December 26, 2019
From coast to coast, owners of the off-road models of the iconic American Jeep—who call themselves “Jeepers”—gather several times a year to put their vehicles to the test in such wild locations as Moab Utah, Death Valley, The Rubicon Trail, and Tillamook, Oregon. But now, they won’t have to wait for a special group event.
The Jeep Wrangler is manufactured at the automaker’s Toledo, Ohio, factory—and, The Chicago Tribune reports, a nonprofit group plans to open a 56,000-square-foot museum in metropolitan Toledo in 2022 devoted to the history of the Jeep and its fandom.
The project is expected to cost $40 million, and the group anticipates about 250,000 visitors per year.
An outdoor track where Jeeps can be driven will be among the museum’s exhibits, group members told the Tribune, and there’s been discussion about building a hotel nearby. The group has worked to model the facility around the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Planners are keeping the location quiet while the contract is finalized.
“It’ll be on that list of [top] institutions in our community that draw visitors into Toledo,” said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who put it “up there” with The Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Zoo, and other attractions.
Jeep’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, has been very involved in the planning, groups members said.
“We are thrilled by this initiative to honor the heritage of such an iconic brand, and celebrate the women and men who have dedicated their lives to building these vehicles for nearly 80 years,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. “We look forward to working with [the] Toledo community leaders to bring this interactive Jeep experience to life.”
Research contact: @Jeep