Custom Vehicle Upfitting | Salt Lake City, Utah

Who we are

Custom Upfitters


Salt Lake City, UT




ACME Overland was born from a personal goal to ensure that even the most extreme adventures can have the accessibility and ease of a local jaunt. We wanted the positive experience of our daily adventures to cross over to our long-term traveling goals.



The word *ACME* is derived from Greek (ακμή; English transliteration: akmē) meaning the peak, zenith, or prime. From its inception Acme Overland has set out to produce an adventure vehicle that can help you reach the zenith of your own adventure goals. With smart design and low-maintenance materials, our vans are built for any range of expeditions.



Jessica and Tom Bender were having great success with their local adventures, but when it came to longer-term excursions, they were feeling restricted by weather, lame highway hotels, and an expanding family that now included their puppy Malamute, Echo.

They were on the hunt for an adventure vehicle that could accommodate their needs in summer or winter, work or play. After much research and consideration, they realized that a converted cargo van provided the range of sleeping and storage options they needed. But every van they came across was either a scrapped-together D.I.Y. or a flashy high-end Sprinter.


Jessica and Tom soon realized that to get what they wanted they would need to change the formula they typically encountered. With Tom's experience in refined engineering and product design and Jessica's knowledge of building materials, upholstery fabrics, and cabinet design, they began building their own dream vehicle without having to wait years or sacrifice good style. Their success with their design convinced them to take on customers. 

Today Acme Overland has established a reputation for converting vehicles from empty shells to the efficient and capable adventure vehicles our clients desire. Clients can choose from a myriad of hard-wearing materials that will stand out against the boring industry standards.

Contact us to discuss your dream vehicle and get started on your own overland adventures.





Cars have been in our family since Grandpa Bud opened Bud’s Auto Body in 1949. After the shop closed with Bud’s passing, the inspiration continued. Gary Bender became the shop foreman at Knauz Motors, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Lake Forest, Illinois. He remained there for thirty-four years before moving to Salt Lake City with his wife Carol. Jeff Bender began tinkering with cars as a child, taking on his first full project at the age of sixteen. He worked for Knauz for six years, where he became quality control for Mercedez-Benz. Recently, he has restored a 1991 GTI and a VW Wolfsburg TDI Jetta from the ground up, and he is currently working on his 2001 Audi Wagon. Tom began working on cars with his dad at seventeen. At nineteen he restored his first vehicle start-to-finish: a 1990 VW Corrado G60 in Nugget Yellow. He has kept his eye on the next project ever since.  

The family comes together with Acme Overland. The company began in Gary and Carol’s garage. Gary has worked nights and weekends with his sons to help direct the conversion details. Carol has provided emotional (and nutritional) support from beginning to end as the projects carry on day and night. Her presence is invaluable; now she manages the day-to-day needs of the business.