A Jeep Wrangler is a funny thing.
I never get into that car without having a big silly grin on my face. They are just that fun to drive.
Mine isn't particularly modified, other than what I did for every other car. I always bump the size up on the tires "one size" than the manufacturer shipped it with because it almost always makes the car much better to drive. Handling is improved.
In my case, it made the speedometer more accurate. But that's an aside.
It's not one of those mudder Jeeps that you see where your eyes are looking at it's bumper. But I do take care of it.
For a car that is 16 years old, you wouldn't know it. They hold their value and I won't let this one slide through my fingers.
As a Jeep Wrangler X TJ is the last gasp of AMC Engineering, it's built to last. I could rebuild the thing in my driveway. The motor is a 4 Liter Push-rod Inline Six Cylinder hooked to a five speed manual transmission.
2002 with only 47,000 miles.
Oh and I've been driving Jeeps since 1996, so yeah I like them.
So do others. They hold their values and they're in great demand like few other cars. "Classic" Jeep Cherokee drivers are in the same boat. In fact, they're the same car, different body.
When I see an article on a car forum about them, I'm bound to look. This one in particular caught my attention and had me laughing.
Two guys, of course, talking about Jeeps. That link has the video I'm talking about.
"Jeep Chicks" do exist, and they're wonderful and rare creatures who always, without a doubt, are worth getting to know.
But here were two guys. Self appointed "experts" who were bloggers for www.jalopnik.com which can be an entertaining site to begin with.
Mind you, neither of them have ever owned a Jeep Wrangler, but hey that's why they are "experts" and writing about the cars right?
One guy was in love with the Wranglers. Smart Guy. Talking about how we always seem to enjoy being in the beasts and going on about our business and occasionally taking our cars on adventures and ... you get the picture.
The other one was saying Land Rover was the best and Jeeps blah, and so forth. Ranting about Angry Faced Jeeps and "Jeep Bros".
Yeah, Self Appointed Expert.
Neither owned one.
I remember the Land Rovers that they're talking about in the video. The lines I remember the most were "British Engineering" and "Buy One for Wash, One for Wear" - meaning they broke down frequently and were rarely trustworthy.
You couldn't give me one.
Never did I have a problem with that Jeep, but I have had to tow-rope a Land Rover out of a stuck spot once or twice.
Sitting in my recliner, laughing at this video, and waiting for the time to take the dog for his walk, someone pulls into my driveway.
He's looking at the Jeep. I sit up.
He spots me. He's in a posh-ass Mercedes Benz. The kind of car you make rude comments about because the driving style is ... over privileged. You know the kind. You think "I'm not letting him in" on the interstate.
That kind of guy.
Roof down, bald head glistening in the afternoon sun.
And he's gesturing me to come out and talk to him.
Did I mention Over-Privileged and Mercedes Benz? Of A Certain Age (Over 50)?
Yeah, you know the type.
And he's gesturing to me to come out and pointing at my Jeep.
I unroll myself out of the chair to my full length, and walk out to the front porch.
Before I step out of the house I hear "You sellin' that Jeep?!?!"
I'll admit the car is cherry. Not a thing wrong with it, but "Nope, it's not for sale".
This is how weirdly random it is. The guy is driving down the street and looking at Jeep Wranglers and saw me in the window looking at a video about Jeep Wranglers, and wanted to buy mine.
"I saw the sign in the window and wanted to know".
"Oh The Sign". That explains it.
I have a neighbor across the street. Same year Jeep that has been left out in the rain with the roof off for as long as he lived there. Someone came by and opened his door and took the door tops off the car.
So I put a sign in my windows that says "Look up, You are on Camera, and there is nothing in the Car".
The neighbor keeps the doors unlocked. It made it easy for them to walk off with pieces from the car. I can take the doors off the Jeep for extra breezes and less car if I like. One bolt per door and I'm done.
My car is locked, has an alarm, and is on three video cameras. Idiots who steal live everywhere.
I explained all of this to the Man Of A Certain Age with a sense of amusement. All the while chuckling in my head at the pure strangeness of the situation.
"I Can't sell that Jeep. I wouldn't be able to get another one that nice, they aren't making them like that any more! Sorry, he's not for sale."
Yes, He. DJ as in Darth Jeep. Unlike a car that is a rolling computer room on wheels, a Jeep Wrangler truly has a personality. He's got a black body, tan roof. Black and tan like I like my beer. Nice HD Radio that also plays my phone with a cable and ... just basic mild mods that you would not notice unless you look very close. Nothing out of the ordinary.
It's one of the last cars that doesn't have insane amounts of things that interfere with your enjoyment of the vehicle. No On-Star or other nosy nonsense that listens in on what you are doing. The computer in the car is mild and does not interfere with what you want to do. The transmission is a 5 speed manual, I'll shift when I damn well feel like it.
Oh and I get 23MPG highway which is pretty good for a car that just makes me smile. "Beep Beep! I'm a Jeep"
Besides, since nobody who isn't a truck driver can drive a
stick shift, so the worlds least secure vehicle is safe in a mall parking
lot in a questionable area.
He pulled off and blew through the stop sign on the corner. I shook my head at him and the situation and went into the house laughing.
The next day I took that Jeep out for a drive, again. No destination, just driving around. "I can't sell you, it's like selling a good friend!" I had my dog Rack in the car. He looked up confused.
Mind you, my dog Rack is not so sure of the Jeep. It's a little too real to ride around in a car with windows made of Cling Film and held in place with velcro and zippers. You hear the next car a little too loudly, and the wind noise is a bit intense above 65. But the speed limit here is 65 MPH on the highway and why would you want to go faster than that anyway. Just keep up with traffic and let others get the speeding ticket.
Pulling back into the driveway I hear myself saying "I couldn't sell this car. It's just too damn good, too much fun, and I can't see myself stepping down to a used Toyota!"
If you have ever been at sunset in a Jeep Wrangler on the Seven Mile Bridge with the roof down, stars coming out overhead, and the warm tropical breezes caressing your body, you will know why.
I hope to make that trip again some day...
Yes, You can sell your car from your living room recliner, but why would you want to? Especially if it is a Jeep Wrangler.