Forgotten Trim Packages: Lara Croft Tomb Raider Jeep Wrangler
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.
With only 1,001 made (or possibly closer to 1,050…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.
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.
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 one million TJs 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…