Jeep Renegade, The First

With the release of Jeep’s latest creation, the Jeep Renegade, we here at WHQ thought it would only be fitting to pay tribute to the original Renegade. Yes, we do mean the Wrangler Renegade! You know the one, that odd duck of a Wrangler sporting a body kit that looked more at home on a Le Mans prototype racer than it ever could on a lifted Jeep.  The one with even more “square” lights up front as if the YJ didn’t get a bad rap for that already. Ah yes now you remember, we’ve all seen them on the road and we always turn our heads to check ‘em out. It doesn’t matter if it’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen or if it’s your all-time favorite Jeep design (it isn’t) because the Renegade Wrangler has a certain charm, a certain character that will keep your attention until it eventually wins your heart over. 
1991 Jeep Renegade

The Renegade debuted as an options package for the Wrangler in the 1991 model year and continued its production until 1994. Included in this package was the wild color matched fender flares with side step (read Fast and Furious body kit) which gave the Renegade its extremely unique look. Built into these fender flairs were the square fog lights that complimented the similar headlights. Alloy 5 hole wheels were designed specifically for the Renegade and wrapped with 30 inch tires, also specific to the package. Though the Renegade option was listed as a decor package, it did include an extra capacity gas tank that held 20 gallons, 5 more than the standard Wrangler. Even when you factor in the upgraded shock absorbers, power steering, floor mats, cup holders and a few other do-dads and it’s still difficult to justify the $4,266 over sticker package price. And this is in 1991 money! The Renegade didn’t leave the Jeep factory as Renegades. No sir. Jeep actually shipped its Wranglers to ASC, or American Specialty Cars, in Michigan where the Renegade received its wild body transformation. ASC, known for dealing with many of the world’s major auto manufacturers, then shipped the completed trucks back to the factory before they made their way onto showrooms across the nation.

So we get it, perhaps it isn’t the most traditional looking Wrangler on the trail, and maybe the optioned price wasn’t exactly worth its weight in gold but the truth is this Jeeper rubbernecks each time one drives by. This is perplexing to say the least, but it is what it is. Love it or leave it, you can’t help but stare when you see one on the road, this is the Renegade charm.