A 1974 Jeep CJ-5 nicknamed Renegade III took Best in Show honors at the 2018 Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion at the LeConte Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The Jeep was originally reconstructed for the 2017 SEMA Show by Greg Griffith of the AAM Group, Mancave Designs, Atomic City 4x4, and The AAM Group.
The award is just the latest in a storied run for Griffith and Renegade III, which also landed on three best of 2017 SEMA Show lists by several industry publications.
Griffith estimated that there were more than 11,000 Jeeps in attendance at the event, with 225 going head-to-head in the show and shine for top bragging rights. In addition to a variety of modern upgrades, OE enhancements, and custom touches, Renegade III includes several hidden Mickey Mouse silhouettes placed throughout the build.
Griffith originally bought the Jeep as a modest cruiser for his wife, a former Disney cast member and enthusiastic fan, and the Jeep exists as both a salute to her and a one-of-a-kind vehicle that brings together two iconic brands.
“Renegade III was a second full-time job for the six folks who brought her to life over nine months,” said Griffith. “Though Renegade III made it on several top 10 SEMA lists, the one recognition I wanted for our team more than any other was to win Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion. The fact that Renegade III could shine with all the great builds there—to win Best in Show—is incredibly validating and proves that old Jeeps still have some life left in them.”