If you grew up in the Seventies or Eighties, chances are that you were exposed to a trio of behemoths built by the big three. Long before some marketing squad coined the name Sport Utility Vehicle, there was the Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer and Dodge Ramcharger. Depending on where you lived, you might have even come across the Jeep Cherokee Chief, the gnarly two door version of the Grand Wagoneer.
In my own house was an ’85 Ramcharger. Once my step-father tired of its gas guzzling ways, I took it over as a race car hauler, off road pig and general master of any and all utility needs. I loved that monster!
If you spend a lot of time on the web, you have likely seen a flurry of fan created images of what a new Ford Bronco might look like should the blue oval decide to resurrect the iconic model. Created by the admins at bronco6g.com, these renderings take design cues from the original Bronco and the 2004 Ford Bronco concept rather than the Run OJ Simpson Run era.
A return of the Bronco isn’t the only story…
While there are no reputable sources talking about the return of the Chevy Blazer, there are a number of small fan sites that are circulating the above rendering that would appear to be someone’s idea of a new 2 door Blazer.
There is however a pretty solid indication that a return of the Blazer is at least on Chevrolet’s radar. Back in November, GM Authority reported that General Motors had applied to register the names Blazer and Chevrolet Blazer with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The report also said that the monikers would specifically be used for “motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks and vans.”
But that’s not all….
Over in the FCA corner, there is some real deal stuff going on. Last Summer, it was announced at the FCA annual dealer meeting that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer would be returning to the market in 2018. To the delight of pretty much everyone, dealers were told that the high end 7-passenger wagon would follow in its namesake’s footsteps as a proper woody wagon.
Previous to that however, the company brought a fleet of off-road capable concepts to the 49th Annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. While they were all pretty cool, one stood out: The Jeep Chief. Based on the Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Chief is a four door that is undeniably a descendant of the original Cherokee Chief. It is also one that could very easily be put into production.
While there is no mention of it anywhere on the Ram media site, Four Wheeler Network reported that the Ram brand made a quiet, behind the scenes appearance at the Easter Moab event too, bringing along a 2017 Ramcharger concept vehicle.
While much of the buzz surrounding a return of the fun, full size SUV seems to be enthusiast generated, one manufacturer has brought out actual vehicles for selected consumers to see, which might just lead to something. Let’s hope that where there is smoke, the flames aren’t too far behind.