It All Started Harmlessly With a Jeep CJ

Best Friends

In my youth for a couple years beginning in I think spring 1985 I had the pleasure of having the best friend imaginable, his name was Jim. Jim and I are a story of two people with awesome chemistry at first meeting. In our time hanging out our friendship grew over beers, fishing and 4 wheeling in his absolutely monstrous Dodge Power Wagon pickup. We had great times.

Unfortunately with any monster truck there are drawbacks, they are expensive to feed, operate and maintain. I swear Jim could swap out front wheel bearings while eating dinner. That got old and Jim wanted something different. He wanted something small, go anywhere and still be a monster truck in it’s own right.

Jim made a move that affected us both to this day. He bought a 1979 Jeep CJ-7. Within two weeks it was lifted, new wheels, tires and exhaust. We both caught the bug.

I was fortunate in that whenever we went out Jim let me drive the Jeep. We went everywhere and I logged a lot of hours on the road and crawling through trails no normal 4×4 would fit. It was the time of my life.

Unfortunately all good things come to an end and in some case new beginnings develop. I introduced Jim to another good friend Leta and sparks flew. I’m not sure how much time passed but before long they were getting out of Connecticut and heading to the Green Mountains of Vermont. Jim sold the Jeep to buy a 1990 Ford F150 and they were gone.

The Great Ford F250 Disaster

Jim’s departure left me longing for a Jeep of my own. Unfortunately my life required a pickup truck. I had a 1985 Ford F250 which was total junk and by today’s standards would probably qualify for the State of Connecticut’s lemon law.

Short Lived Jeep Cherokee Sport

I traded the F250 for a used 1989 Jeep Cherokee Sport. That was a disaster that didn’t last a year. I don’t even want to talk about it.

The Amazing Chevy Stepside Pickup

I was driving by the local now defunct Dworkin Chevrolet, Chevy dealer in Ansonia Connecticut and I noticed this stunning maroon Chevy Stepside Pickup. I think it was a 1992. The next day I drove it home. I was happy with it for a long time.

Enter The Toyota Tundra SR5

In July 2002 I decided it was time for a new vehicle. This time my life didn’t require a pickup so off to the Jeep dealer I went. My test ride with a new Jeep Wrangler was mediocre at best. I simply wasn’t feeling it. It felt underpowered and without purpose. The next day I bought a 2002 Toyota Tundra SR5. The Tundra gave 14 years of perfect service other than the factory recall frame replacement.

The Puppy Factor Meets Crazy Fuel Prices

Spring 2016 we bought a puppy. This puppy required me to do an extra trip from work to home at lunch to let the puppy out. At that time gas prices had skyrocketed and feeding the Tundra was crazy, it was $100 per fill up. I made the decision that I needed something better on gas. Unfortunately not any vehicles caught my eye. I did however start my research at the Jeep dealer. Two things were instantly apparent. The first is the gas mileage wasn’t a whole lot better than the Tundra and worse than that Jeeps had become insanely popular which translates to expensive. I settled on a used 2015 Jeep Murano. Great vehicle, tolerable to this truck guy.

2015 Nissan Murano

My Murano was an amazing vehicle. It was essentially the platinum model without the name plate. It had every option imaginable. It rode great and was more comfortable to me than any other car I had ever been in which includes some incredible high end Cadillacs and BMW’s. Gas mileage on the highway was 28 miles per gallon if I could cruise at 80 miles per hour. The Murano was a very practical vehicle but it just wasn’t me.

Erin’s Oscar Mike Edition Jeep Wrangler

Now here’s my favorite part of the story. Erin for a few years has longed for a Jeep, and what makes that special for me is Erin is Jim’s 25 year old daughter. I guess the Jeep bug is a hereditary disease. Anyhow in spring 2018 Erin introduced me to her brand new Jeep Wrangler, a lifted big wheeled, bright white Oscar Mike Edition. I spent a few days driving her around just as I did her dad so many years earlier. It’s also interesting to note that she’s about the same age her dad was when he bought his first jeep.

Those few days in Erin’s Oscar Mike Jeep captured that same feeling I had so many years ago about her dads Jeep. I was once again in love with Jeeps. I wanted one badly.

July 2018 I drove to Vermont to spend the day with Erin. She took my 4 wheeling around the area of Burke mountain. Talk about reeling someone in. I was with one of my two favorite people, in my favorite vehicle in one of the most beautiful areas in New England. After that trip to say I wanted a Jeep was an understatement. I was obsessed.

September 2018 I met her in New Hampshire to hike the Franconia Notch Trail Loop. This time I refused to drive it because now it would be just torture for me.

A Mans Got To Know His Limitations

I think it was Clint Eastwood in the first Dirty Harry movie that said “A Mans Got To Know His Limitations”, well I met mine. Halloween week I was on vacation and it also coincidentally marked the two year anniversary of me owning the Murano. I decided I was done with the “soccer dad” car or as Erin referred to it “soccer mom” car. I began looking at Jeep Wranglers and on November 21, 2018 I put a $500 deposit on a used 2018 Altitude Edition of a Sahara Unlimited. Read the Window Sticker.

If I get approved for the loan, Saturday I will own my dream Jeep Wrangler.

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