I got me a Rubicon! I’ve never had a Jeep, always wanted one. In my head, I have a list of vehicles, or types of vehicles, that I want at some point in my life. Big old tough 4 by 4 is now checked off.
It’s my new winter vehicle, used but in good shape. The salesman at Elgin Chrysler seemed a bit surprised when he was talking about the fun of summer Jeep driving and we said, oh it’s just for winter. You can see his point. A young man, himself a Jeep driver: yes indeedy he’d be taking his Jeep down to Port in the summer. Roof comes off, doors come off. It’s a babe magnet. He was too polite to look surprised at us buying it – clearly babe magnet is no longer part of our vehicular requirements, either ‘looking for’ or ‘being’. Probably serious off-roading isn’t either. But it’s still a thrill knowing you have the horse power and gear range to be able to.
Test-driving it, I was sold when I put it in 4 Low and felt the wheels grab the dirt road. “Ok, I want this car.” Until then, I’d been looking at where the dogs would ride, how they’d get in and out, where groceries would go. But put her in 4 Low and she’s mine; dogs and groceries can figure it out for themselves.
Ideally, a girl should have a Jeep in her early 30s – old enough to look capable of handling it and young enough to look really good doing so. A friend of mine bought one, a CJ, white with black top, brand new when she was that age. I was envious. She looked fabulous in it. Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough money to keep it supplied with gas and be able to pay any other bills so she sold it. But that year of the white Jeep lives in my memory as well as hers. It was hot, and so was she in it.
I drove a Suzuki 4 x4, precursor of the Samurai, at the time. It too was fun – a dinky-toy Jeep. I loved it, and the incarnations of the Suzuki 4 wheel drives after. The Samurai and the Sidekick – drove them both. I became disenchanted with the Suzukis after that, when they got bigger, more comfortable and ceased looking like tough little road warriors.
Jeeps too have done that. I had a rental Jeep Liberty once. No thanks. If I want a vehicle that drives like a car I’ll get a, well, car! The Rubicon does not drive like a car. It’s certainly more comfortable and better “appointed” inside than the old Jeeps, but it still drives like a tank.
You hear and feel the rumble of those big knobby tires. You feel every kilometer of speed you are going. The revs vibrate as you shift through 6 gears. You feel the wind, you hear the rain, you are in direct contact with the road. You are the Road Warrior.