Those of you who frequent the Top Gear Philippines website will know that we’re big fans of the owner-type jeep. This vehicle—with its basic form, utilitarian roots, and its owners’ no-nonsense approach toward driving one—is, in many ways, the purest form of Filipino motoring.
Now, one unit in the US has a shot at representing all of its kind on the aftermarket world’s biggest stage: the 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The thing is, the car is still on standby, waiting for word from one of the booths at this year’s show. So let’s hope it makes the cut.
Anyway, back to the car. It’s a 1946 Willys Jeep with an SR20DET engine under the hood. Owner Joel Tan from Caloocan City started the build back in June 2017.
With a lowered stance, cool camouflage paint finish, and a Punisher logo on the hood, this thing is a certified scene-stealer: It was recently shot and featured by Speedhunters’ Larry Chen, and none other than Liberty Walk’s Kato-San checked out the unit and sat inside.
Our favorite bit about this story, though, is Joel’s intense passion for this type of vehicle. He also owns a 1977 Isuzu Gemini and a 1972 Nissan Skyline (the latter was featured at SEMA last year), but one look at the dude’s Instagram profile and you’ll know he truly loves owner-type jeeps. He has a ton of throwback posts showing the model, our favorite photo being a grainy shot of a unit parked beside a Burger Machine along 9th Avenue in Caloocan. He hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Keep your eyes on Joel and his car. We have a feeling this isn’t the last you’ll read about them on our website.