Skip to main content

Vigilante restores and revitalizes old-style Jeeps with modern performance

Vigilante doesn't just restore old Jeeps, they modernize them

Vigilante 4x4 Jeep Grand Cherokee restomod.
Vigilante 4x4 / Vigilante 4x4

Raise your hand if you love old-style big-body Jeeps. My hand is certainly up high, despite a pile of repair bills I still have in a box from the early 1990s when we bought an eight-year-old Grand Wagoneer that had only been used as a beach car on Nantucket.

It didn’t have many miles for its age so we could buy an extended warranty from the Jeep dealership, but we still had continuously horrendous repair bills.

I disclosed the repair issues when I put a small ad in the paper to sell the Grand Wagoneer after about 18 months, but three potential buyers raced to my house with the asking price in cash. Two of them walked away, unhappy and mad at me.

Vigilante 4x4 1976 Jeep Cherokee restomod.
But I still love the style and the purposeful gravitas of the full-body Jeeps. If you do, you’d probably like to know about Vigilante 4×4.

Johnson City, Texas-based Vigilante specializes in restomods on full-body style Jeep Grand Wagoneers, 2-door Jeep Cherokee Chiefs, and 2-door, long-bed Jeep J-trucks.

Wait, what’s a restomod? A restomod is Vigilante’s process for restoring and adding modern components to older Jeeps.

The Vigilante restomod process

Restoring older vehicles is a specialized business. The husband-and-wife team who own Vigilante 4×4 have been restoring Jeeps for more than twenty years. In that time, they have developed three restoration types or stages.

Stage One restoration brings the vehicle back as close as possible to its original condition. Vigilante craftspeople don’t add nonstock parts but restore and rebuild everything to how it was when the vehicle was brand new. Stage One restorations start at $145,000

Stage Two restorations return the vehicle to pristine condition and upgrade the power, brakes, and audio systems. Specifically, Vigilante adds 315 hp AMC fuel-injection engines, Hybroboost disc brakes, and Bluetooth audio to Stage Two resto-mods. Stage Two pricing starts at $175,000.

Stage Three restoration, also called a Vigilante restomod, returns the Jeep to its original appearance but adds a reengineered frame, axles, wheels, engine, transmission, and transfer case. Available engines include a 485hp 6.4-liter SRT-8 or a 707hp 6.2-liter Supercharged Hellcat HEMI. Stage Three/Vigilante restomods start at $275,000.

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
The 1924 Bugatti Type 35: The inspo for 100 years of performance and handling
The Bugatti Type 35 set a mold for record-breaking performance that continues today
Left front three-quarter photo of a Bugatti Type 35 race car,

If cars had DNA, a paint chip or drop of engine oil from the beautiful blue Bugatti Type 35 in the images above and below would prove ancestry to every Bugatti in the past 100 years. Designed and engineered as a pure race car in the early 1920s, the Type 35 set a mold for record-breaking performance that continues to guide the Molsheim, France-based automaker.
Why the 100-year-0ld Bugatti Type 35 matters today

Previous

Read more
Bridgestone Tires’ new Potenza Sport AS promises better wet and winter condition performance for true all-season tire
There's a new polymer, and tech to help tread life
Bridgestone tires Potenza Sport AS side view

Despite their name, all-season tires are never the best option year-round -- though a recent development from Bridgestone Tires might change things somewhat. The company’s “ ENLITEN technology,” which is making its high-performance debut with the new Potenza Sport AS ultra-high performance all-season tire, offers big improvements in winter driving and wet performance, says Bridgestone. (ENLITEN debuted earlier this year on Bridgestone's Turanza EV tire.)

Bridgestone’s Dale Harrigle explained: “The incorporation of ENLITEN technology, including custom engineering to enhance wet, winter, and wear capabilities, allows the Bridgestone Potenza Sport AS tire to offset typical tradeoffs drivers might expect from an ultra-high performance tire so they can enjoy a confident vehicle performance no matter the season.”

Read more
The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser is a modern SUV with throwback styling
Finally, a Land Cruiser for every adventure, city or offroad
2024_Toyota_Land_Cruiser_007

Although the ongoing SUV craze in the U.S. has proven to be far more than a fad, the transition from rough and rugged trucks to softer, car-based rides has made it a much easier changeover. But according to Newton's third law of motion, every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. So while the push toward more carlike trucks has succeeded, we've recently seen a resurgence of more hardcore off-roaders. The Jeep Wrangler is more popular than ever, the Ford Bronco has made a triumphant return, and now, after a four-year hiatus, Toyota has decided to resurrect its oldest and most revered nameplate: The Land Cruiser is back and better than ever.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: brand new face, same old charm
The new Land Cruiser is built on Toyota's TNGA-F global truck platform, which is also the backbone of the current generation Tundra and Sequoia. The new platform makes the Land Cruiser 4.4 inches narrower and 1.2 inches shorter than the previous generation's model. Though the "bigger is better" mentality pervades the SUV universe, Toyota suggests that having a Land Cruiser that's a little smaller will make its flagship truck far more capable on narrow off-road trails.

Read more