HEMI-powered Jeep Grand Wagoneer rocks 807 HP and $385,000 price tag

Published June 5, 2024 at 12:22

Vintage Jeep Grand Wagoneer transformed into a high-performance sleeper by Vigilante

This restored 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with a HEMI-powered Hellcat Redeye engine showcases 807 horsepower, turning a potential scrapyard resident into a powerful classic SUV.


In a remarkable restoration, the 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, once destined for the scrapyard, has been transformed by Vigilante into a HEMI-powered Hellcat Redeye beast boasting 807 horsepower. This iconic vehicle, now featuring a Rolls-Royce-inspired interior, combines vintage charm with modern performance.


The custom-built Grand Wagoneer maintains its original authenticity while packing a punch with its new powerful engine. Vigilante has breathed new life into this model, turning it from a versatile workhorse into a premium SUV. The wood-paneled model, now painted in a fiery crimson, stands out on highways and off-road trails alike.


Vigilante, renowned for restoring classic Jeeps, claims the vehicle achieves unprecedented speed and control, thanks to modern upgrades. Introduced in 1963, the Grand Wagoneer became one of the longest-lasting nameplates in the car industry, retaining its iconic design until the early 1990s.

The latest iteration has turned into a collectible, partly due to the "sunset stretch," emphasizing high-end features and modern technology. The 1988 model originally came with power seats, a novelty for its time.

Known as the father of modern SUVs, the Grand Wagoneer has always been versatile and reliable. Vigilante's take on this model is a tribute to its enduring legacy. The vehicle's boxy shape, unchanged until the end of production, now exudes a futuristic attitude.


The custom build revolves around a newly developed modern chassis, designed by Vigilante, to which the body panels fit perfectly. Vigilante's experts have also installed a 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat Redeye engine under the hood, producing 807 horsepower and 717 pound-feet of torque, nearly five times the original 144-horsepower engine.

The engine is paired with a high-performance four-speed Bowler 4L80E automatic transmission, allowing the Grand Wagoneer to outperform most contemporary vehicles. Despite its unassuming appearance, the vehicle can unleash its power through an Atlas-II reinforced transfer case and Dana 44/Dana 60 Currie Enterprise axles.


The model rides on a four-link Eibach coil suspension with Fox Racing shocks, while six-piston brakes with Hydroboost power assistance ensure it stops efficiently. It features machined 17-inch stock-looking wheels for a classic touch.

The restoration began with Vigilante stripping the vehicle down to bare metal, avoiding the use of fillers. The truck now sports a red hot two-tone paint livery with rich wood grain shades reminiscent of the original.

Inside, the Grand Wagoneer features tempered glass and extensive noise-canceling soundproofing. Modern climate control interfaces with the original-style controls, serving both front and rear seats. The cabin is adorned with Moore & Giles leather and New Old Stock corduroy inserts. All seats have new springs, foam, and padding, ensuring comfort and luxury.

Vigilante has also replicated the original long shag carpeting using rare sheepskin hides, blending and tanning them to create an extravagant interior. Newly designed stock-looking gauges behind the steering wheel retain the classic appearance.

The cabin is conceived and built with both comfort and luxury in mind, providing a saloon-like sensation. Special power steps facilitate easy ingress and egress. This reimagined 1988 Hellcat Redeye Grand Wagoneer is available for $385,000.

Currently, the most powerful stock Jeep on the market is the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, with a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine producing 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. However, Vigilante's creation surpasses this with its impressive 807 horsepower.

Previously, Vigilante introduced an 825-horsepower Grand Wagoneer and a nearly 1,000-horsepower version with a Hellephant engine. Last year, they also revealed a Grand Cherokee with a 392-cubic-inch V8, producing 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.

Credit: Top Gear
June 5   |   1 answers
HEMI-powered Jeep Grand Wagoneer rocks 807 HP and $385,000 price tag

Should more vintage SUVs be restored with modern performance upgrades?

Yes, it preserves history while enhancing perform00 %
No, it takes away from the original charm.00 %
Depends on the quality of the restoration.1100 %
Undecided, I appreciate both approaches.00 %
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