The secret to a well-done restomod is to design and build a thoroughly-updated car without giving away that it’s anything other than factory-spec from the outside. The team over at New Legend 4×4 are masters of the craft, bringing vintage vehicles up to date with modern performance without losing that original vintage flair—and this freshly-built Jeep Wagoneer they made in collaboration with Iron & Resin just provides further proof of their skill.
Both New Legend 4×4 and Iron & Resin emphasize the importance of high-quality, handbuilt goods, striving to pay tribute to an era when that was the manufacturing norm. So, with the two brands coming together, it shouldn’t be a surprise the resulting ’78 Wagoneer is what it was always meant to be in spirit: a perfectly rugged, well-appointed four-wheeler that’s ready for adventure.
This isn’t the first time New Legend 4×4 and Iron & Resin have joined forces (they made a kickass Scout not too long ago), but this ’78 Wagoneer arguably raises the bar for the duo’s future restorations. From a distance, you’d be hard to tell this was anything other than an immaculate vintage Jeep. Rven the new upholstery courtesy of I&R looks period-correct and fitting for the Wagoneer, though the materials are quite the update over stock; Iron & Resin went to town on the interior with swathes of Horween Leather, waxed canvas, & Del Sol diamond serape trim.
Once the brand-new V-8 fires up, however, it becomes fairly obvious very quickly this isn’t any ordinary Wagoneer. New Legend 4×4 dropped in a new 5.3-Liter LS V-8 packing more than doubling the original 1978 engine’s horsepower from 1978, and bolted it to a four-speed transmission; they rebuilt the axles, fitted new brakes, and lifted the suspension an extra three inches to help fit chunky new BFGoodrich all-terrain tires underneath. They also slipped on a three-inch single exhaust to let the V-8 shout about itself a little better. The resulting product probably isn’t cheap…but hey, you have to pay for quality, right?