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2001 Holden Jack8 Concept

The 2001 Holden Jack8 Concept marked a bold venture into the realm of open-topped SUV prototypes. Unveiled at the National 4x4 Show in Melbourne, this concept emerged as a distinctive adaptation based on the Holden Jackaroo, an Australian variant of the Isuzu Trooper. Celebrating the Jackaroo's twentieth year in the Australian market, Holden aimed to infuse new life into its off-road range.

The Jack8 concept exhibited a remarkable transformation from the front to the rear, starting with the removal of the roof and the installation of a robust tube steel roll cage. The windscreen remained, but the rest of the glass was omitted, accompanied by the elimination of rear doors and the extension of the front doors by 200mm.

The design featured smoothed flanks, seamlessly blending into the rear, where a symmetrical tailgate design created a wraparound appearance. The spare wheel, traditionally mounted on the tailgate, was relocated to the roll cage, adding to the off-road racing aesthetic that inspired the concept.

Underneath, the Jack8 underwent substantial modifications for enhanced off-road capabilities. A 50mm body lift and an extra-heavy-duty suspension package, equipped with endurance-rated shocks, heavy-duty front torsion bars, and extended rear springs, contributed to its rugged performance. The custom bumpers housed an integrated winch and fog lamps at the front, while the sills were customized to include functional side exhaust exits for the engine.

The powerplant of the Jack8 deviated significantly from the standard Jackaroo, as designers managed to fit a Gen III 5.7-liter V8 engine into this off-road beast. Accommodating the 225kW powerhouse required modifications to the engine bay, including a specific radiator and air cleaner. The exhaust system featured side-exit pipes leading back through high-flow catalytic converters to custom-built extractors.

The interior of the Jack8 embraced a sporty and luxurious theme, featuring Monaro bucket seats trimmed in leather, a Momo sports steering wheel, Monza alloy pedals, and an upgraded audio system with a premium JVC stereo. The rear seats were also Monaro front buckets, showcasing a departure from the standard Jackaroo setup.

Despite its running and driving capability, the Jack8 remained a concept, adorned with a deep red metallic paint finish, tinted top coat, body-colored mirrors, CB aerial, and twin halogen spotlights on the roll cage. While it didn't lead to a surge in Jackaroo sales, the Jack8 concept left a lasting impression as a unique off-road creation, earning its place in the Holden Heritage Collection. The recent announcement confirmed its preservation in the Collins Holden Collection in Toowoomba, ensuring the legacy of this distinctive concept lives on.

Source & Images: Holden

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