A while back a stumbled on a youtube video of a nice modified Jeep Cherokee XJ. The video was a walkaround and the vehicle was for sale. The company that built it was Davis Autosports.
Looking into what they do, I found out that they make tons of beautiful, purposeful, and capable XJ’s. I wanted to write a post about them, because their work is worth checking out.
Their products are expensive, I admit. How do you feel about putting down 20 grand on a vehicle that is close to 20 years old, its not a full restoration, meaning that those aging components that tend to break, will break. You have to think about it at first, but after seeing the vehicles the build, I would hands down throw the money down if I had it, 100 times over buying some fancy luxuty car.
The on thing I like about them is that they spend the money where it counts, on the important bits. They leave the spartan interior as is in a lot of cases. They don’t do stupid shit like putting TV screens in the headrests. They don’t even bother with massaging the engine internals that much. I’ve seen them throw on custom headers and header back exhaust, but that is about it. But hey, you don’t need it. The 4.0 is a capable engine. You will get way more fun out of that long arm suspension than a custom intake manifold.
This may seems like a shameless marketing post, but its not. I honestly like the classy way these guys modify the jeeps. I really like that they are giving the ol’ XJ some love, and I like that they seem really into what they do.
Their pricing is steep, but the quality is outstanding. It’s worth it if you want to pay someone to build you a one of a kind Jeep.
I would estimate most of their regular builds to run between $10,000 and $50,000
They sell different kinds of XJ’s:
- Original, low mileage XJ’s in pristine condition. One example with 31,ooo miles is being sold for $17,900
- Built XJ’s with different levels of mods, from subtle to drastic. They tier their products in stages. I think their highest level is currently stage 6 or 6+
- A stage 5+ Jeep will run you about $40,000 – ouch. A more subtle Stage 2 build will be around $20,000 – I think this is more reasonable since its the price of a vanilla entry level sedan. When you put things that way, suddently these XJ’s become more of a deal.
- They also do custom builds to the owner’s specs
Below is a gallery of some of their build that I personally like. Their modifications levels range from the understated to Mad Max. Regardless of the mod level though, all their builds that I have seen so far are very tastefully done.
Green Stage 4 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Just a nice build
Sand Dune Stage 4+ Jeep Cherokee XJ – That paint job…
Black Stage 2 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Good looking simple build with a little added flair
Stage 3 XJ – That rhino-lining looking paneling is their “Kevlar Package” Nice feature if you’re gonna be wheeling in the woods
Stage 4+ Jeep Cherokee XJ – Shiny! This one is $26,000
White Stage 2 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Love how understated this build is
Red Stage 4 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Winch bunper, rear quarter panel armor, tastefully done
Stage 2 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Another tasteful understated build
White Stage 3 Jeep Cherokee XJ – A stage 3 build – quite a bit louder than the subtle stage 2
Baby Blue Stage 4 Jeep Cherokee XJ – A bit different. No flashy paint job. Just a solid build
Gloss Blue Stage 6 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Low miles, nice paint and upgraded interior. Pretty much a brand new truck, with some character that you just don’t get in new vehicles these days.
Matte Green Stage 6 Jeep Cherokee XJ – Finishing off with one of their more extreme builds
This about wraps up this page. This list encompasses the builds that stood out to me. Davis Auto has a bunch more builds on their site here.
Their vehicles are interesting to explore partly because they also are very detailed in telling you what went into each build: all of the suspension components, any service or repairs done, etc. The one thing they are not always upfront about it the price. But that is understandable. The higher end builds on this list probably top out at around $50,000 – 60,000 based on the prices that I did see.
For many of us, owning an XJ is about getting something that has seen better days and repairing it into a usable vehicle and then building it into something awesome that is uniquely our own and just the way we like it.
In that vein, paying $50k for a flawless XJ that someone else built takes away some of the fun. I paid $1000 for my XJ. But if I am going to ever spend that kind of money for a new car anyway, I would definitely consider this as an alternative. My logic is that if you got multiple jeeps in your yard, at least one should be in working order to get you to where you want to go.
What I can appreciate about these guys though is that they like doing what we like doing. They have invested a lot of time and effort taking a utilitarian Jeep that many would overlook, and turning it into something that kicks butt.
A fitting tribute to the iconic XJ.