There have been a ton of different custom Jeep® (SJ) builds over the past couple of years. Most have been restoration jobs, restoring their Wagoneers and Cherokees to their former glory. With most updating their full-size Jeeps with modern more efficient powerplants. But there is one Cherokee that is about to cross the auction block at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale later this week, that might be one of the most tricked-out Cherokee/Wagoneers we have ever seen.
Nicknamed the “Chief”, this Pepper Grey 1975 Jeep Cherokee is one vehicle to make you take a second or even third look at. Built by Weaver Customs of West Jordan, Utah, this Cherokee build isn’t one you find climbing the rocks at Moab, or even the trails of the Rubicon. Instead, this Cherokee is built for those weekend cruises to the local car meet and hitting the local drag strip.
The Chief made its debut at the Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour 2021, where it prove its street ability. Then it was on display in POR-15’s booth during the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. At both events, the Chief was turning heads and wasn’t just because of its sporty looks either.
Under the hood, Weaver Customs skipped swapping in a supercharged HELLCAT HEMI V8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter LS V8. The twin T4 turbocharged engine is managed by a Holley Terminator X and mated to a 4L80E automatic transmission. Ensuring that the powertrain is pretty much bulletproof on the street or at the track. It is also equipped with a set of exhaust dumps thanks to a set of Flowmaster mufflers.
To help give this Cherokee the right stance, Weaver Customs used the front frame clip from a late-model Ford Crown Victoria and upgraded it with a set of Fat Man Fabrication control arms. The custom shop added things like power steering and disc brakes, to help its everyday driveability. In the rear of the vehicle, a Ford 9-inch rear end with a custom four-link suspension was added. To top it off, the Cherokee sits on a set of Ridetech adjustable coil-overs, making the ride super smooth.
While Chief retains most of its classic Cherokee looks, Weaver Customs updated the front end with that of a 1968 Jeep Gladiator (J-Series) pickup. The front bumpers were also removed and replaced with custom molded pans, and a unique front splitter. New side skirts were also fabricated to help give the truck a lower, more aggressive, and add more of a lower appearance to the Cherokee.
Taking things even further, the front end was ditched in lieu of a bold version from a ’68 Jeep Gladiator. This took some metal messaging of the fenders and hood to complete but it resulted in a striking look. The bumpers were also removed and replaced with molded-in custom pans along with a unique front splitter and side skirts, all made from 18-gauge sheet metal. Once in solid form, the body was coated in Axalta Pepper Gray and topped with a POR 15 matte clear.
To help pull the exterior appearance together, a staggered set of 20-inch x 8-inch and 20-inch x 9-inch Mack-styled wheels from Detroit Steel Wheel Company painted in Matte Black were fitted. The wheels are wrapped in 235/35ZR20 and 315/35ZR20 Nitto NT555 G2 rubber.
Inside, the vehicle looks just as sinister as the exterior. The front seating was upgraded thanks to a set of modified ProCar bucket seats, while the rear bench seat was taken from an old Jeep CJ. Weaver Customs custom-made a new center console, as well as door panels, and even a subwoofer box in the rear of the cabin. All of which is wrapped in matching leather, from MCM Interiors and Seams Impossible. The subwoofer has a top-of-the-line Pioneer audio system to jam to your favorite tunes on that 1,000 mile Hot Rod Power Tour trip.
The instrument panel has been completely redone as well and equipped with Dakota digital gauges. The dash has also been upgraded with Hydes Leather, while the Joe Racing Products steering wheel also helps to add to Cherokee’s custom look. While a Vintage Air air conditioning set up has been equipped for those summer road trips.
On Friday, January 28th, 2022, Chief will be going up for sale at the Barrett-Jackson auction. Numbered as Lot # 1171, the Weaver Customs-built Cherokee will cross the auction with no reserve. With the all-new Grand Wagoneers hitting over $100,000 at dealers, this 1975 resto-mod version should easily go for that.
To learn about how to bid on Chief, you can visit BarrettJackson.com.
Thanks to Mobsteel and Weaver Customs for the images of Chief for this article.
Weaver Customs 1975 Jeep® Cherokee (SJ) “Chief” Resto-Mod Image Gallery:
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