Normally, when a prototype or pre-production test vehicle at FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has served it’s purpose, it’s sent to be crushed. Plain and simple; it’s sad really. Some very cool hardware has been reported to have been sent through the crusher. Recently, FCA has been spotted testing the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler mules out on the streets of Michigan. This new Wrangler is reported to be a different platform than the current “JK” platform designation. Reports have stated this new “JL” Wrangler features a noticeably longer nose than the current platform. It appears that these reports have some truth behind them now.
On October 1st, the AEV forums lit up when their member Redrockjk posted up photos of a hood he had just purchased. Working on modifying his white Wrangler Unlimited, he decided to purchase a white 2014 Rubicon Hard Rock edition hood from a parts recycler in the Detroit area. It just so happens this is the wrecking yard where FCA occasionally sends vehicles to get parted out and crushed.
When the hood arrived, he was very surprised when he noticed the hood turned out to be around two inches longer then his factory hood! See, the length of this hood matches what has been reported and seen on the new “JL” test mules. In the pictures posted, you can see both his stock hood and the “JL mule” hood feature the same grille contour. They also both house the same hood latches.
“There are no VIN stickers or Mopar stamped part numbers on this hood (which is not the norm for Jeep/Mopar). The place I purchased from is near Chelsea proving grounds, and the guy there thinks there ‘might have been a mix up,’” says Redrockjk.
It’s a mystery how this hood slipped out of the wreckers hand’s accidentally without being noticed. Someone definitely had a “woops” moment. Redrockjk says while he’d love to keep the hood as a conversation piece, he doesn’t have it in the budget to purchase another hood so he called the yard and explained what had happened. They asked for the hood back and was told it would be going back to FCA.