Somebody please buy this Smurf-tastic 2004 Jeep Wrangler Gala homage
Jeeps these days take themselves too seriously, right? Chunky, square proportions. Lift kits and snorkels. Knobby tires. Yawn.
If you really want to blow people away with a Jeep, you need to inject 400 mg of Fiat Jolly into the mix. Stripes, fringes, whitewalls, and robin’s egg blue paint? Papa Smurf would roll deep in this baby with the whole clan. And don’t worry, there’s a roll bar installed in case things get crazy, and removable side curtains in case it gets rainy mid-adventure.
The entire interior is magnificently blue and white, down to the surry top and the spare tire cover. And a mere 30,678 shows on the odometer, which means this toy has a lot of play time left in it.
This 2004 Jeep Wrangler was built as an homage to the 1959 Surrey Jeep Gala Edition, a rare model that Henry Kaiser put into production after he bought Willys-Overland earlier that decade and retired to Hawaii. These funky Gala Jeeps, based on the DJ-3A, were initially rental vehicles for resort guests at the Hawaiian Village resort on Waikiki Beach. For 1959 the Gala was expanded for export to the Caribbean and Mexico, also available in pink and jade green. Domestically, it was marketed as the Surrey starting in 1960, and 1000 or so were sold through 1964.
No doubt this modern Gala/Surrey homage is funky-looking, but it’s also super fun. Plus, it has modern amenities you’d never find on an original, like air conditioning, power steering and brakes, and AM/FM radio with roof-mounted speakers. It’s quite a bit cheaper, too, estimated at $10,000–$15,000 for the Mecum Vegas auction going on right now, versus anywhere from $27,000–$46,000 or so for an original. If you don’t care about the value or collectibility and just want to goof off on the beach, go Gala or go home.