The Jeep Wrangler is a cool car. Buy it in base spec and it’s eternally cool, but likewise when you smack it repeatedly with the modifications stick you can turn it into something unique. It just never stops being cool.

We were wandering around the classifieds and found this blue beauty; a frame-off build spanning upgrades to the suspension and drivetrain. Plus 17in chrome wheels and 35in tyres, in case you thought it might not be visible enough.

It’s a 2000 model with a total of 94,600 miles covered, although not all of those belong to the current engine. Because the original motor has been swapped for an LS1 V8, of course. There’s no power output listed but the standard LS1 produces a minimum of 300bhp, but it’s more likely to be in the region of 350bhp.

To accommodate the power unit there are custom-built driveshafts and an aftermarket transmission joined to an equally new transfer case. They’ve even thrown in a K&N air filter for good measure.

 

As for the suspension, Rubicon Express parts have lifted it by 3.5in, with a further inch lift to the bodyshell itself. We like.

Finally, a coat of Intense Blue Pearl finishes off what is a pretty damn cool vehicle. The exterior mods are cool in a ‘Murica sort of way, and the upholstery is so unbelievably horrible that, yes, it’s also cool.

But then we got thinking. At nearly $28,000, you can buy a new Wrangler for that. Not just any old Wrangler, either: the Willys Wheeler limited edition starts at less than $500 more than our blue-and-chrome starlet above.

It’s not massively well kitted-out and hasn’t really changed since 2014, but it takes the Wrangler charm back to the middle of the last century with classic paint colours, black wheels and no proper roof. It looks orthodox next to the LS-swapped one but it’s full of heritage, with a 281bhp V6 up front, a modern(ish) six-speed manual gearbox and a manufacturer’s warranty.

It’s a Jeep built by Jeep to embody what a Jeep really is at its roots, so you can’t say that’s not cool. The time has come to make a choice. Which would you buy?

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  The Jeep Wrangler is a cool car. Buy it in base spec and it’s eternally cool, but likewise when you smack it repeatedly with the modifications stick you can turn it into something unique. It just never stops being cool. We were wandering around the classifieds and found this blue beauty;...