1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer gets 807-hp Hellcat V8 and supercar-like price



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As the electric Jeep Wagoneer S was making its debut, Texas-based Vigilante was busy taking the nameplate in a completely different direction. It gave the original Grand Wagoneer the resto-mod treatment with a modern suspension, huge brakes, and an 807-horsepower V8.

The company started with a 1988 model and left the exterior largely stock. Finished in an eye-catching shade of red, the SUV wears the famous wood-look paneling, a hood ornament, and a generous serving of bright exterior trim. The wheels look factory but they’re not: They’re 17-inch units shaped just like the 15-inch alloys that Jeep made standard, and they’re wrapped by beefy BF Goodrich all-terrain tires.

You won’t find much that still carries a Jeep part number under the body: The Grand Wagoneer rides on an updated frame developed in-house by Vigilante. The brand then installed the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that Dodge put in the Challenger Hellcat Redeye. It makes 807 horsepower and 717 pound-feet of torque in this application, and it spins the four wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. For context, a stock 1988 Grand Wagoneer uses a 5.9-liter V8 tuned to 144 horsepower and bolted to a three-speed automatic transmission.

Vigilante hasn’t published performance figures, but its Grand Wagoneer should be able to haul, well … just about anything. It should handle better than stock, too, thanks to a four-link Eibach coil suspension and Fox Racing shocks, while six-piston brakes keep the Hemi in check.

Accessed via hidden power-operated steps, the interior features modern vintage-looking gauges, an updated climate control system, and sound-deadening material. The seats were restored with new springs, foam, and padding and upholstered with a blend of Moores & Giles leather and corduroy fabric. Nearly every part of the cabin has been modified to some extent, yet it manages to look perfectly old-school.

Bringing a classic into the modern era is never cheap, and Vigilante is selling the Hellcat-powered Grand Wagoneer for $385,000. It’s also open to working with customers to design a resto-modded Grand Wagoneer from scratch. For that kind of money, you can buy a supercar — say, a Maserati MC20 Cielo — and have enough left over to build a garage to keep it in. But that’s not always the point, is it? Companies like Icon and Singer have proved time and again that there’s enough demand for an old-looking classic car to make a business case out of it.



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