The Ultimate Adventure Jeep started as a pile of parts (Péwé's Pile) but has quickly progressed to a hot rod. With a 400-plus-horsepower V-8 ("Erod Action," Sept. '10) and a strong, flexible suspension ("UACJ," Oct. '10), the Jeep should be trail capable, but every hot rod needs some style. Many of you know that Editor Péwé is a fan of Jeeps, Coronas, and sandals, but you may not know that he is also a huge military airplane buff. The story goes that as a small boy he traveled into the hills of Arizona (via Jeep flatfender, of course) to help retrieve a wrecked Boeing B-17 bomber with some family friends, and he has been enthralled ever since. Thus the idea for the CJ-17 was born, part Jeep, part warbird. We already showed you the power and suspension for takeoffs and landings. Now see how we built a safe cockpit and gave this Jeep a bit of bomber flair. When we started this CJ project the Jeep had a fiberglass body that replaced the original rusted, busted steel tub. Though fiberglass is rustproof, we decided to upgrade to a tougher aluminum tub from Aqualu to make wiring and enlarging wheel openings easier. The Aqualu tubs have been making inroads in the replacement body market due to their exceptional strength.When we started this CJ project the Jeep had a fiberglass body that replaced the original The aluminum tubs are very cool, so we didn't want to cover it with paint nor polish it to a chromelike finish as we've seen others do. This is where the idea of covering the Jeep in rivets to continue the airplane theme came from. The rivets serve no purpose other than aesthetics, and it took about two days to install nearly 500.The aluminum tubs are very cool, so we didn't want to cover it with paint nor polish it to To protect pilot and crew, we went to Poison Spyder Customs (PSC) for a full cage kit. Poison Spyder makes cages for most open-top Jeeps and offers them as family cages, as two-seater, or as trail cages that attach to the factory rollbar.To protect pilot and crew, we went to Poison Spyder Customs (PSC) for a full cage kit. Poi Shipping a fully welded cage can be expensive, but assembling a cage at home can be frustrating, so PSC offers its cages prebent and notched and with laser etchings designating where the tubes meet to be welded.Shipping a fully welded cage can be expensive, but assembling a cage at home can be frustr For an open-top Jeep, your choice of seats can make or ruin your ride. The seats need to be comfortable and supportive, and it doesn't hurt if they look good too. To continue our military aircraft theme, we went to MasterCraft's line of military seats, where we found these low-back jump seats. It was imperative that the seat have low side bolsters for ease of entry in the lifted Jeep. Though these are not as supportive as MasterCraft's suspension race seats, we found them more than adequate for a trail/road Jeep.For an open-top Jeep, your choice of seats can make or ruin your ride. The seats need to b These seats are designed for aircraft and troop carrying vehicles. The base of the seat flips upward, and the seat mounts are on the backside. This makes storing and retrieving items under the seats very easy, but mounting brackets had to be built into the cage to suspend the seats from behind.These seats are designed for aircraft and troop carrying vehicles. The base of the seat fl The Poison Spyder cage is very well built, and the tubes notched so well that TIG-welding the cage together is possible. Getting the tubes to fit together tightly before welding makes for a stronger, safer joint.The Poison Spyder cage is very well built, and the tubes notched so well that TIG-welding We decided to mount the spare tire down in the tub of the Jeep, but we would still need adequate storage for tools, parts, and camping gear. By mounting a Poly Performance Baja Basket on back of the cage with a hinge so it flips out of the way, we doubled the space.We decided to mount the spare tire down in the tub of the Jeep, but we would still need ad Eventually we took the entire cage to Powder Coating USA. The cage had been outside for one of the freak Southern California rainstorms, so it had to be sandblasted first to clean off any surface rust.Eventually we took the entire cage to Powder Coating USA. The cage had been outside for on We went with a green color similar to that of many early military aircraft interiors. Powdercoating the cage gives it a smooth, uniform look and protects it from dings and trail rash. It's not completely abuse-proof, but sturdier than paint.We went with a green color similar to that of many early military aircraft interiors. Powd We matched the interior to the two-part paint we had mixed to match the powdercoat color. We eventually painted the dash, windshield frame, and hood a semiflat black. Many older airplanes had the same design to reduce glare in the pilot's eyes. Notice the rear "wings" to cover wide tires on street days, and the removable panel to access the in-tank fuel pump.We matched the interior to the two-part paint we had mixed to match the powdercoat color. Every trail rig needs a Hi-Lift Jack as the failsafe recovery-repair tool, but mounting one in a small rig can be an exercise in futility. We found the perfect spot behind the seats of the Jeep, low and out of the way.Every trail rig needs a Hi-Lift Jack as the failsafe recovery-repair tool, but mounting on We stuffed a 37-inch Goodyear on a Walker Evans Racing beadlock wheel between the fenders for a spare (though we had to let the air out to get it to fit). The B-17's hold-down comes from Mercenary Offroad.We stuffed a 37-inch Goodyear on a Walker Evans Racing beadlock wheel between the fenders Mercenary also supplied gunsight taillight covers over the Truck-Lite rear lights. The gas cap is an old dune buggy unit.Mercenary also supplied gunsight taillight covers over the Truck-Lite rear lights. The gas The rear Aqualu tailgate is an especially neat unit that can be swapped onto aluminum or stock CJ and YJ tubs. The tailgate has a big internal storage space perfect for tools and recovery gear. We're out of space, so come back next month for full story on our Dynatrac landing gear under Commander Péwé's CJ-17 trail bomber.The rear Aqualu tailgate is an especially neat unit that can be swapped onto aluminum or s SOURCES Dynatrac 7392 Count Circle Huntington Beach CA 92647 714-596-4461 www.dynatrac.com Aqualu 435 Neave Court Kelowna AK 888-765-6714 www.aqualu.com GM Performance Parts P.O. Box 33170 Detroit MI 48232 800-577-6888 www.gmperformanceparts.com Poison Spyder Customs 47275 Twin Pines Rd. Banning CA 92220 951-849-5911 www.poisonspyder.com Poly Performance 245 Tank Farm Road Units L & M San Luis Obispo CA 93401 805-783-2060 www.polyperformance.com MasterCraft Safety 9335 Stevens Road Santee CA 92071 800-565-4042 www.mastercraftsafety.com Walker Evans Racing P.O. Box 2469 Riverside CA 92516 888-933-7223 www.walkerevansracing.com Mercenary Off Road Sun Valley CA 91352 www.mercenaryoffroad.com PSC Motorsports 11468 FM 730 South Azle TX 76020 817-270-0102 www.pscmotorsports.com Western Fabricators 9823 E Avenue Hesperia CA 92345 760-949-1441 www.westernfabricators.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!