If you search “vintage Jeep Wagoneer” on Google Images, well more than 90% of results will share the distinguishing trait of wood paneling. Perusing the inventory at Wagoneer specialist retailers like Wagonmaster and Classic Gentleman, who sell restored, 30-year-old SUVs for more than $100,000, it’s clear the Jeep congnoscenti demand 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 kit for the modern SUV duo. This year, a company called Motive has developed another take on the tree trimming called Performance Art Grand Wagoneers.
Created for the larger of the two family trucksters, Motive’s arrangement puts down the vinyl and picks up a brush. The Jeeps are ordered through Motive, then delivered to automotive engineering, design, and painting firm Aria in Irvine, California for prepping. There — and proving there’s a specialty for everything — California artist Stuart Lyman hand-paints woodgrain art onto the bodysides. That’s right, each Grand Wagoneer painted by hand in a modern facility. When Lyman’s finished, Aria applies a new round of clearcoat protection. It’s like pinstripes the really old-fashioned way, but a lot more of them. It’s also lighter than wood or vinyl — not that the Wagoneers would be bothered by the weight of some trim, we know — and has less chance of looking faded and tired in ten years.
Motive will produce 15 examples each of three versions of the Performance Art Grand Wagoneer, making 45 in total. The Classic Woody Edition bears dark walnut woodgrain art in the style of the original Wagoneer. The Grand Adventure Edition shows off “rough-sawn, artistic woodgrain treatments and colors.” The Grand Touring Edition is dressed in woodgrain that can range from a more low key, standard Blackwood to a “multi-colored, artistic interpretation” of woodgrain. And of course, there are custom options like Redwood, Oak, Hawaiian Koa, and others for anyone who wants to go with a certain kind of grain.
The latter two variants come with new wheels as well, the Grand Adventure on 20-inch Heritage alloys shod in BF Goodrich All-Terrains, the Grand Touring on 22-inch forged Vossen alloys wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. Custom options for all of them include small lifestyle accessories like wooden picnic baskets and blankets, performance accessories like brake kits and stainless steel exhausts, and private-client extras like guided outdoor adventures.
Prices start at $150,000 and take a few months to complete. For each one sold, Motive will make a donation to the Hagerty Driver’s Foundation.