Who needs a Gladiator?
Every now and again, we see interesting truck conversions crop up and usually, they come from Smyth Performance. This company loves to make cool, inexpensive kits to turn a variety of vehicles into two-seater pickups and the latest project tackles the second-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee that ran from 1999 through 2004.
As with previous conversions like the VW Beetle we featured, it's not what you'd call a bolt-on process. The Grand Cherokee's entire top behind the front seats is removed, as are the quarter panels. The conversion kit offers replacement quarter panels along with a B-pillar extension to cap off the gaping hole behind the seats. The pillar is reinforced to help the Jeep maintain structural integrity with most of its roof gone, and it also comes with a window cut-out. For this particular build, Smyth Performance installed the rear window from a Chevrolet Colorado.
Additionally, this build uses modified Grand Cherokee taillights at the rear, and the tailgate is the same one the company uses with its Dodge Charger ute conversion. The Colorado is once again sourced for the third brake light, and though the photos show cute side windows in the B-pillar, Smyth Performance says you can nix them if you want. Beyond that, the stock Grand Cherokee rear bumper stays in place, and of course, the mechanicals are the same underneath.
There's certainly some potential to have a unique, very cool off-roading truck for not a lot of cash. Early buyers for the conversion kit will pay $2,490, but after the first 50 are gone the price will go up. Factor in the price of a WJ Grand Cherokee – which is presently around $2,500 in good condition according to Kelley Blue Book – and the total investment isn't much at all. Of course, that doesn't include the cost of cutting, welding, and painting the parts, but even for those not able to handle the work, a cool custom truck in the neighborhood of $10,000 isn't out of the question.