Meet the World’s Only Hellcat-Powered Grand Wagoneers…for Now
Jeep’s resurrected Grand Wagoneer was one of the most attention-grabbing SUVs of 2022. While Jeep is offering certain trims of the 2023 Grand Wagoneer with the 510 horsepower “Hurricane” engine, it has yet to release any with the supercharged Hellcat V8 out of the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. If you want a Hellcat-powered Grand Wagoneer, you’ll have to opt for a Restomod.
Collins Bros. build Jeeps
Dennis Collins calls the original Grand Wagoneer “The Cadillac of Jeeps,” because “They ride great, they driver great.” He adds that when they first came out, “They were so popular. This was the thing to have.” But one thing about the original Grand Wagoneer always bugged him: “These trucks always were so underpowered.”
For example, a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer weighed in at 4,500 pounds, but in some trims, it offered a measly 185 horsepower.
Luckily, Collins grew up to co-found Collins Bros. Jeep customization shop. He bought a shipment of Hellcat V8 engines and began putting them in every Jeep he could imagine. One of his most recent projects was a 1989 Grand Wagoneer SUV.
The supercharged “Hellwagon”
The Collins Bros.’ Hellwagon is a 1989, Colorado red Grand Wagoneer upgraded with a “Hellcrate” 707-horsepower Hellcat engine. The mad scientists at Collins Bros. actually found the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 did not weight much more than the Grand Wagoneer’s original 360 cubic-inch V8. Therefore it did not need any suspension work.
In addition, the beefy SUV’s Dana 44 axle and A-727 Torqeuflite automatic could easily handle the 650 lb-ft of torque the new engine produces. But the team at Collins Bros. knew that with so much “go” power, the Grand Wagoneer would need ample stopping power.
The original Grand Wagoneer didn’t quite have crude mechanical brakes, but it only had vacuum-assisted brakes. Collins Bros. upgraded their Hellwagon with “hydroboost” hydraulically-assisted brakes.
Dennis Collins took the finished Hellwagon restomod for its first shakedown drive and only had good things to say about the groovy hotrod:
“If you had 700 horsepower in a normally-aspirated–or like a carbureted motor, if you will–I mean it would just be jumping all over the place.” But when you idle in the Grand Wagoneer, “The truck’s not even moving.”
The only thing that gives away the Hellwagon restomod is the noise it makes: “It’s got that certain rumble that everyone is like ‘What is going on with that!?'” And then when the light turns green? “The zero to 60 is brutal!”
Will the Jeep Tomahawk be a Hellcat-powered Wagoneer?
Some fans of Jeep’s resurrected Grand Wagoneer would love to see a track-ready trim on par with the Cadillac Escalade V. When Jeep quietly patented the name Tomahawk, many wondered if it was the name of a Hellcat-powered Grand Wagoneer project. This is because the Jeep Trackhawk is a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee. Unfortunately, the automaker has not offered any more details on the Jeep Tomahawk.
For the time being, the Collins Bros. build one of the world’s only Hellcat-powered Wagoneers. Next, learn how to get a new Grand Wagoneer with retro wood-paneling or see Dennis Collins test drive the Hellwagon for yourself in the video below:
You can also check out the process of building a Hellcat-powered Grand Wagoneer for Collins Bros. main competitor–a Texas startup called Vigilante–in the video below: