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Categories: Customization 

First, you hear the siren. Then, you see the flashing lights. Then, you realize it’s a Jeep® Wrangler. What?

The “Jeep® 14” vehicle, as it was named by its creator, Trevor Wilson, was named in honor of Station 14, where Wilson and his father, Michael, are firefighters. Although it’s owned by Wilson, it regularly joins the station’s Engine 14, Grass 14 and Tanker 14 on missions to protect public safety.

It’s kind of like a comic book story; an amiable, unassuming, dune-riding 2011 Wrangler JKU turns into a firefighting, life-saving superhero.

The inside of a red Jeep Wrangler filled with fire fighting equipment.

It’s also the familiar story of a Jeep® Wrangler being modified to suit its owner’s activities.

A red Jeep Wrangler sitting in an open field.

“It was,” says Wilson, “the perfect blank canvas to build my dream Jeep® Wrangler.”

Trevor Wilson, of Battle Creek, Michigan, was about kindergarten age when he learned his ABCs, 123s, TJs and JKs. His dad, Michael, bought a Wrangler TJ as a project vehicle and the family started off-roading. But, as the younger Wilson came of automotive age, his taste ran toward more engine growl than rock-crawl and he wandered off into the world of monster trucks, and then drag racing, touring the country with a racing series.

He says that in 2015, “it came full circle. We’re like, ‘we need to get a Jeep® vehicle again.’ And so we were kind of looking for one and kinda not and I came across this one and it was just too good of a deal to turn down. So, it was like, ‘we gotta get it.’ I purchased this one and, as they say, that’s where it all started, again.”

Isn’t that how it always goes?

Except this bit. When they’re enjoying the top-off life, riding Lake Michigan’s Silver Lake Sand Dunes, the Wilsons are far more likely than the average Wrangler owners to get called to an emergency.

The customized embossed words Fire and Rescue inside of a Jeep Wrangler.

 “That’s kind of what started the theme behind this Jeep® vehicle. It goes to medicals. It goes to car accidents. It’s been on house fires,” says Wilson, who recently put out a house fire with the fire extinguishers he carries at all times.

“Enjoying going off-roading, there were things we wanted to do, to have that ability; I wanted obviously to lift it. I wanted to do aftermarket tires, and a Ripp super-charger to give it a little extra power, things of that nature. We re-geared it, put 5.13 gears in it,” says Wilson. “As far as the fire-fighting stuff went, as soon as I made the determination that was the theme, it was a challenge because you don’t see too many Jeep® 4x4s that have fire-fighting apparatus on them. That’s where kind of the bolt-on things end and you gotta start making custom things, come up with things that might have been purpose-built for something else and tailor to what you need.”

Custom buttons inside of a Jeep Wrangler turn on a variety of add-on lights.

 Wilson took a problem/solution tack, creating custom solutions for challenges such as wiring to run emergency lighting. But the customization wasn’t solely functional. The “Jeep® 14” vehicle is tricked out in full fire-fighting regalia, including head rests embroidered with the vehicle’s moniker, customized logo decals, badges and lighting everywhere.

“You can see it a mile away,” says Wilson.

The grill of a red Jeep Wrangler, accented with additional lighting.

 Firefighting and medical supplies include fire extinguishers, flashlights, rope, safety belt and firefighter gear, as well as bandages, gloves, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, splints, cervical collars, portable oxygen and just about everything else the state of Michigan requires on a Basic Life Support ambulance.

A variety of fire fighting gear in the back of a Jeep Wrangler.

 Learning that the regional qualifying competition for the SEMA Young Guns Builder competition would be held at the 2018 Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep® Invasion lit a fire under Wilson’s modification schedule.

“It was a pretty impressive vehicle and it won some awards previous to that, but there was a lot that I wanted to do on the bucket list to get it ready for the Young Guns competition,” says Wilson.

A red Jeep Wrangler sitting in a field.

The extra hustle paid off with a win and a trip to SEMA in Las Vegas, which was, according to Wilson, “an absolute blast.”

“It is everything everybody says it is, plus more. Sensory overload. It was the best of the best, the builds, the craziest, every vendor and manufacturer you can think of. It’s very cool to see everybody kind of culminating in one place. You have a whole week to see it all and you still don’t feel like you have enough time. You definitely put the miles on the feet. Great opportunity. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to go.”

Wilson plans to return to SEMA and Young Guns with his next build. He doesn’t quite know when yet, but he plans to build a fire and rescue-themed Jeep® Gladiator.

“We’re hoping to put a water tank on it and actually make that like an off-road grass rig for fighting wild fires and things of that nature,” says Wilson. “I haven’t come up with a name yet, so maybe add that in the comments.”

If you’ve got an idea, please post below and we’ll get it to Trevor before he has to order decals and head rest embroidery!

A fire department badge.

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