Upgraded suspension, reinforced bumpers, bigger tires, an armor-plated underside, a rear-mounted lift jack, eight headlights and a roof-top tent.
If Matt Janchar’s Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon seems like it was custom built for Scouting adventures, that’s because it was.
Add a khaki paint scheme and some oversize BSA logos, and you’ve got the BEV. That’s Boy Scout Expedition Vehicle.
As a Cubmaster (Pack 157 in Weston, Mass.), Janchar is always looking for new ways to capture the attention of both current and future Scouting families.
His pack’s calendar is full of outdoor events where a Scouting vehicle could serve as a billboard for the BSA. Places like local festivals and car shows, open-house recruiting events in the fall, overnight campouts, and, naturally, parades.
The Jeep is the ultimate icebreaker that gets people interested in Scouting.
“BEV made its debut at a spring festival in our town, and we had a constant line of kids that were excited to climb into the tent and ask when the next Cub Scout campout was happening.” Janchar says. “It was about 10 months of planning and building to get the BEV project from an idea to reality, but now comes the fun part: getting outside and off the asphalt with the Scouts!”
An idea is born
“Every inch of the design took a lot of research,” Janchar says. “I wanted to create a very rugged and old-school safari look, so I couldn’t use a lot of modern product designs, like LED lights and chrome.”
Jeep fans and gearheads can find Janchar’s full build sheet at the end of this post.
My favorite feature seems simple but is actually quite genius. It’s a pair of red lights that illuminate a campsite at night. White lights will ruin a Scout’s night vision for stargazing; red lights will not.
That’s something only a Scouter would’ve thought of.
The finishing touch
Functionally, the BEV serves its purpose as the ultimate Scouting SUV. Visually, the Boy Scout fleur-de-lis on each side serves another purpose.
It reminds people that Scouting is alive and well in Massachusetts and beyond.
“I spent hours trying to come up with a way to integrate the BSA logo into the vehicle,” Janchar says “And of course I needed a license plate that was a bit of an insider reference to Scouting: ONMYHR.”
Janchar says a few Scouting veterans have noticed one particular quirk of the BSA logo decals.
On one side of the vehicle, the eagle is facing its left wing instead of its right. This is the reverse of the BSA logo. Janchar wanted the eagle to face the direction the vehicle will be traveling.
“I am always impressed when veteran Scouters notice this detail,” he says.
BEV build details (for gearheads only!)
The BEV is a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon in color Mojave Sand.
Mechanical upgrades installed by Elias 4WD in Townsend, Mass. Custom logo decals installed by Add-A-Sign in Leominster, Mass.
The BEV includes:
- AEV 3.5-inch DualSport SC Suspension with frequency-tuned, progressive rate springs and Bilstein 5100 and AEV high steer kit
- AEV premium front bumper with skid plate and Warn 9.5CTI winch
- AEV rear bumper and tire carrier with backup light, rear vision system, shovel and hi-lift jack
- Metalcloak UnderCloak Integrated Armor System
- Rock Star III wheels with Mojave Sand painted inserts and 35-inch Toyo Open Country AT II Extreme tires
- SPOD JK 6-switch SPOD and Source System with green LED lights controlled by dashboard dimmer
- Maxximus 3 roof rack with side rails and dual ladders
- N-Fab wheel-to-wheel Nerf step bar
- Rugged Ridge light bar with lowering kit and Warn SDB-160 lights
- Red Rock wrap-around tail light guards
- Tepui Autana Sky roof top tent with custom low-profile direct mount system
- Dinuba Water stainless steel jerry cans mounted in MORryde side trays
Photos: By Brad Killam, taken at the beautiful Camp Resolute in Bolton, Mass.