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LIFE’S A BEACH: The Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept:

The Ultimate Retro-Mod Beach Machine...

The 2021 Moab Easter Jeep® Safari is almost here, so yesterday both the Jeep and Mopar brands showed off their new lineup of specialty-built concept vehicles for the annual event showcasing what both brands have to offer the Jeep community. Jeep enthusiasts from all over the world will gather from March 27th to April 4th in Moab for an extended holiday week of trail rides and technical off-roading on some of the most challenging and picturesque terrain.

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept. (Jeep).

The Jeep brand loves to pay homage to Jeep off-road vehicles of the past with a “Resto-Mod” every year. We have seen vehicles like the Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter Concept, the Jeep Grand One Concept, and the beloved Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Concept, just to name a few. But this year, while the Jeep Wrangler Magneto Concept might be getting to most attention, our favorite is the Jeep Jeepster Beach Concept. 

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept. (Jeep).

Based on the second-generation Jeepster Commando, this concept was designed around the growing interest in leisure time use of 4×4 vehicles. The Jeepster Commando was the first compact four-wheel-drive vehicle with an automatic transmission and, unlike the Jeep CJs of its day, it boasted modern amenities, such as doors, roll-up side glass, a heater, and roof, as standard equipment.

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept. (Jeep).

Starting life as a 1968 Jeepster Commando (C-101), the Jeep team seamlessly blended the famed Commando body on top of a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JL). Jeepster Commandos were made for fun in the sun, and this ultimate beach-themed cruiser continues that tradition by embodying a spirited, carefree attitude.

The body was modified and the exterior fuses original chrome trim with an updated, brightly colored two-tone paint scheme of Hazy IPA and Zinc Oxide. While the Jeepster Beach maintains the outward appearance of a vintage Jeepster, it commands peak performance both on and off-road delivered by the modern-day Jeep Wrangler. 

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept. (Jeep).

Under the hood, the Jeepster Beach Concept uses a high-tech 2.0-liter GME-T4 turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a custom, concept calibration that increases the engine output about 25% above the production version to 340 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head, along with a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air, and throttle body for exceptional responsiveness, performance and fuel efficiency.

An 8-speed automatic transmission mated to a 4:1 transfer case delivers power to the 35-inch Falken Wildpeak M/T tires wrapped around a set of custom-painted wheels from the Gladiator. Mopar supplied a 2-inch lift with FOX® shocks to give the vehicle an aggressive stance. 

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept. (Jeep).

Jeepster Beach’s custom interior features low-back bucket seats trimmed in red leather. The rear seat was replaced with a chrome four-point safety cage. The carpets were removed to make cleaning out sand a breeze. Plus the design team added a custom tailgate stamped with the vintage J-E-E-P logo for those beach tailgate parties. Of course, there are a few unique Easter eggs on the vehicle as well.

What are your thoughts on the Jeep Jeepster Beach Concept? What is your favorite and least favorite feature? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders forums.

Jeep® Jeepster Beach Concept Image Gallery:

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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That is great looking. Only issue i see is no backseat. I had a restored '82 Scrambler, 2 seats, and once I had kids it was gone.

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Could the Jeepster formula sell today? I've always liked the 2n'd generation Jeepster ever since it was introduced, and that's the first issue with this concept. Those of us who remember the Jeepster are old. We are the target audience for funeral parlors, not automakers.

The next two issues are utility and refinement. The Jeepster competed against the Ford Bronco and International Scout. All three were two-door open vehicles with optional tops allowing them to be wagons or pickups, and they all started out as very basic machines with very few creature comforts. This trio of vehicles each offered rear seat options. The Jeepster broke the mold by offering a V6 with automatic transmission, power steering and brakes. The competition soon followed. The 2nd gen Jeepster was built on the CJ6 wheelbase of 101/104 inch wheelbase (Kaiser/AMC) and which, by the way, the CJ8 also used. The CJ8 Scrambler is a Jeepster pickup with a CJ body. It isn't the last jeep built on that wheelbase either, the TJ Wrangler Unlimited also used the Jeepster formula, but with the hard top and rear seat option both used.

Customer expectations are very different today. Two-door vehicles are rare. The Jeepster was renamed the Commando by AMC, but was soon replaced by a much larger Cherokee. The larger Chaerokee offered four doors, but when it was downsized in 1984 the four-door option really took off. Today two-door utility vehicles are rare in our market. The Wrangler still offers a two-door model, but the four-door easily outsells it.

The final issue what the position a Jeepster would have in the lineup. The two-door Wrangler holds only a sliver of Jeeps sales. The cheap Jeeps are front drive based crossovers and can be optioned into high levels of comfort. Is there room for a BOF utility between the two present day Wrangler's wheelbases? Such a vehicle could not reach the level of comfort and refinement of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and would match that of the Wranglers. But would such a model cannibalize Wrangler and Gladiator sales? A two-door Jeepster might be more tempting than a two-door Wrangler, while conjuring up a 4-door Jeepster comes close to being a restyled 4-door Wrangler. The formula of an open utility with optional tops and seats allows for a different type of Jeep pickup than that of the Gladiator. It also might cut into Gladiator sales.

Of course this might be a replay of the 1960s when the Jeepster and Bronco first competed in the market. Ford wants some of the Wrangler's turf. Is a new Jeepster needed to counter that threat? Perhaps only the Jeepster Beach concept's 340hp GME turbo four cylinder is needed.

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