Friday, March 12th 2010
We had a great response from our first Fan Created Rides piece, Jason Rawley's ECTO-1X. Shortly after the story ran I was contacted by a number of people to do stories about their cars. One of the first to contact was Kevin Henry of the Denver Ghostbusters. Kevin is also a member of a movie car replica group called Colorado Movie Cars. Kevin sent me pictures of his ECTO-2K Dodge Magnum and his Jurassic Park Jeep. Since our first FCR was about a Ghostbusters themed ride, I decided to feature Kevin's Jurassic Park Jeep. If you're not familiar with the Jeeps from Jurassic park. Then check out last week's post about about the Jurassic Park Jeeps. Let's move on to Kevin's story.
Kevin first came up with the idea for creating this ride shortly after building his first Ghostbusters movie car. He wanted a movie car that was 4-wheel drive and had an open top. Then it was born! A practical off-road vehicle, but yet a movie car replica for the masses! A Jeep Wrangler from Jurassic Park! Kevin quickly searched the internet over for a Jeep from the correct time period. His search ended when he found a white 1990 Jeep Wrangler near by for $4000.
Kevin planned his conversion by looking over the pieces needed to turn his base Jeep into a Jurassic Park Jeep. But first he needed to upgrade his 1990 Jeep Wrangler to a 1992 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. To do this, he needed to find the correct roll-cage, wheels, side steps, seats and front fog lights. Many of the parts came from local junkyards in the Denver area. Then the work began.
Days were spent sanding. Kevin said the previous owner must have had a crash or rollover. The Jeep was riddled with bad body work. Him and his crew worked through the mess and redid the body work. Most of the body was taken to bare metal, primed and painted. Kevin debated colors between gray and slight champagne color. He settled on gray. He says he's very happy with the results. Next came the stripes.
Kevin masked off the stripes with newspaper and masking tape. Then did a pass or two with red paint. The interior got a full treatment as well. The carpet was pulled and the floor and interior walls are treated with Rhino Liner. Kevin can clean out this dino-runner anytime with a garden hose. Great tip for Jeep owners! Next came the wheels. The wheels were replaced with the correct factory wheels with BFGoodrich AT Tires. However to get them to JP Jeep specs, he sanded and sprayed the wheels red as well. Just like the ones in the movie. After paint came decals. Kevin ordered decals for the side doors, fenders and hood. All the graphics are placed in the same locations as the movie Jeep. Factory 4.0 Liter decals were also applied.
Kevin started putting the pieces back on the Jeep. Then came the first opportunity to show off the Jeep. Kevin scrambled to get the rest of the Jeep together for Nan Desu Kan Am, Anime Convention. The day of the convention Kevin and friends finished the Jeep including props! He pieced together some cases that resemble the emergency kit props from the movie. The Jeep was near completion and went on display. Near completion? Looks good to me. Kevin said it needed a few more pieces to be complete. He later added the winch, side steps, and light bar.
Since that first show, Kevin has shown the vehicle in countless other shows and events. But that doesn't mean this Jeep isn't just a show piece! Kevin takes it off road regularly. From the pictures you can tell he's not afraid to take this Jeep through mud, snow or high water! Hey what's the point of having Jeep and not using it? Kevin says from behind most people don't realize it's not a regular Jeep. It's when they see it from the sides or front, that they get the full effect. Kevin has a few more plans for the Jeep. Including adding extra speakers to blast out dinosaur noises. I'm sure wherever he goes, a JP fan some where notices.
As for advice, Kevin recommends utilizing online resources like the Jurassic Jeep Forums and other great Jeep sites. This is not the last Fan Created Ride we'll see from Kevin and his friends. We're looking forward to covering other FCRs from Colorado Movie Cars as well. However we're open to suggestions on any Fan Created Rides. If you have or know someone who has a tv/movie car, drop us a line via our contact page. Till next time, keep those dinosaurs at bay!