<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Jeep Wheelbases

Long Wheelbase TJ to Come?

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

Discuss This Article Send this article to a friend!

Jeep Wheelbases
CJ-8 (Scrambler)
Wrangler (YJ, TJ)
Over the years, the quest for the ultimate Jeep wheelbase has been quite the interesting study topic. Beginning with the CJ-5, the wheelbase has grown from 81" to as high as the CJ-8 (aka Scrambler), which had a 103.5" wheelbase. Variations on the theme also reached the top-side, where longer tubs have been used in the CJ-6 and even pickup-style beds in the Scrambler.

What we're seeing now is the price of Scramblers rising and the number of used vehicles declining rapidly as people snatch them up, as well as the CJ-6's, in search of the trail rig with the ultimate wheelbase. We're even seeing custom vehicles, like the AEV Conversions "Brute" which we saw at last year's SEMA Show.

For the last year or so, the rumor mill has been hot with news of a new breed of long wheelbase (LWB) Jeep TJ coming from the factory in Toledo. Though nothing official has been said and the continuing party line of "we cannot comment on future product" persists from Jeep PR, the signs are all pretty obvious what's coming from Jeep - a long wheelbase TJ.

Our first clue came last summer at Camp Jeep, when we saw two examples of prototypes on display. The one seen here features a 112" wheelbase, a hard top cab and full pickup bed. Coming in 19" longer than today's TJ, this very well could be the LWB Jeep of the near future.

LWB Jeeps
LWB Jeeps

We have also learned that the Egyptian Armed Forces has purchased 1,000 LWB Jeeps, dubbed "TJL" which are to be assembled at the Arab American Vehicles facility in Cairo, Egypt beginning the second quarter of 2003. DaimlerChrysler owns a 49% stake in AAV and will make the vehicles available to other customers if the demand is there.

LWB Jeeps
LWB Jeeps

That brings us to today. The NADA convention was held Feb. 1-4th in San Francisco. What seemed to be the same black Jeep shown at Camp Jeep made another showing there to a crowd of car dealers - this time without the bed rails. Though no official word has come from Jeep PR, the word on the street is that this is the 2005 LWB Jeep. Whether it will officially be called "Scrambler" again, remains to be seen.

Though Jeep certainly doesn't expect the LWB Jeep to be a huge seller, it should help bring the aging factory that cranks out the Wranglers up toward full capacity, which is good news for everyone.

So nobody is saying for sure what's to come, but the clues sure are all out there on the table. Time will tell.

LWB Jeeps
CJ-8 Scrambler
LWB Jeeps
AEV Conversions Brute
Photo by Phillip Dayton

Help spread the ROCKCRAWLER world!           Share on Facebook

©1997-2015 ROCKCRAWLER 4x4 and Off-Road Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

RockCrawler.com   -   IH8MUD.com