The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is to the automotive industry what dingleberries are to your ass. Still, there's always something at the Vegas show that makes it worthwhile. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom Jeep Wrangler is claimed to have dangled at last year's show, but is its price worth your while?
So far this week it's been all-sixties, all Europeans, all the time. And while both Monday's Volvo, and yesterday's Peugeot 404 came away with respectable Nice Price wins, it's now time to crank up the Yank.
Nothing is more American than Jeep. Well, maybe a full-chest tattoo of Ronald Reagan and Jesus choking Bin Laden with the Stars and Stripes, but aside from that, Jeep is about as star spangled banner as you can get. And as America is the land of opportunity, it's no surprise that some enterprising American has taken the opportunity to turn the Jeep Wrangler's U.S.-ness up to eleven.
Wait, this 2010 Custom SEMA Show Jeep isn't just American, it's Texican, which means that if cut, it would bleed red, white, and blue. And then it would shoot you in the face. Texas is like America on steroids, and part of that roid-rage is the legal right to defend your property with deadly force.
While not deadly, this SEMA Jeep is a roundhouse kick to the senses, featuring wheels so big you could drive longhorns through the spokes, and pocked with enough lights to out-shine the rocket's red glare. Additionally, the actual headlamps are modified Infiniti Q45 units which look, appropriately enough, like Gatling guns. The litany of modifications made to this quattroporte Wrangler reads like a SEMAgasm, and includes Body Armor bumpers and doors that really butch it up, the the latter actually coming with riff-raff repelling spikes. Of course it's been jacked up, and the whole thing has been given a black and white paint scheme that surprisingly doesn't make it look like a cop car.
Inside, the stock seats - albeit custom tailored - sit amidst more special paintwork, and the white painted center stack is a perfect example of why Chrysler doesn't do this at the factory. Perhaps seeming a good idea at the time, it looks less attractive than the stock black plastic, and more like something out of a ‘70s sci-fi flick. Still, when you're this bad-ass looking, you don't sweat the small stuff.
Perhaps the one-off lift kit was installed before anybody got around to any engine mods, and by then it was just too damn high to reach, but regardless this Jeep sports the stock 3.8 V6 which is good for 205-bhp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Behind that is Chrysler's 4-speed automatic, a transmission choice that will free up your hands and legs for the spasms of joy that will invariably result from driving this beast.
Or maybe they won't. That 3.8-litre was never able to get out of its own way in the stock Wrangler, despite its copious thirst. Add to that the need to roll those massive 24-inch Swampers and you've got yourself trouble right here in River City. The seller says that it hasn't been a problem for him, and in fact, should the truck not garner what he considers a fair price, he'll just continue taking the kids to school in it, and kung-fu-ing hooligans.
It's not often that you get the chance to own a real SEMA show car - there only being about 700 of them produced each year - and few would let you demonstrate your patriotism the way this custom Jeep would. Of course, freedom isn't free, and being a patriot sometimes means having to pony up. In the case of this SEMA Jeep that price is $70,000. Yeah, that's a lot of Washingtons, but considering how little the dollar is worth these days, it's really not that much. We're here however, to determine if this custom Jeep is actually worth that amount. What do you think, does seventy grand seem like a fair price for a show car Jeep? Or, does that price put the cuss in custom?
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