I take photos of lots of cars and share them with friends and our Vehix audience. Some get strong reactions while others merit a been-there-done-that-boredom-drenched “meh.”
The recently unveiled Jeep J-12 Concept has inspired more passionate comments than I would have ever expected.
Phrases like “That is awesome” and “When can I buy the Jeep truck” are common refrains.
Here’s the sad part: the J-12 Concept is nothing more than a concept and will likely never see a showroom.
Sure, like Jeep, you can customize and build a J-12 Concept yourself by working with a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as your basis and adding some custom parts. But that’s the kind of expertise that requires serious automotive equipment and know-how.
As we all know, most of the driving world isn’t expert at anything more than filling a car with the least-expensive unleaded gasoline they can find and stopping by the neighborhood lube and oil shop every few months to “top things off.”
I know plenty of people who can barely manage to connect their iPhone to a car’s Bluetooth system let alone build what Jeep refers to as “an old-man Jeep” themselves.
But here’s the deal; there’s an audience for an old-man Jeep. Especially an old-man Jeep with current Jeep Wrangler off-road prowess. Now that would indeed be awesome.
So Jeep, I respectfully ask you to build the J-12. Or at least something similar. And include all the retro touches like the white vinyl bench seat. The 1960s-style tires. And, of course, the hubcaps and that cool grille.
I understand you would have to add a few airbags and possibly improve safety features. And you probably have to get someone in your finance department to run the numbers and create a business case for the truck. It’s a niche vehicle and it may be a tough sell.
But seeing the J-12 Concept in person at the 2012 Jeep Safari made me a believer and I’m confident you heard similar feedback from the many Jeep fanatics who viewed the car in Moab last week.
The advice “If you build it they will come” doesn’t always pan out like businesses hope. But maybe the J-12 Concept breaks the rules?