Performance Art Grand Wagoneer puts the wood back where it belongs

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If you search for “vintage Jeep Wagoneer” on Google Images, over 90% of the results will share the distinctive feature of wood paneling. Going through the inventory at Wagoneer specialty stores like Wagonmaster and Classic Gentleman, which sell restored, 30-year-old SUVs for over $100,000, it’s clear that the Jeep cognoscenti are asking for woodies. Jeep doesn’t offer the option for the reborn Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, so the market stepped in last year: Texas-based Wagonmaster developed a $1,900 vinyl woodgrain package for the modern SUV duo. This year, a company called Motive has developed a different take on tree pruning called Performance Art Grand Wagoneers.

Made for the larger of the family’s two truckers, Motive’s arrangement lays down the vinyl and picks up a paintbrush. The jeeps are ordered through Motive and then delivered to the automotive engineering, design, and painting company Aria in Irvine, California for preparation. There—and proving there’s a specialty to everything—California artist Stuart Lyman hand-paints woodgrain art on the sides of the body. That’s right, each Grand Wagoneer is hand painted in a modern facility. When Lyman is done, Aria applies another coat of clear coat. It’s like pinstriping the really old-fashioned way, but there are many more. It’s also lighter than wood or vinyl – not that the Wagoneers would be bothered by the weight of some trim, we know – and less likely to look faded and tired in ten years.

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Motive will produce 15 copies of three versions each of the Performance Art Grand Wagoneer, making 45 in total. The Classic Woody Edition carries dark walnut woodgrain art in the style of the original Wagoneer. The Grand Adventure Edition boasts “rough-sawn, artistic wood grain treatments and colors.” The Grand Touring Edition is dressed in wood grain that can range from a more subdued, standard Blackwood to a “multi-colored, artistic interpretation” of the wood grain. And of course, there are custom options like Redwood, Oak, Hawaiian Koa, and others for anyone who wants to go with a certain type of grain.

The last two variants also come with new wheels, the Grand Adventure on 20-inch Heritage alloys shod with BF Goodrich All-Terrains, and the Grand Touring on 22-inch forged Vossen alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. Bespoke options for all include small lifestyle accessories such as wooden picnic baskets and blankets, performance accessories such as brake kits and stainless steel exhausts, and private customer extras such as guided outdoor adventures.

Prices start at $150,000 and take a few months to complete. For every copy sold, Motive will make a donation to the Hagerty Driver’s Foundation.

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