A Texas firm that designs after-market modifications for the Jeep Wrangler and other vehicles has built what might be considered a $150,000 dream vehicle for frustrated motorists -- and plans to give it away next year to benefit current and former members of the U.S. Army's elite Rangers Special Forces and their families.
Xtreme Outfitters Inc. of Kerrville, Texas, customized the 2011 "Call of Duty: Black Ops" Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with an array of heavy-duty equipment, including a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that isn't available on Chrysler Group LLC's standard-issue, Toledo-made Wranglers.
Of course, stock Wranglers don't come with 50-caliber gun mounts on the roof and side-mounted machine-gun mounts for rear passengers, either, but that's part of what makes their design special, according to those set to benefit from its design.
The vehicle, which is on display this week outside the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas, will be given away next spring to an as-yet-unidentified donor to the Worldwide Army Rangers Inc., a Columbus, Ga.-based non-profit that raises money to benefit current and past Army Rangers and their families. Columbus is near Fort Benning, Ga., the home of the 75th Rangers Regiment.
"We all took our driving tests on Jeep. Getting off the road and on the road without flipping it used to be the real challenge," said Bob Dawes, vice president of Worldwide Army Rangers Inc. and himself the owner of a CJ-7, an earlier iteration of the Wrangler. The organization is seeking $25 donations for a chance to give the vehicle -- complete with Army-green lighting, armored fenders, and custom two-tone leather seats embroidered with the Rangers' logo -- a new billet, as it were, Mr. Dawes said.
A spokesman for Xtreme Outfitters could not be reached for comment. The company's message system indicated its owners would be out-of-town attending the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas.
While the vehicle on display in Las Vegas is shown with an array of firearms attached, those won't come home with the winner, Mr. Dawes said. Depending on who won, he could not say whether the vehicle would stay deweaponized.
"I have a feeling whoever wins this thing will trick this thing out," Mr. Dawes said. "We've got a bunch of crazy fellas in our group."