Restomod of the week: Legacy Classic Trucks Jeep Scrambler | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Restomod of the week: Legacy Classic Trucks Jeep Scrambler

Eighties Scrambler gets an injection of speed and power. Legwarmers and headbands optional

  • What is it?

    A restomod version of the legendary Jeep Scrambler from the ‘80s. Not overly familiar? Well, the Scrambler was a graphics-heavy pickup variant of the CJ-8 manufactured from 1981 to 1986, and originally came with a longer wheelbase (upped by 22 inches over a CJ-7) more suited to cruising, and a kind of Beach-Barbie-on-steroids vibe. The base cars came with an 82bhp/125lb ft 2.4-litre four-pot, a 115bhp 4.2-litre six cylinder or a 4.9-litre V8 with a heady 150bhp. Four and five speed manuals all round. This takes that joyful ‘80s nuance and makes it utterly brilliant without losing any of the charm. It’s also quite a lot faster, more useable and less likely to randomly prolapse a valve on the Pacific Coast Highway. Headbands and legwarmers are optional.

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  • Who builds it?

    The modern interpretation of the Scrambler is re-outfitted by respected restorer/re-engineering outfit Legacy Classic Trucks - more famous in Top Gear world for its awesome restomod big-boy Power Wagons. Based in Idaho, the company restores and re-invigorates all sorts of stuff, but the Jeep and Power Wagons are their speciality.

  • What’s been done to it?

    A lot. This isn’t just a refresh. There’s a new mandrel-bent, fully boxed frame, long-travel modern suspension, an all-aluminium body. It only weighs a tonne and a half, so it’s doing pretty well. The interior is re-made with waterproof, marine-grade switches  - yet still very simple - and under the bonnet is typically an emissions-compliant Chevy LS3 V8 with 430bhp and 420lb ft. Or even a diesel. It can be had with either five or six-speed automatic transmissions, or a five-speed manual, and comes with an Atlas II transfer case in case you actually need to do some serious off-roading and not just cruise the boulevards. It’s actually built for abuse: Dynatrac ProRock 60 axles with optional ARB locking diffs, King Shocks, 33-37-inch tyres, disc brakes all round and modern steering and anti-roll bars to manage the considerable boost in terms of power and performance.

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  • How many are being built?

    It’s not a limited run, so if you want one, LCT will build one to order to whatever spec you want. Go full graphics and drive everywhere with no roof or doors - even if you live in northern Scotland. You’ll brighten everyone’s day. You’ll also either drown or die of hypothermia, but hell, you’ll look great doing it.

  • Is it fast?

    There are no official figures, but it’ll be quick enough to amuse. One would assume that with 430bhp and the same weight as a modern hatchback, it’ll get down the road ok. Though with long-travel suspension, think Trophy Truck-lite rather than Nissan GT-R.

  • How much does it cost?

    The starting price is $159,000, though that will climb as you add on options. Pretty much everything is up for grabs, from premium sound systems to LED lighting to all leather Recaros. The sky’s the limit, especially when there is no roof. It comes with some peace of mind though: LCT offers a 2yr/50k miles GM powertrain warranty and a year’s ‘bumper-to-bumper’ manufacturer’s limited warranty. And because it’s pretty much all aluminium, it won’t rust!

  • Why should I care about it?

    Because it’s joyful, and realistic - it’s built properly from tough-spec parts, sprinkled with a decent dose of love. A halfway house between one-off custom and semi-production. Plus, it looks absolutely brilliant, without being obnoxiously in-yer-face.

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  • Can you tell me one interesting fact about it?

    Nancy Reagan bought Ronald an original Scrambler to hoon about on their ranch back in the 1980s - just before Ronnie became the 40th President of the United States.

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