep’ stamped into the tailgate. While the interior remains pretty faithful to an original sixties Jeepster Commando, nods to the modern include digital gauges and an infotainment with touch screen. The steering wheel is finished red leather too.
The ride should be an improvement on the original as well, with that Rubicon engine pushing out 350hp and 369 lb ft torque, all handled by massive all-terrain 35-inch tyres on Gladiator wheels. A 2-inch lift kit keeps the sand at bay. The engine output has approximately a 25 per cent increase over the standard engine.
I just find it impossible not to love the 4×4 Jeepster Beach, from the colour scheme to the angles and lines. The only downside is that it’s just a concept. Oh well, who wants to live where it’s perpetually warm enough to warrant owning one of these anyway – my British friend in LA says he misses jackets
Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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