We’ve assembled an incredible list of modified machines for the inaugural Custom 4X4 Of The Year award.
With the pick-up version of the next model Wrangler not scheduled until 2018, Stuart Murchison decided he couldn’t wait so he went ahead and made his own.
The first ‘Brute’ was built by AEV for the 2002 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Jeep was so impressed by the concept that it took it back to Detroit to investigate building one of its own.
Unfortunately, it was too late to develop a TJ model ute, but this hasn’t stopped enthusiasts like AEV and Stuart from creating their own dream machines.
Originally a JK Unlimited Sport, this dream Jeep went under the knife at Stuart’s Murchison Products workshop in Brisbane. The body was cut in half and a new rear panel was fabricated from scratch, turning it into an ‘extra-cab’ rather than a true single-cab. The roof retains the ‘Freedom’ panels which can be removed to give the Jeep that open-top feel.
Stu fitted a widened AEV cargo tub which is protected by a spray-on liner and houses the fuel filler for the custom 120-litre tank.
The body is filled with AEV products including the hood, AEV intake, AEV premium bumper, Runva winch and IPF spotties.
With a custom paint job – Range Rover Zanzibar Metallic – and an interior custom trimmed in two-tone leather seats, this truly is a one-off item.
The wheelbase has been lengthened by 254mm using Clayton long arm suspension aided by remote reservoir Fox 2.5 Extreme Racing shocks both front and rear, with Murchison-tuned coil springs.
The Dana 44 rear diff is complemented by an ARB air locker, 4.10 gears and Dynatrac cover. The front diff is a complete Dynatrac Pro Rock 44 replacement with ARB locking, RCV axles and high steer arrangement, driving 17in AEV Salta alloys wrapped in 35in BFG muddies.
Not forgetting the donk, the original 2.8-litre turbo-diesel has been tuned to produce an extra 105Nm – meaning this little Jeep wrangles better than any other diesel JK we’ve driven.
It’ll be interesting to see what Stuart and AEV come up with next.
Vote for Murchison's Wrangler to decide this year's Custom 4x4 of the Year.