Just as Jeep was a key tool in winning World War II, so it will be in the future war against the machines. Or at least in the battle being played out in cineplexes when the summer movie “Terminator Salvation” opens this weekend.

 The Jeep Wrangler is the Judgment Day vehicle of choice in post-apocalyptic 2018, when John Connor (played by Christian Bale) leads the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators.


Jeep has had a recurring role in the Terminator series; some movie fans might remember that when we last saw Conner's mother in the original Terminator movie, she was driving off in her red Jeep Wrangler Rubicon CJ-7 Renegade.

The “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” ruggedness of Jeep has landed Jeep vehicles starring roles in many other movies. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum kicks off the summer by showing two Jeep Wranglers that appeared in Hollywood movies. “Jeep at the Movies”, running through July 27, features the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – dubbed the “Tomb Raider Jeep” – was the first customized model to appear in a feature film, Paramount Pictures' Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – dubbed the “Sahara Jeep” – which co-starred with Matthew McConaughey in the Paramount Pictures' release, Sahara.

In one dramatic scene from Tomb Raider the heroine Lara Croft, played by Angelina Jolie, parachutes into the back of the Tomb Raider Jeep. Visitors to the museum will get a close look at such vehicle modifications as a roll cage with grab bars, a skid plate with simulated HID lighting and an interior with specially designed gauges, shifters, instrument panel, console and door trim. The vehicle also features a host of aftermarket components such as bumpers, wheels with bead locks, suspension lift and riveted fender flares.

In Sahara, Paramount Pictures altered a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to make it look like it had spent several years in the service of an African Army. Visitors will see the “Sahara Jeep's” unique exterior and interior cues, including a chrome grille, accent-colored fender flares, 30-inch Moab Wheels with accent colors, exterior Sahara badge and a premium two-tone seat. The vehicle also features Mopar components, including taillamp guards and a unique khaki-colored spare tire cover.

More information on “Jeep at the Movies” at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum Web site, http://www.wpchryslermuseum.org.

For a chance to drive your own Judgment Day Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, enter the Terminator Salvation Jeep Summer Thrill Sweepstakes at http://www.jeepsummerthrill.com. There you can enter to win the Grand Prize package of a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and a family 4-Pack of tickets to any U.S. Six Flags park.