1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer gets 807-hp Hellcat V8 and supercar-like price

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As the electric Jeep Wagoneer S was making its debut, Texas-based Vigilante was busy taking the nameplate in a completely different direction. It gave the original Grand Wagoneer the resto-mod treatment with a modern suspension, huge brakes, and an 807-horsepower V8.

The company started with a 1988 model and left the exterior largely stock. Finished in an eye-catching shade of red, the SUV wears the famous wood-look paneling, a hood ornament, and a generous serving of bright exterior trim. The wheels look factory but they're not: They're 17-inch units shaped just like the 15-inch alloys that Jeep made standard, and they're wrapped by beefy BF Goodrich all-terrain tires.

You won't find much that still carries a Jeep part number under the body: The Grand Wagoneer rides on an updated frame developed in-house by Vigilante. The brand then installed the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that Dodge put in the Challenger Hellcat Redeye. It makes 807 horsepower and 717 pound-feet of torque in this application, and it spins the four wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. For context, a stock 1988 Grand Wagoneer uses a 5.9-liter V8 tuned to 144 horsepower and bolted to a three-speed automatic transmission.

Vigilante hasn't published performance figures, but its Grand Wagoneer should be able to haul, well ... just about anything. It should handle better than stock, too, thanks to a four-link Eibach coil suspension and Fox Racing shocks, while six-piston brakes keep the Hemi in check.

Accessed via hidden power-operated steps, the interior features modern vintage-looking gauges, an updated climate control system, and sound-deadening material. The seats were restored with new springs, foam, and padding and upholstered with a blend of Moores & Giles leather and corduroy fabric. Nearly every part of the cabin has been modified to some extent, yet it manages to look perfectly old-school.

Bringing a classic into the modern era is never cheap, and Vigilante is selling the Hellcat-powered Grand Wagoneer for $385,000. It's also open to working with customers to design a resto-modded Grand Wagoneer from scratch. For that kind of money, you can buy a supercar — say, a Maserati MC20 Cielo — and have enough left over to build a garage to keep it in. But that's not always the point, is it? Companies like Icon and Singer have proved time and again that there's enough demand for an old-looking classic car to make a business case out of it.

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