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The heart of the beast: Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06

The heart of the beast: Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06

In the world of cars, you can find many peculiar projects. People like exploring their creative urges and coming up with… something. You know you have landed on something weird when you have no idea what to make of it!

Some vehicles cannot be put into a single category. Simply calling them “cars” would not do them any justice either. They spring out of the minds of enthusiasts, who are laying in bed at 3 am, wondering what would happen if you mash 2 models together. And then they do just that!

Today we have in focus one such mashup of a car. Our team at Corsia Logistics has transported a beast, which deserves to have its story told. I am talking about the weirdness that is Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06. A mouthful of a name for a monster of a car!

What is Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06 anyway?

Sometimes Google can be a terrible rabbit hole to fall in. If you start researching this vehicle, you may end up at places you have never expected to exist. At least I did.

Turns out that mashing together Jeeps and Corvettes is an actual thing in some circles. Though the degrees of success vary greatly. Not all mashups end up looking as slick as the model we transported. Some may be much more fitting of the “monster” title.

Obviously, the CJ-Z06 is miles ahead in both design and quality of execution. It still raises some questions though. The 2001 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06, on which the car is based, is rather iconic on its own. Why would someone ruin such a car just to humor their creativity? Or a perfectly good Jeep CJ for that matter… Thankfully, no one in this case!

The Corvette was a salvage car that had been damaged in an accident. I suspect the Jeep had a similar fate, though I could not find much on it. So to answer the initial question – our spotlight vehicle is just that: parts of a Jeep body on a Corvette chassis. Though how it came together is a whole different thing.

How do you mash a sports car and an SUV together?

Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06

When you see the finished project, you cannot get how difficult it was to make it. At first glance, I thought the guys simply mixed and matched what they could from both cars. Not so!

Apparently, the Z06 Corvette had sustained quite a bit of body damage. They had to strip away not only the body parts but the whole interior along with the dashboard. The engine also received its fair share of changes with a modified air intake and a custom exhaust, among other things. It likely reached 400hp (with 385hp for a brand new Z06 at the time).

A roll cage was also added to the build for better structural integrity. With these things done, it was ready to receive the Jeep body parts. I cannot tell you the exact CJ model used though – they all pretty much have the same memorable look.

The hood and grille of the Jeep are obvious on the images, though they are not the only parts taken from it. Some of the body was sliced up and stitched to the sides and back of the Frankenstein vehicle. This reminds me a bit of how people build kit cars. But how functional was this new beast?

Is the Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06 drivable?

Technically, the engine worked from the get-go. However, it takes a lot of other things to make this monster safe to drive.

Even with the huge Bridgestone Potenza RE71 tires and the roll cage, this car weighed in at 2,450 pounds. Pretty close to featherweight, I would say. That means the 400hp engine could really put you in a tough spot. Thankfully, the builders knew that and installed custom-valved shock absorbers together with a ZR1 front sway bar. In simple terms: the car’s handling was greatly improved.

On top of all that, the brakes received quite the upgrade too. The guys took those from a C06 generation of the same Corvette model (i.e. one generation higher) and slapped them on their project car. They also managed to keep the ABS operational, though with no traction control.

As for the Jeep: it only donated the body, so nothing from it carries over to the performance of the car.

Where can you use this monster car?

I doubt anyone thinks you can drive this beast on the road. Even if it is somehow legal to do that (I have not checked that), I would call it a comfortable ride. Neither would the builders!

According to them, it is nothing short of a track toy. Undoubtedly, many enthusiasts would like to take it for a spin. Even if I do not fancy the looks all that much, sheer curiosity has me wondering what the feeling would be in such a car.

On top of that, this example of human ingenuity makes for a wonderful collection piece. And I am not the only one to think that, as it has already been sold. Which makes me wonder…

How do you feel about a mashup vehicle?

What do you think when you look at this Jeep Corvette CJ-Z06 mashup? At first glance, it does not strike me as that appealing. However, I think it grows on you. You are not going to use it for any fashion pageants, of course, but it can be a cool addition to an existing collection.

It also did not cost all that much. The car sold for a bit more than $11,000, which sounds perfectly reasonable. People are giving thousand times more money for artwork anyway.

As far as interesting cars go, the CJ-Z06 definitely gets a spot near the top. That being said, it not the only weird monster of a car we have covered. Check out this magnificent story: Rusty Slammington – the undying driving machine!

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