|Most fans of Jurassic Park are content with re-watching the movie, and looking forward to the fourth movie in the franchise, which is due out in June 2015. One fan, however, took it a step further by re-creating the classic Jurassic Park Jeep.
Bob Hattenhauer, like most people, was drawn to the effects of the movie. Unlike most people, however, this Jeep-enthusiast wasn’t attracted to the dinosaurs in the movie — he was looking at the four-wheeled automobiles.
“My first thought was I have to build a Jeep like those in the movie,” said Hattenhauer in an interview with the Daily Herald. Hattenhauer, who lives in Chicago, already had a Jeep, but he wanted to start the project with a new surface to work on. He was specifically aiming for a 1994 Wrangler, Sahara Edition, like the ones used in the movie. Sadly, most of the movie’s cars are no longer around — of the remaining two, one was refinished, and another is on display in Universal Studios.
Hattenhauer didn’t have a lot of money, as a mechanical engineering student, but he made it work. The car was cheap since it had been involved in a head-on collision. He poured his free time into overhauling the car and building it back up piece by piece, watching the movie multiple times to, as Hattenhauer says, “make sure the specs were right.”
Gearing up the Jeep to match the original involved multiple intricate tasks, including replacing all the gaskets and seals. Once the internal components of the Jeep were assembled, Hattenhauer went to work on re-creating the iconic outside of the vehicle. He painted red stripes on the side, added a CB radio antenna, fog lights, and the official graphics from the Jurassic Park movie. Drivers who want to replicate this non-permanently can use vinyl wraps, which often have the appearance of paint.
Hattenhauer finally finished the Jeep in March 2012, and it’s now an offloading vehicle he enjoys using. For several months, he used it for his daily commute, and the car even made an appearance at his wedding. Not surprisingly, the vehicle has gotten him a lot of attention wherever he goes.
“Everyone looks in the rearview mirror to see if a T-Rex is behind it,” jokes Hattenhauer about spectator reactions. Hattenhauer, as it turns out, isn’t the only hardcore enthusiast — online, the website JurassicJeep has documented three others who have converted, or are converting, Jeeps into Jurassic Jeeps.
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