Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik
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The Easter Jeep Safari concepts just debuted at the brand’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, and the star of the show—by far—is this 1965 Jeep Wagoneer with a Hemi V8 and the most beautiful and tasteful modifications ever done to an old SJ-platform Jeep.

Head Jeep designer Mark Allen and his team went out and bought this 1965 Wagoneer from “out west,” and then resto-modded it without ruining its classic looks. They threw in the powertrain from an old Ram pickup, meaning there’s a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood sending torque through a four-speed automatic. The C-channel frame has been boxed, the power steering is from a JK (the outgoing Wrangler), and the leaf springs are now gone, having been replaced by coilovers bolted to wide Dana 44 axles with lockers.

Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik

One thing you’ll notice is that the original vehicle that Jeep bought from Craigslist had the square-shape “Rhino” grille. It’s a beautiful and classic look, but Jeep decided to remove it and use the long Razor grille—a move that will cause a bit of controversy among Wagoneer enthusiasts, though everyone will admit that the Razor still looks fantastic.

Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik

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What also looks fantastic is the interior, which, like the outside, is coated in “Mintage Green” paint. Take in the “Oxblood” bench seat, the white steering wheel with a horn ring and the lovely white gauge cluster. This interior is perfection.

Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik

The wheelbase has been stretched five inches, and the flares have been raised six inches to accommodate the 33-inch mud-terrain tires on 17-inch steel wheels. But, remarkably, despite these significant modifications, the Jeep doesn’t look that far from stock, which is why it works so well aesthetically, I think.

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Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik

Jeep always likes to throw in a few quirky touches, and this concept is no different. There’s a fake dog hanging its head out of the window to enjoy the breeze, the luggage in the back has been converted to a cooler, and there’s a valve cover from the Jeep’s original engine, the 230 Tornado inline-six, acting as the lid for a tool kit:

Photo: David Tracy/Jalopnik

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The fact that my hideous 1986 Grand Wagoneer is built on the same platform as this concept is mind-boggling. But who knows, maybe my Jeep will see its potential when the two meet at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab next week.

Maybe.

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Photo: All Credit David Tracy/Jalopnik