• Sep 15, 2010
1969 Jeep XJ001 Prototype – Click above for image gallery

We spend more than a few moments of our day on the "what ifs" of the automotive world. What if Jaguar decided to get back into the supercar game? What if Ford made a Bronco with Raptor underpinnings? What if Jeep finally decided to build another pickup? Even so, we've never wondered what a sports car built by the off-road kings at Jeep would look like. Fortunately, we don't have to. In 1969, Jeep got it in its mind to build a vehicle with the road manners of your average car, the off-road prowess of its rugged CJ line and a meaty V8 up front.

The result was the XJ001 Prototype. With a unique fiberglass body and a windshield-frame that doubled as a roll-bar, the design wasn't exactly the most attractive creation on four wheels. But the concept packed a 360 cubic-inch V8 behind its headlights and the beginnings of a Quadratrac all-wheel drive system down below, making it an unholy terror on or off road. The ridiculously optimistic nature of the beast has us entirely smitten, but unfortunately, the XJ001 is nowhere to be found today. The truck/car hybrid met its end during a shipping accident where it burnt to the ground.



[Source: Off Road Action]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Back then this was impressive. Design tastes have changed. It wasn't "ugly" then. Anyone remember the fad of cutting a van down to crazy short wheel base and going nuts with the tape stripes? Mustache's and jean shorts were the "in" thing for most men for a decade or so...then the 80's happened.
        Paul
        • 10 Months Ago
        I remember those times, my dad owned a 1976 Dodge Sportsman Van... Vehicles were cool back then... Not to say some of the newer vehicles aren't cool, but we're more focused on saving fuel than we are on practicality; with today's technology you could get both practicality and economy... and have a safe vehicle too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It looks like something you'd get in and *pedal*. As for the 360, it could have been a Ford FT engine, as they were in production at that time. It's too bad it's not still around.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll kneel down with my CJ tonight in the garage before going to bed, and say a prayer. I'll thank God they never made it!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mate a '75 Mustang with a '70 Bronco in a test tube and throw in a golf cart egg, and by jolly and neck strain, YOU'VE GOT IT... a piece of crap! And though I came out in the '70s, I dare say I'd never be caught in the thing. Riding in a Pacer was enough!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I recall reading about the XJ001 years ago, and if memory serves, when it was first built, it had the Buick 350 V-8, because Kaiser had an arrangement to buy engines from them at the time.

      AMC's "tall-deck" 360 V-8 didn't come along until 1970, the year that they bought Kaiser.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correct to an extent. The Buick V8's came in the later 60's. Before that was the AMC 327. Not to be confused with a GM 327. Being this was in 1969, it would most likely be a Buick (As it was Jeep), but could just as easily be an AMC V8 as other Jeep products were using AMC engines since '67.
      • 4 Years Ago
      SX4!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      All that pin-striping (tape ?) is making me dizzy!

      Put a '68 to '70 AMX body on that thing, and it would sell boatloads even today.

      Larry
      http://www.4-the-love-of-jeeps.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Luckily for all of us it has already been killed with fire.Ugh...looks like some oversized kiddie car from Toys 'r Us or a vehicle form a Shriner parade.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Are you sure you spelled "shift" right?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Isn't that called an Ariel Atom? :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        Makes me think of the Local Motors Rally Fighter. Off roader and sports car all in one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, the proportions are a bit strange, but if that's the price one must pay to have a V8 under the hood of such a tiny car, it doesn't matter.

        Imagine one of these today... Having Ford's 2011 5.0 V8 on a muscled out Mini Cooper frame. *drool*
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think you could build something like this today, it looks way way far away from modern safety standards.

      Having said that it looks like crazy dirty fun, and keeping in mind that it was made in 1969, it's not pretty but it has a certain throwback panache that I personally enjoy. Shame it was accidentally destroyed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh, cut off jeans, makes more sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd take this over a compass any day of the week
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Paul:
        haters gonna hate
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not a big loss, it's hideous.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ahead of its time.
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