Words: KRISTIE REAL
Photos: DALE MARTIN
One of the best things about the art of customization is that there are absolutely no rules. The builder takes to a vehicle as a painter takes to canvas and creates art from a simple vision or idea that’s then showcased to the masses at shows both on the local and national levels. The four-wheeled masterpiece can be as tame, conventional or as wild and out there as the builder wishes, adding details that make it one of a kind.
While the idea to take a vintage Jeep Willys and make it tower like a giant might sound absurd to purists, it was exactly what builder Charles Adkins envisioned for his first one-off build. “Nostalgia is a great motivator and I wanted a Willys because my grandfather helped my uncle build one when I was a boy,” he explains. “I always said I’d have one and look at me know. It was always going to be an extreme build made to stand out and be different from other Willys. I knew right from the start how I wanted it to turn out.”
To put his creation into motion, Charles looked to HS Kreations for a rendering and the vision was set in stone. According to Charles, they took everything from his brain and dumped it out on paper exactly like what he first envisioned.
After an invitation from Chris Pate of Level 7 Network to showcase his vision for the Willys at SEMA, Charles’s wild and crazy project was set into motion. Instead of collaborating with a shop for the build, Charles decided to undertake his mission alone and fabricated the majority of the parts himself (with the occasional help from a few friends, he adds).
“I made most of my own parts, while the store-bought ones were specifically chosen for this build, given I wanted proven parts.” He’s most proud of the 4-link lift and suspension because it was 100% designed and fabricated by himself. To enhance his sky-high frame, he also added Big Shocks coilovers and PSC full hydraulic steering. To get the stance just right, Charles decided on Liberty Forged 28×16 wheels wrapped in massive 44” Interco Super Swamper Boggers.
Not interested in changing up the original look of the Jeep Willys, Charles kept things simple when it came to exterior enhancements. He simply added a DV8 front bumper, some BAMF LEDs and Hornblasters 6 trumpet kit in the bed for a bit of attitude, leaving the suspension as the main wow factor.