What happens when you pair serious off-road chops with 270-plus horsepower and classy wood paneling? With this singularly beautiful 1978 Jeep Wagoneer, SoCal clothing company Iron & Resin teamed up with New Legend 4×4 to find out.
This Wagoneer is part of New Legend 4×4’s Runner Series. What that means is that it looks and feels like a restored classic Jeep Wagoneer but drives like a modern vehicle.
To be sure, this is not your granddad’s SUV — although he’d approve of your taste.
Iron & Resin Jeep Wagoneer: Vintage Looks
Iron & Resin’s vintage, hardwearing vibe inspired the rugged build and retro-cool interior. Materials like Horween leather, waxed canvas, and Del Sol diamond serape trim grace both the Wagoneer’s interior and Iron & Resin’s products.
New Legend 4×4 kept the 1978 Jeep Wagoneer looking vintage by keeping modifications under wraps. Besides a bit taller ride height and new tires, you can’t tell from the exterior that this Wagoneer isn’t just a nicely restored 40-something-year-old vehicle.
Like all New Legend Runner Series vehicles, this beauty’s aesthetic belies very modern modifications. Don’t be fooled by the classy looks, Iron & Resin says on its website. “In reality, these are fully modern, functional performance rigs with a vintage vibe that will get you well off the grid and home again without incident.”
The classic brown paint job, chrome trim pieces, and wood panel accents really sell the vintage vibe. And the stock original hubcaps are a great touch on this retro-cool modern restoration.
1978 Jeep Wagoneer: Classic 4×4
The Iron & Resin New Legend Wagoneer is all about making you feel like you’re driving a 1978 vehicle, but with modern performance and comfort. You do get modern amenities like upgraded steering, a Focal stereo system, air conditioning, and even cruise control. On the flipside, you also get classic roll-up crank windows and leaf-spring suspension.
Where this Wagoneer comes up short — in my opinion — is the four-speed automatic transmission. An old classic rig with big horsepower like this begs to be driven, not just steered. I would have loved to see a five-speed manual shifter, with a classic long throw to it, and a third pedal in the driver’s footwell.
New Legend Wagoneer: Capable, Powerful
Under the hood of this classic, you get a very modern 5.3L LS V8 engine. It should be good for 270-plus horsepower. That’s a big improvement over the 140 ponies this 1978 Jeep Wagoneer originally came with.
And this truck should prove even more fun than the original off the pavement. A 3-inch lift, new BFG AT tires, and modern shocks take the off-road capabilities up a few notches.
Plus, modern brakes make sure it can stop properly both on and off road. This is especially important with the extra ponies under the hood!
Iron & Resin Wagoneer: Too Cool?
This Wagoneer will bring back all kinds of memories for some and inspire lust in those who appreciate classic 4x4s. It would also feel right at home cruising pavement its whole life with a workaday urbanite behind the wheel. This build is downright cool and defies being pigeonholed to a specific buyer.
I, for one, would love to throw some kayaks on the roof, camping gear and cold beers in the back, and head for the mountains. This Wagoneer would take me on that adventure in style while being reliable and relatively comfortable.
Of course, the tough part would be coughing up with the $65,000 to $95,000 that a typical New Legend 4×4 Runner Series build costs. While many modern restomods cost in the realm of six figures these days, this one is a relative bargain. But it still won’t come cheap.
Is that kind of coin worth it? That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself!
For more on this incredible rig, click here.