THUMB-Moab-2014-New-ProductThe Easter Jeep Safari draws in Jeep enthusiasts of all sorts. Toward the end of EJS week, the tradeshow at the Spanish Trail Arena pulls together those who’ve made the trek to Moab, Utah, to mingle, share stories of the week’s trail rides, and for the aftermarket to highlight the latest and greatest off-road parts.

There are always a few over-the-top builds stationed in the surrounding parking lots to gawk at just walking into the event, but the real show is inside the vendor area, where a showcase of company project vehicles and the newest product designs are featured in booths inside and outside of the arena. While perusing the products and vehicles at the 48th Easter Jeep Safari, we came across a few new items that caught our attention.

The FrankenBrute was built in part to raise awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome as well as raise money for Liam Henderson, a victim of SBS. Photo: Jaime Hernandez

The FrankenBrute was built in part to raise awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome as well as raise money for Liam Henderson, a victim of SBS. Photo: Jaime Hernandez

At Easter Jeep Safari this year, we came across a unique-looking Jeep truck. We stopped to briefly talk to the owner, Greg Henderson, who explained to us this was “FrankenBrute,” and it was a vehicle he built at his home in Michigan. Henderson previously worked at AEV for a number of years and loves to tinker with vehicles in general. But this unique Jeep is much more than just a cool project to him and his family.

Sadly, Greg’s son Liam was the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and the vehicle was built to help raise funds to pay for his son’s medical costs while also raising awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome. Though it is difficult to put a figure on the specific number of cases each year, Greg told us this happens to roughly 50,000 kids a year in the U.S.

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Although it was introduced this morning to the general automotive media thousands of miles away at the New York Auto Show, Jeep also unveiled its new 2015 Renegade model to the group off hard-core Jeep enthusiasts in attendance at the Easter Jeep Safari today in Moab, Utah. Unveiling the Trailhawk version of the new SUV at EJS, Jeep believes the Renegade will be a great seller in the small sport-utility market, but it remains focused on retaining the off-road roots for which the brand is known.

Mopar will offer customers a more personalized experience with Jeep Performance Parts purchases, such as shipping kits in these JPP crates.

Mopar will offer customers a more personalized experience with Jeep Performance Parts purchases, such as shipping kits in these JPP crates.

So much attention is given to the Jeep and Mopar concept vehicles we see each year at the Easter Jeep Safari, and for good reason. These rigs aren’t built to collect dust on a tradeshow floor – they’re built to be run on the trail and to test new product.

Not to get lost in the excitement of the concept vehicles, but one bit of noteworthy news that could easily get lost in the shuffle is updates to the Jeep Performance Parts line, which is something that ties in directly with the concept vehicles themselves. This year’s Jeep/Mopar concept rigs showcase a number of parts in the Jeep Performance Parts line as well as some that the Mopar team plans to offers soon (with a few others on its wish list).

The Wrangler Maximum Performance features a host of Jeep Performance Parts currently available as well as a few that are still in the prototype stage.

The Wrangler Maximum Performance features a host of Jeep Performance Parts currently available in the Mopar catalog, as well as a few that are still in the prototype stage.

Every year for the Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep and Mopar show up to Moab, Utah, with a number of concept vehicles to wow the off-road world. For 2014, the crew focused on using its existing platforms to highlight new Jeep Performance Products from the Mopar catalog or concept parts that may or may not be available to consumers down the road. Of all the vehicles at this year’s event, the Jeep Wrangler Maximum Performance is definitely the most extreme of them all.

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Story and photos by Jaime Hernandez

The Moab EJS Bunny Run put on by Dynatrac, Superlift and Falken Tire brings together some of the slickest Jeeps this side of the Colorado – and quite a few from the other side of the river, too. Off-Road.com was invited along for the action, and we hopped on the Jeep train heading toward Strike Ravine, 12 miles outside of town.

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The Dakar Concept is based on the Cherokee Trailhawk but is enhanced for more off-road capability.

The Dakar Concept is based on the Cherokee Trailhawk but is enhanced for more off-road capability.

For quite a few years now, Jeep and Mopar have partnered to create some unique concept vehicles for the Easter Jeep Safari. The vehicles are completed back in Detroit, and then they’re brought out to Moab, Utah, and shown to the off-road media. The vehicles are something we all get to drool over (as the media, I guess we get to drool first), and we in turn then post stories so our readers can drool over them.

Jeep Cherokee Dakar is one of six concept vehicles developed by

This year, off-road enthusiasts will venture to Moab, Utah, to tackle the trails for the 48th annual Easter Jeep Safari. Once again, Jeep and Mopar have teamed up to build a number of unique off-road concept vehicles for the event, which Off-Road.com will actually get the chance to drive and test out during the event next week.

Loren Healy earned his second King of the Hammers victory today. Photo: Josh Burns

Loren Healy earned his second King of the Hammers victory today. Photo: Josh Burns

As the 2014 King of the Hammers drew to its conclusion, it was clear that the brutal off-road race had the making of a heavyweight title fight. After a long day of racing, only a handful of competitors were still on their feet in the ring, with previous KOH Champions Erik Miller, Randy Slawson and Loren Healy battling for the win along with title contenders Derek West, Tom Wayes and Tony Pellegrino.

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John Currie ran away from most of the competition to earn his third consecutive Everyman Challenge win. Photo: Art Eugenio, GETSOMEphoto.com

John Currie earned his third Everyman Challenge consecutive win today in Johnson Valley, but in spite of the fact that he ran away from most of the field, it didn’t come easy. Brad Lovell challenged Currie for most of the race, although Currie said that he wasn’t aware of Lovell’s presence.