While Chrysler's official concepts may have hogged the glory at this year's Jeep Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, three distinctive rides from Venchurs Vehicle Systems also got off-road enthusiasts hot and bothered. With a flame-throwing, bullet-deflecting Ram 1500 and a machine gun-packing Jeep pickup in attendance, you can probably guess why.
Fire Breathing Ram, Other Custom Off Roaders Headline Easter Jeep Safari imageFor this radical concept, Venchurs covered the cabin of a 2012 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Short Bed with a lightweight "Dragon Skin" ballistic armor capable of resisting AK-47 ammunition. The custom truck also gets a KORE off-road suspension, heavy-duty axle package, tactical front bumper meant to increase its approach angle, and optional Night Vision System-compatible cockpit. But the piece de resistance of the Caballo Diablo is its flame-throwing "Dragon's Mouth" defense system, which projects a wall of fire around the truck. The Caballo Diablo comes standard with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine producing 390 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque, though an optional 8.4-liter V-10 from a Viper offers 710 hp and 664 lb-ft. Sadly, the flame thrower option will not be available in the U.S.
Fire Breathing Ram, Other Custom Off Roaders Headline Easter Jeep Safari imageA follow-up to the Red Jacket Firearms JK8 that debuted at last year's SEMA Show, the Recon JK8 is a four-door Wrangler that's been converted into a tactical, Hemi-powered pickup. A military-style rear bumper, GenRight metal fenders, rock rails, and a PIAA 520 All-Terrain Pattern lantern set off the Recon JK8's rugged look. Lending it more ruggedness is the 7/16 bed armor plate, which also serves as a perch for a gunner, full bed cage for overhead protection, and mounts for M2 "Ma Deuce" and M240 machine guns. The custom Jeep, along with its 390-hp, 407-lb-ft 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, will soon be offered to the public.
Fire Breathing Ram, Other Custom Off Roaders Headline Easter Jeep Safari imageVenchurs' only non-Mopar in attendance showcased the company's compressed natural gas conversion. The F-250 brought out to Moab featured a Bi-Fuel CNG system with "on-the-fly" fuel switching capability, a two-inch lift, Bilstein shocks, 35inch BFGoodrich off-road tires, and skid plates. Venchurs says the Bi-Fuel system offers a total range of up to 650 miles, and that the conversion doesn't affect the original warranty.
While we still think Jeep's J-12 pickup concept earned best in show at Moab, that "Dragon's Mouth" feature is awfully cool. Jeep, we hope you're reading this.
Source: Venchurs Vehicle Systems