VWerks Recon Apocalyptic Jeep JK-8 Pickup

Story and Photos by Dan Sanchez

With the fear of an apocalyptic end to 2012 (thank you Mayan calendar), the VWerks Recon pickup truck may have doomsday preppers selling their minivans to store one of these in the bunker. This custom-built, military-inspired vehicle is made from a 2011 Jeep pickup that has a M2 machine gun mounted to the bed and features armor plate and a full rollcage. The combination seems like the perfect match of off-road capability, acceleration of a V-8 and the firepower to repel any attackers looking to steal your stockpile of peanut butter and jelly.

VWerks built the Recon as a test bed for its military and off-road accessories. It put together what it thought was a great combination of parts and accessories, starting with a Hemi V-8 engine conversion. The 5.7-liter Hemi makes 390 horsepower and 407 pounds-feet of torque, giving the Recon more than enough power to accelerate quickly and climb some of the steepest terrain with ease. The engine is also fed with a functional cowl induction hood that contains heat-extractor side vents.

The factory Jeep JK suspension has been modified with a VWerks 4-inch lift kit, which consists of a 1.5-inch body-lift and new coil springs. A Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 front axle replaced the factory JK unit, while the rear was replaced with a Dynatrac Pro80 axle, outfitted with a Detroit Locker. Both axles use 5.38 gears and ARB air lockers. The 39-inch tall BFG Krawler tires are mounted on 17-inch diameter Hutchison beadlock wheels, and a PSC front-steering Ram Assist is also used to provide precise steering. A set of front and rear Genright fenders were also added to allow the large tires to gain maximum approach and departure angles when encountering steep terrain.

The military appearance and function to the Recon includes a VWerks 7/16 bed armor plate. It not only protects the occupants, but it also provides a sturdy platform for the machine gunner perch. The custom-made full-bed cage provides overhead protection and a wide array of mounting points for tools, storage and hardware. The rear also has a custom-stitched canvas cover that conceals the bed from onlookers who might want to steal any additional ammo or items you’ve scavenged during your daytime post-apocalyptic excursions.

Of course, it’s hard not to notice the Replica M2 machine gun on the MK93 machine gun mount with ammo can. There’s also an M240 adaptor for a 600-round ammo can and a 360-degree rotary mount that was provided by Crane Technologies. It’s enough protection and firepower to take on a city full of fast-running zombies — and have fun doing it.

Just in case you need to haul a tank or tow a vehicle out from a steep highway ditch, VWerks added a military-style rear bumper with a variety of towing and recovery attachment point combinations. There’s even a Warn 9.5ti winch that can be operated from inside the cab. But the inside of this vehicle isn’t full of armor or even a metal dash. The interior is where the military theme gives way to additional comfort and convenience. Two-tone Katzkin leather upholstery and VWerks floor mats provide a plush feel. All the instruments and gauges are factory JK Wrangler and include all the comforts you’d expect from a 2011 Jeep.  But Mopar half-doors allow an open view of terrain and a dash-mounted switch operates a set of powerful PIAA 520 ATP lamps that can expose any threat hiding in the darkness.

The Recon is definitely a vehicle that makes an impression. It’s when you step back and admire the capabilities and accessories on a vehicle like this that you wonder why some warlord would prefer to mount a machine gun on a pole and weld it into the bed of an old Toyota pickup?

All kidding aside, the potential for full military applications of the Recon isn’t hard to see. Even some toned-down versions of it — obviously without the machine gun and mounts — could be great for hunters or even farmers who constantly need to haul hardware through difficult terrain. While the Recon is more than the JK8 pickup, it’s a serious vehicle that has lots of potential for just about any purpose.

VWerks sells the Recon as a turn-key vehicle — ready to take on whatever challenge you may have for it.

Is Your Lift Street Legal?

One of the risks that comes with modifying any vehicle is compliance with the law, and suspension mods can be the most noticeable. Many Jeep enthusiasts want to lift their Jeep to inprove off road capability, but may wonder what their local laws are regarding lift restrictions. It is best to get familiar with your local laws before installing a lift kit on your vehicle to avoid unwanted circumstances as a result. All it takes is a little time to make sure that your mods are done legally and safely. There is a great online resource for enthusiasts to check state by state information, LiftLaws.com.

Jeep Named Official Transportation Sponsor of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

When one thinks of Jeep, one usually ties the brand with it’s history with the military. Ironically, recently Jeep was chosen to transport the Nobel Peace Prize winners at the World Summit. They opted for the more comfortable Grand Cherokees as the Jeep of choice, but the Jeep name still holds tight the connection to the original troop carrying Willys Jeeps of the 1940s.

More about this story on  available at Forbes: How Ironic: Jeeps Will Transport Nobel Peace Prize Winners At World Summit

Go Topless Day 2012 Hosted by All Things Jeep!

 

Weall  know Jeepers love to go topless, and our friends at AllThingsJeep.com know this better than anyone! On May 19, 2012 All Things Jeep is hosting their 5th annual Go Topless Day and are inviting Jeep owners worldwide to participate. This event started in 2008 as a fun local event and quickly spread into a worldwide phenomenon. Thousands participated last year, holding local club events, picnics, community service, and parades. All Things Jeep is holding a photo/video contest this year, check out the contest page for more information!

Here’s some topless photos from previous years events:

Rugged Ridge JK Wrangler RRC Side Armor Review from RealTruck.com

The guys over at RealTruck.com installed and reviewed a set of our JK Wrangler RRC Side Armor. The feedback was pretty good!  Check out the short review for yourself:

Keep your rocker panels from being beaten to a pulp on the trail with Rugged Ridge’s Side Armor. Built from heavy-duty 2” x 0.120” black texture powder coated steel tubing, these guards will take the beating that was meant for your sheet metal. Features a simple bolt-on design that utilizes existing body mount locations for a secure, rattle free installation. The black texture finish resists scratches and gives a slip-resistant surface for door entry. Sold as a pair and includes all necessary installation hardware.

#11504.20  –  07-12 Wrangler, 4-Door Pair

#11504.21  –  07-12 Wrangler, 2-Door Pair

Jeep Wrangler Sport Seats by Kahn

Kahn Wrangler Seats

 

British designer Kahn Design has recently unveiled his newest project, sport seats for the Jeep Wrangler. These seats are perfect for those who want stylish custom interiors as they are available in a wide range of colors and fabrics. When installed the Jeep doesn’t need any further modifications or adjustments as the seats use the standard seat belt and recline like the factory seats.

Kahn says “The principal British designer delivers the high-impact Kahn Jeep, complete with with such clout; it is safe to say that the Kahn Jeep would not look out of place with London, Chelsea or New York centric drivers, rock climbers and off-roaders at the helm, nor would it look weary in a John Connor inspired post-apocalyptic Terminator movie.” Kahn has had success working with Jeeps before, and this time is no exception. His attention to detail and build quality is unmatched.

For more information e-mail: Kahn@kahndesign.com

Phone: + 44 (0) 1274 74 99 99

Web: www.kahndesign.com

 

 

A New Truck for Drew

It is with great pride, pleasure and honor that we post these pictures and applaud all involved in helping make the wish of one Drew Ducatelli and his family come true. The Make A Wish Foundation brought Drew’s wish to Mike’s Off Road and with the help of a few friends they managed to pull together and put together one fine ride.

Mike’s Off Road were welcomed into the Ducatelli Family home with open arms. Treated to quality dining and a warm reception when they presented Drew his new truck. Opportunities to do things of this nature don’t come along often enough and everyone at Mike’s Off Road hope to inspire others to reach out and do what they can to become involved with such a quality organization like Make A Wish Foundation.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Ducatelli family and wish nothing but the best for Drew and his family. We are honored to have met Drew and to have put a smile on his face bigger than the state of Texas.” – John at Mike’s Off Road

Through the help of several sponsors, including us, Mike’s Off Road was able to build Drew the truck of his dreams! The list of sponsors and the products they supplied are as follows:

Baja Designs 30″ steal light
Fab Four Front and Rear Bumpers
Superwinch 9.5 Talon winch
BMF SERE Death Metal 20″ wheels
Nitto Trail Grapplers 295/65/20
SkyJacker 6″ Lift
MBRP dual cat back exchaust
Superchips Cortex
and Rugged Ridge All Terrain Floor Liners

Jeep Brah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey brah! Okay, so imagine being insanely popular on the internet without knowing it. Well, that happened to the guy you see here, his name is Todd, and is better known to the internet as ‘Jeep Brah’.

At first glance one might mistake him for just another tank top wearing, gold bracelet having, Labatt Blue loving Jeeper, but one would be mistaken. Appearing somewhere around 2007, Jeep Brah made his grand appearance on the internet and almost instantly gained meme status. Ever since he has been photoshopped into countless joke photos, and even some videos.

Know Your Meme: Jeep Brah
Pix Morning News: Jeep Brah

You may be wondring, where is Jeep Brah now?

Here he is, just a party animal, living the dream… full tilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 ATV/UTV Accessories from Rugged Ridge

 

Top 5 ATV/UTV Accessories

ATV/UTV trail riding is as old as time, but recently this past time has taken on a whole new meaning. Now you have to have your ATV equipped with aftermarket accessories specifically designed for this niche style of off-road riding if you plan on keeping up with the pack. So if you’re looking to turn your ATV into an even more capable rig, here is a list of the top 10 accessories you’ll need to install!

Click here for a full listing of our UTV & ATV accessories.

1. Extreme Heavy Duty 2500lb Electric Winch: Rugged Ridge Extreme HD 2.5 ATV and UTV Winch 2500lb With FREE Mounting Plate and Roller Fairlead. Heavy-duty pulling capacity in a compact size, the Rugged Ridge Extreme HD ATV / UTV Winch helps you tackle the toughest terrain by providing unsurpassed pulling power for your ATV or Side by side on each and every pull. Beefy cast construction with powder coated finish and stainless hardware eliminates rust.

 

 

2. Wheel Spacers (for Yamaha Rhino): These spacers space your wheels out an extra 1.75” to help fit wider tires and give your vehicle a wider track and improve stability. Constructed of double anodized black extra thick 6061T6 Aluminum for long life and extra corrosion resistance. All hardware is grade 8 for extra strength.

 

 

 

3. Roll & Pitch Meter: This Roll & Pitch Meter (Clinometer) features two gauges: left displays side to side angle & right displays front to back angle. Each display has a graphic readout that shows angles in degrees to the dash with automotive grade double sided tape or can be permanently mounted with screws.

 

 

 

4. UTV Grab Handles: Four styles to choose from: Dual, Ultimate, Deluxe and Sport. Dual, Ultimate and Deluxe models include Sure Grip Handles. The Dual UTV Grab Strap gives passengers a place to hold on while on the trail. Constructed of durable nylon webbing with soft molded foam handles for ease of use and comfort. Easily attaches with hook and loop around the center roll bar, no drilling required. Special side “Pockets” create a handy spot for hanging clothes. Special two handle design gives passengers a place to hang on during those offroad adventures. All handles are custom designed to fi t UTV Roll bar widths from 1” to 1½”.

 

5. Fire Extinguisher Holder: Thick nylon web straps are fully adjustable and secure with hook and loop fasteners. Works with both 1” and 1½” roll bars with or without padding. Holds one 3 lb fi re extinguisher (not included).