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Forgotten Trim Packages: Lara Croft Tomb Raider Jeep Wrangler

Ross Ballot February 2, 2017 All Things Hoon 10 Comments

Source: FourWheeler

So-called “special edition” vehicles are in many cases, especially that of the Jeep Wrangler, not very special at all. What is frequently little or nothing more than a decal or appearance package, these supposedly limited-run trims are meant to draw in potential buyers by tricking them into thinking they bought something unique when, usually, it’s the same damn vehicle, unchanged except for some graphics and words slapped on the side or rear.

Jeep is among the worst offenders when it comes to this, with seemingly dozens of “special” Wranglers released year-to-year. That’s not the case with the Lara Croft Tomb Raider Edition Wrangler Rubicon though. Read on to see what made this special edition actually, well, special. 

The Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie prop Wrangler — Source: RockCrawler

With only 1,001 made (…who knows), the Lara Croft Tomb Raider Edition Wrangler was a rare model back when it was new in 2003 and is especially so now. I’ve only seen one (maybe two?) in my life, and I’m somebody who would actually notice them as opposed to a casual onlooker who wouldn’t know a TJ from an LJ. A brief search of Craigslist, eBay, and Autotrader shows only two for sale privately in the US, which makes the VehiCROSS look like it was mass-produced. That says a lot.

Source: IGN

To make the LCTR Wrangler what it is, Jeep took the TJ Rubicon and added an assortment of both functional and purely aesthetic parts from the Jeep and MOPAR catalogs, in turn selling from the dealer a vehicle similar to what many people would have done with theirs when left to their own devices. The thousand or so special units added package-specific 16” aluminum wheels, a light bar above the windshield, wider riveted fender flares, a grille guard with diamond plate in the center, diamond plate rocker guards, fog and taillight guards, and special seats with red accents and belts. There’s a little more as well, but what you can gather from this is that it made the Rubicon both slightly more aggressive in its function and its form, just enough to distinguish itself from an otherwise stock Rubicon. Each one was given a Tomb Raider serial number and accompanying plate, and you could have it in any color you want so long as that color was Bright Silver.

Source: IGN

The Lara Croft Tomb Raider Jeep Wrangler isn’t exactly collector-car worthy, but it certainly is an interesting vehicle and one that’s actually somewhat special as opposed to its dime-a-dozen decal-package counterparts. If you so happen to see one, take notice– they’re wildly a rare when you consider that Jeep built nearly  over the course of its life. So there you have it, the Lara Croft Tomb Raider Edition Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: one of, if not the, most forgotten of the Wrangler trim packages.

Now, maybe I should watch the movie…

Source: RubiconOwnersForum

  • smalleyxb122

    Were they all SWB, or was the package available on the LJ?

    • Ross Ballot

      SWB, fairly certain. LJ didn’t appear until 2004, all the LCTR Editions were 2003s if my research serves me correctly.

      • smalleyxb122

        That’s a bummer. I really like the LJ, and the Tomb Raider bits would make for a pretty cool factory upgraded version.

        • Ross Ballot

          The LJ is great, best in Khaki Rubicon form.

  • Rover 1

    To many of us the vehicle she drove, and will remembered for in the 2001 film, Lara Croft :Tomb Raider will always be a Land Rover Defender. Of course in the vastly less memorable and much less successful sequel in 2003, Lara Croft :Tomb Raider:The Cradle of Life she had a Jeep. The muted success of that film might be why these Jeeps are rare.

    It’s for much the same reason that we’ll always associate 007 with Aston Martin despite all the money that BMW threw at promoting the idea in the eighties and nineties, that Bond drove BMWs.

    There’s another film in the franchise due out in 2018.I wonder what 4WD brand she’ll be driving in that?

    • Ross Ballot

      Interesting. Guess I’ll have to watch that one too!

      If I had to guess, the car she drives will be heavily– if not entirely– dependent upon which automaker’s marketing department can pony up the most money. And being that the Defender is out of production, I’m guessing it won’t be that. Unfortunately.

      • outback_ute

        Would be a good way to publicise the “new Defender” if that was due out in time.

        There was a special “X-Treme” package for the Defender in 2002-03 or so that was possibly inspired by the Lara Croft machine – but they were people-actually-buy hardtops rather than the more LC-exposing softtops AFAIK.

  • Borkwagen

    I wish they’d actually made a Jurassic Park Wrangler to go with the first movie.

    • Ross Ballot

      That would have been incredible.

      Luckily, there’s enough fans out there who have made recreations that you can find one for sale pretty regularly. Same goes with the Explorer. I’ve done everything in my power to not buy one of the Jurassic Park YJ replicas…it’s as close as it gets to childhood movie car perfection for me.

      • P161911

        A local used car lot that always has odd ball stuff (4 door Jeep YJ, multiple Fauxrarris, etc.) had a Jurassic Park Jeep for a while.

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