Bonding through a prehistoric ride

Bonding through a prehistoric ride

A car straight from the age of the dinosaurs; it’s a little piece of Jurassic Park right in Fairview.  But these aren’t movie props, they’re the work of junior Jared Otte.

“Jurassic Park was on one day and I was watching it and afterwards I was on eBay looking around and I typed in Jurassic Park jeep,” Otte said. “I saw one on there and I wanted to get it but my dad decided we could just build one instead.”

The first jeep that Otte and his dad built is not an exact replica, however everything but the model of the jeep is the same as the movie’s car.

Jared and his dad have restored two jeeps so far.
Jared and his dad have restored two jeeps so far.

“The first jeep is a ‘94 Jeep Wrangler,” Otte said. “Over the winter is took us about 3 months. We put a lot of research into it like the paint color. We painted it in my driveway actually. Then we started buying the parts from the movie. Every weekend we’d work on it,”

The second jeep is an exact replica that Otte and his dad built as well.

“We just kinda stumbled across it [the second jeep]. My dad was walking through a wholesale lot and found a 92’ Sahara edition Jeep Wrangler, which is what they used in the movie,” Otte said. “This one was too rare to pass up so we went out and bought it; we were first thinking about building it and selling it, but this jeep ended up being 100 percent accurate.”

The second jeep is still not completely finished, but Otte has received plenty of recognition from movie theaters.

I saw one on there and I wanted to get it but my dad decided we could just build one instead.”

— Jared Otte

“Jurassic Park 3D was released a while ago, for the 20th anniversary, and we got contacted by one of the movie theaters!” Otte said. “We took my first jeep and had it on display for 4 weeks in their lobby. They built a big display around it and they brought in an animatronic dinosaur and put it next to it. It was pretty cool.”

It’s not just movie theaters that have noticed as people will take pictures, post pictures, and compliment Otte on his jeep.

The Ottes have been contacted by movie theaters to rent their jeep to use for sets for the release of Jurassic Park 3D.
The Ottes have been contacted by movie theaters to rent their jeep to use for sets for the release of Jurassic Park 3D.

“I will go on Instagram and search @Jurassicparkjeep and I will see pictures of my jeep and me driving around in my jeep,” Otte said. “I’ll see pictures of my car in the parking lot on iFunny,” “I get pictures taken all the time, people stopping me telling me how cool my car is, and asking to take pictures by it.”

Otte and his father, Mike Otte, worked on the jeep in between work and school. They worked on weekends and according to Mike, it was a father son bonding experience.

“It was great. I had to find something else we could do beside playing HALO,” Mike said. “Every father, I know, is always trying to find more ways to stay connected with their son. This project allowed me to do that.”

According to Jared, building these jeeps took more than adding onto the Wrangler.

“A lot of it is in the research and the prep work. You really have to make sure you have everything right when you’re are sanding the car down and all the bodywork,” Jared said. “A lot of people say they have these Jurassic Park replicas but a lot of people get the paint color wrong. You really have to know what you are doing. I use Jurassicparkjeep.com, a lot of people are on there that build the jeeps and they know where to get the parts and stuff.”

All of the work Jared and his father put into these two Jurassic jeeps came at a cost.

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“If you were to build one, it all depends on what condition you buy the jeep at,” Jared said. “A good, clean car would cost around $5000-$6000. We probably put $3000-$4000 into it. We could probably turn to 15-20 thousand dollars. People that have paid other people to make them for them it will cost them 20-25 thousand dollars.”

Jared does have some advice to anyone trying to replicate the jeep, and lets them know that replication is intricate.

“If I were to help someone build one, I would recommend looking for a good base jeep to build off of,” Jared said.

His dad is also open to helping people who are interested in this car conversion process.

“If anyone out there has thought about doing something like this and just cant figure out where to start, let us know,” Mike Otte said. “We can help. Life is short. I travel each week, but it can be done. Just commit to trying and you will figure it out from there. That is the fun of it. You never know, you might be the next Gas Monkey or Duck Dynasty.”

This movie car replicator would like to turn his hobby into a lifetime job.

Jared has an app on his phone that allows him to insert dinosaurs into his pictures to simulate  the scenes in the movie.
Jared has an app on his phone that allows him to insert dinosaurs into his pictures to simulate the scenes in the movie.

“[Designing/engineering] is a hobby but I want to do it for a career; to design and paint cars,” Jared said.

His dad is supportive of his new found hobby being turned into a job.

“Design and engineering are both great fields and there is always a demand for great people that can solve problems,” Mike said. “The most important thing though is to do what you enjoy. Passion is driving force that will produce having fun.”

Even though this was more a father and son bonding experiences curdling to Jared, even Jared’s mom and Mike’s wife, Kim Otte, supports the whole work process.

“I think it is amazing to see the before and after pictures and how much it [the jeeps] have changed,” Kim Otte said. “I think it was a good learning experience for Jared and it was a great project for Jared and his dad to work together on.”

Although he’s not quite finished with his second jeep, both Otte’s have more plans to design, replicate, and convert cars.

“I will keep the first two [jeeps], but will probably build more in the future,” Jared said. “Right now we are working on a zombie apocalypse vehicle. We are converting a Mercedes. We will probably build more jeeps in the future too.”